Being away from home for the first time can be tough – especially when your new living quarters have about as much charm as a prison cell. Luckily, there are tons of cheap, easy ways to make your room feel more “you” – and to have it feel like home. Read on for tips on how to make the most of your new living space!
A small dresser and a tiny closet will almost certainly not provide you with all of the space you need to store your clothes, shoes, toiletries, utensils, food and other dorm necessities. Since you probably packed everything you own and then some, you’ll need to get creative to make sure that everything fits in your half of the room.
If you don’t already have them, plastic storage bins, trunks or Yaffa blocks can help keep your room organized – and most come in a variety of colors, so you can match them to your color scheme.
To keep your closet under control, consider a hanging shoe rack or collapsible shelves for your sweaters and hoodies. That way, you’ll have more room for the things that really matter – like your toga-making materials!
As you probably know from countless pre-college shopping expeditions with your parents, these items can be purchased at stores like Target, Walmart, Linens ‘n Things and Bed Bath & Beyond. If you’re missing these items, hop on the Loop bus (which stops at a number of local stores and the Quakerbridge Mall several nights a week) to pick up what you need.
Your room isn’t just a place to sleep anymore – it’s also a kitchen, dining room and place for all of your new friends to gather. Whether you’re sharing a midnight pizza or watching “Old School” for the hundredth time, you’ll want your space to be comfortable and inviting.
If you thought bean bag chairs were for little kids, think again – they’re also the college student’s seat of choice! With a variety of colors, sizes and shapes to choose from, these popular chairs take up little of your precious space and are far more comfortable than your dusty floor!
If you don’t have the room or cash to invest in real chairs, consider creating a space filled with large pillows for your friends to hang out on – and if all else fails, most storage containers (like the ones mentioned above) can double as fairly sturdy seating options.
You’ll want your space (no matter how small it is!) to say something about you — your personality, hobbies and interests. And of course, no dorm room is complete without a wallpapering of posters!
Check out allposters.com for a huge selection with everything from favorite bands to television shows, movies, tropical scenes, inspirational quotes and reproductions of famous artwork. The Brower Student Center also hosts a poster sale twice a year where you can pick up a new print or tapestry to spruce up those cinderblock facades.
The best way to make your new room feel like home is to bring a little bit of home with you. You can display pictures of your friends and family by creating a collage, decorating frames or buying a cheap photo board to attach to your wall. This way, you’ll never forget your high school memories – no matter what new adventures come your way at the College.
Most importantly …
Have fun! This is the first time you’ll get to personalize a space without the help (and in most cases, bother) of your parents! With a little bit of creativity, your room will feel like home in no time!