Shop: College Dorm Room

In just two weeks I’ll be leaving for school and I will have a dorm room to decorate with my roommate. Going from a room of my own at home to a tiny dorm with a roommate will definitely be a challenge since everything we bring with us must fit in the small space. I want everything to be clean and organized, but still homey and cozy at the same time. 

After searching the internet all summer for packing lists and organization tricks I think I’ve discovered some of the best ways to organize my dorm room. Here are some of my tips!

Colorful and patterned bedding is a must-do for dorm rooms in my opinion. Dorm rooms are known for being dark and neutral, but you can easily add color by buying bright bedding. I suggest buying a more neutral colored duvet (that you can wash!) and then adding colored pillows. This way you can switch out the pillows after a year or two for a whole new look. Also make sure to bring cozy blankets and throws for chillier nights!

Dorm closets are tiny so you have to make the most of the space. Since I hang most of my clothes the best way to do that is to add a second hanging rod for clothes. By hanging your clothing on slim no-slip hangers you ensure everything will be able to fit and nothing will fall onto the floor (a huge pet peeve of mine). Lastly, adding stackable shoe storage either under your bed or at the bottom of your closet is a great way to use all the space. Another option is using hanging shoe storage like this if your closet has doors (mine doesn’t). Lastly, don’t forget about your belts and scarves. The accessory loop above is great to hang in your closet!

Outside of your closet you are definitely going to need spots to store everything else you bring with you to school. The best place to find extra storage is under your bed with big storage bins. Plastic bins are a great option, but since you won’t have a bed skirt I would suggest finding bins that look a little nicer. The bin shown above (that I just bought!) is actually a laundry basket and lining up three or four of them under your bed would be perfect. Other important things to bring are command hooks and drawer dividers. Command hooks can be used for everything from holding bags to hanging picture frames. Drawer dividers are perfect to keep your clothing organized in your dresser drawers. 

When it comes to your desk I say keep it simple. If you plan on actually studying at your desk (which I definitely do) you will want as much space to spread out your papers and books. I suggest putting up a cork board behind your desk to add some color to the bland college wood. Then adding a magazine rack is a great way to store binders or notebooks so they don’t end up falling over or in a giant pile. Lastly, make sure to have a weekly planner to write everything down in!

A few other things I have gotten for my dorm room is a jewelry box, a desk lamp, picture frames, and a coffee mug. A jewelry box is a great way to add decoration to your dresser and it also ensures that you don’t end up with a mess of jewelry. Picture frames are a great way to add a personal touch to your room both with a fun pattern and pictures of your friends! Having a desk lamp is important whether you keep it on your desk for studying or by your bed for late night magazine reading! Lastly, make sure to bring a coffee mug (and a water heater/coffee maker) so that on chilly fall mornings you can make yourself a cup of coffee or tea without having to go all the way to a dining hall!

While this list isn’t nearly everything I plan on bringing with my to school (think lots of clothes, scarves, and shoes) it is definitely a start to getting organized in the last few weeks before you move into your dorm! If there are any other college students with tips I would love to hear them!

~ Caroline
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