College dorms, for some students, are a welcomed change. For others, it’s a battle of wills. Whether in a single, double, triple or quad, there are plenty of ways one can personalize their space to create a home away from home. Check with the halls of residence’s rules before making any extreme alterations. Showing off your personality is great, but you don’t want to pay fines at the end of the year.
Start with the bed
Your bed is your haven and dorm beds are single, long and uncomfortable. Have a set of flannel sheets for winter if the dorm gets cold (or your roommates needs the window open all the time), and make sure to get a good quality mattress pad. If you can, bring a pillow from home. If not, make sure to get a proper pillow. Pillows are not created equal and unless you’re capable of sleeping without one, this is a vital piece for resting. Are the beds in a bunk bed arrangement or single? If single, get some spacers to elevate the bed a few inches more. The extra space can really come in handy.
Next is the desk
Besides sleeping, you’re going to be doing a lot of studying (hopefully). Some dorms have built in desks with a light and chair. Test everything out and make sure it works. Make a list if there are any extra items needed to complete the desk. This could be small storing units, a desk lamp (fluorescent lights are never the best) or a replacement chair with better back support. Take measurements before you go shopping for supplies and get cleaning materials that will come in hand if your roommate gets sick.
Now let’s move onto the floor and windows, the common areas shared with the roommate or roommates. Getting a rug is a great idea; it’ll protect carpets and warm a hardwood or linoleum floor. Make sure curtains are sturdy and not sheer, if they are asking for a replacement set. Talk with your roommates, maybe they have an extra rug back home or know of someone looking to give one away before paying one. Same goes for the curtains. Work together on ‘designing’ the shared space, you’re going to be together for the next year and it’s best to make the most of it.
Take it one step at a time and have fun with it! You can always change it. Remember that less is more, especially in small spaces. You want to make sure you can study, hang out and sleep in this space. It’s going to be your home for the next year and you deserve to make it truly your own!