College Dorm Rooms – Less Is More
Moving from a private bedroom with ample closet space (sort of) to a shared dorm room can be frightening! With organizational tips and personal flair, you can make a dorm room a cozy, efficient space.
Maximize the closet with multi-tiered hangers, hanging pockets for shoes, toiletries, hair dryers, socks,etc. Hang them on the back of the door and on the rod or ventilated shelving. Utilize every inch of vertical space -add a rod or shelf. Use the floor to the maximum with stacking cubes, crates or storage bins. Color code storage bins’ contents for added efficiency and organization. Use self adhesive hooks for towels, pants, shirts, or robe in any available vertical space.
Target, Ikea, The Container Store or Bed, Bath and Beyond have a great selection to make your closet efficient and personalized.
Living Space can be maximized by using a trunk for a central table. Storage inside is an additional plus. Great trunks are available in a myriad of colors and patterns. You can dress up an old camp trunk with bold textured contact paper. Remember to clean the trunk with anti-bacterial disinfectant and let it dry completely before applying the contact paper. Cut to size and peel off, starting at one corner, smoothing as you adhere. A popsicle stick or a wooden stirrer for paint will be helpful tools. Home Depot, Lowes, and Target have great selections.
Large floor pillows are a great opportunity to bring some color accent into the room and they are great for sitting and also providing back support while studying. Area rugs create another opportunity for color and delineate the space.
Use multi-media racks or shelves for audio/visual storage. If floor space does not allow for separate vertical storage, create a hutch over a desk or the micro/frig to create the media storage shelving.
For acoustical privacy from your neighbors, and to absorb the sound in your room, velcro acoustical, tackable panels to the walls and upholster them with a great roll of fun fabric to define your room. The tackable surface can help you and your roommate keep calendars and reminders organized. Use the space above your desk, or empty wall space for these panels. Google for sources. Many panels are available upholstered in every color you can imagine. Again, you can “kick it up” by selecting your own fabric. Make sure to measure the wall space available, get the panel closest to that size and allow 24″ extra width and height for each panel to upholster. A hot glue gun works great for adhering the fabric to the panel. Look for creative or colorful tacks, available at all office supply stores, Target, or online.
To maximize you sleeping environment, there are loft bed kits available or you can built your own. Google instructions or Home Depot or Lowes customer care associates are very helpful. You can then place your desk below the loft space. Remember to check with the Residence Hall’s requirements for head room, etc. for loft spaces.
There are also bed risers available, usually 6″ blocks made of plastic. The risers allow for under bed storage. Most home goods stores have large storage drawers that are made to fit under the twin XL mattresses that are standard issue. If the mattress is too thin or uncomfortable, most bedding sources offer 2″ thick memory foam pads to fit the twin XL mattresses. Most offer a good variety of sheets and blankets to complete your very own dorm room design.
Add a whimsical or architectural LED desk or floor lamp to complete your new home.
Enjoy the ride!