Being at college and away from home is a huge step, making your dorm room your new home is way more than just decorating. Your living conditions and surroundings play a huge role in how much you enjoy your college experience—and can even impact how well you do. When you’re faced with exams, massive research papers, and gigantic lecture halls, everything can seem like it’s out of your control, but your living space doesn’t need to be.
Take steps to ensure your college experience is as awesome as it should be and you’re performing as well as you can. Here are some tips for how to make your dorm room feel like home.
Tackle the walls
You’re going to be staring at them a lot, so get those walls looking like you want them to:
Look like home: Decorate your walls with things like your home state or country’s flag, or photos from your hometown. Make a collage of things you love and miss about your hometown, and hang it up. Bonus: it’s a conversation starter for your new friends!
Make it funky: Use sari fabric, a patchwork of fabric seconds, or even painted or tie-died flat sheets to create a tapestry look on your walls.
Express yourself: Posters and signs let you show who you are and remind you how you got here—and they’re a great way to meet new friends who love the same stuff.
Chic on the cheap: As long as you’re hanging up your favorite photos and posters, tie them all together and make them look beautiful with Washi tape frames. Just grab a variety pack of Washi tapes online or at a local craft store, and tape around your photos for an instantly together took that won’t leave residue on walls, windows, or mirrors.
Get some rest
Your bed and sleeping space should be a top priority. You are going to need more rest than you think! Here’s what to do:
Sleep aids: Sleep is essential to your academic success, so don’t skimp on this. Get an egg crate foam topper or invest in a better pillow to save your neck. Totally worth it!
Homey looks: Bring your bedding from home for that familiar feeling at the end of the day. Or, if you’re ready for a change, pick out an awesome new design that’s so “you” that it can’t help but feel like home.
Chic on the cheap: You can rent high-end mattresses and bed sets for your dorm room for significantly less than you can buy them, and then you don’t have to worry about what to do with them when summer comes. Your body will thank you for giving it a real mattress to sleep on!
Light it up
Lighting in college dorm rooms is usually awful. If you have a desk lamp in the room already, chances are that it’s not the greatest, and you might not even have that.
See it all: Make sure you have great light to study by. Use LED bulbs to save money and the planet, and aim for 60 watts to save your eyes without getting a harsh glow.
Comfort lighting: The right light in your dorm room will help you beat the blues. If you’re someone who’s affected by weather, make sure you have at least one LED bulb that offers “daylight” illumination. And make your lighting fun; use cool looking outdoor string lights, Christmas lights—whatever you like—for when you’re relaxing.
Use a timer: A light timer costs less than $10 at the hardware store or online, and it can mean coming home to a cozy, lit room.
Do the details
Add a few finishing touches to make your dorm space perfect:
Warm that floor: No one wants to freeze getting out of bed and walking to the bathroom! Get a fuzzy or colorful rug to tie your room’s look together and warm your feet.
A reading nook: Get a comfy chair for a corner of your room so you can take it down a few notches after a long day, or study in comfort. It’s easy to rent a nice recliner that won’t take up too much space in your dorm room.
Making your dorm room feel like home
There are so many ways you can take a small, generic space like a dorm room and turn it into a real home for yourself. By focusing on the walls, your sleep, the right lighting, and a few details, you will create a look that you love. Remember, a dorm room isn’t forever; as you’re getting the place ready, check out all of your awesome furniture rental options.