Admittedly, one of the hardest parts of coming to college was leaving behind my bedroom from home. I knew I’d miss all the posters I had plastered my walls with, the tapestry that was mounted to my wall, and most notably, having a bit more space to myself than what I knew I’d be living in at school. However, after packing my very favorite posters, pieces, and knick-knacks, I faced the reality of living in a dorm with a roommate. After moving into my suite and beginning to settle into my new living arrangement, I decided to get creative and try my hand at my very own bootleg HGTV feng-shui to make my space feel a little homier and more “me”. Here are some of my best tips for making over a dorm room on a budget into a cool college sanctuary.
Being organized is undoubtedly the most important tip I can offer. Before coming to school, my room at home was always a complete mess. After moving in with five other girls in my suite, however, I became more aware of how my own messiness could affect others and I happened to become a lot tidier and organized. Though I can’t say this will be the case for everyone, I’ve personally found that being more organized in a small space that I have allows for what pieces and posters I brought to really be accentuated and stand out. If your room is a mess, someone will walk in and see that before they see the cute succulent on your window, or the Bowie poster you’ve adoringly hung on your wall. Just like I’m sure we’ve all heard our own mothers say, “A messy room is a reflection of a messy mind” (or, was that just my mom?). By using different organizational strategies you will create a clean, picturesque dorm room on a budget.
Bring only your favorite things.
Though I wished I could have brought every little kitschy knick-knack from home, when I packed for school I made sure to only include what I knew could reasonably fit into my tiny dorm. However, by utilizing all the space I was given, I was able to bring more than one would probably imagine. For example, I stacked all my favorite novels on my window sill between the wall and my makeup organizer. This way, all my favorite books would be readily available and easy to find. Similarly, by using putty instead of tacks or tape (which could strip paint off of my walls), I was able to hang all my favorite posters and pictures around my bed. By surrounding my bed with pictures of me and my friends, posters of my favorite bands and cool prints and souvenirs I eventually collected from around campus, I was able to create the ultimate cozy space for myself in my home away from home.
Surround yourself with the old and the new.
Though when you first arrive at college, you’ll only have what you’ve brought from home, getting involved on campus and picking up posters and knick-knacks from your school will make your dorm room feel fresh. Having new, cool ticket stubs to hang on your wall from the fun shows you go to with your college friends will remind you of all the good, new memories you’ve made at school. If your campus hosts productions or concerts, grabbing posters or memorabilia from the events make for cool, spirited decorations. By surrounding yourself with both the old and the new, your space will look homey but mature and new. This balance will, in turn, create the ultimate aesthetic we should all be striving for: a college student who loves their family and friends from back home but is having the time of their life at their new home away from home.