Creative Ways to Decorate A Small Dorm Room

There's one thing about college we all notice quick, the dorm rooms are small and organizing your belongings in such a tight space, especially with a roommate you may not know, can be a challenge. Don't worry, we'll put together a plan to cram all of your necessities into your small dorm room in a way that expresses your personality and keeps things neat!

Finding Floor Space
The first thing you need to do is find floor space! Often the best way to do this is raising your bed(s) off of the floor. This can be done by loft kits (often provided on your campus bookstore or online) or other creative ways. Once the floor space is freed up in your small dorm it won't feel quite as small anymore. And since you're now close to the lights, find a dark sheet or two to hang from the ceiling that will surround your bed. This will keep those bright lights off of you when your roommate is studying and you're trying to sleep.


Relax with a Futon
Now that you have floor space, you'll want somewhere to relax: a couch! Place a futon or couch, maybe even bean bags underneath one of the beds to sit back and enjoy your time outside of the classroom. An advantage to a futon; however, is that it can be folded down into an extra bed if any friends from home decide to come visit you for a weekend. You can also store small bins under the futon to hold cooking utensils or games/books. Space is a premium in your small dorm room and you'll want to use every inch wisely!


Food Essentials (Refrigerator & Microwave)
So we're relaxing on the couch and our stomach starts growling, we don't want to walk all the way to the dining hall, so what do we do? In comes the refrigerator! A small refrigerator is worth its weight in gold in your small dorm room. Not only does it keep cold drinks an arms reach away, but it will allow you to add perishable items to your grocery list. Ice cream anyone?! You may also want to add a microwave to the top of the fridge. Now you have a kitchenette ready to cook up some gourmet meals! Ok, not quite gourmet, but good enough to satisfy your hunger when you're up late studying and everything else is closed.


Need Some Entertainment
Now we're sitting on the couch with a full tummy, staring at the wall. A TV sure would be nice! Place the tv right next to the refrigerator / microwave combo underneath the bed across from the couch. Now you have entertainment, food, a comfy couch and bed...it's starting to feel like home! Don't forget the DVD player and maybe a game system or two. Let's face it, college students are usually broke, so cheap entertainment in the form of tv / movies / games can go a long ways on those boring afternoons. Remember that thing that's at a premium in your small dorm room? Yes, space! Use the tv stand to hold any items that you want to tuck away neatly.


Communication
One last major item that's required before we start adding some personality to the room. We need a dry erase board on the outside of the door and / or in the room.The board is great if your friends drop by to see you and you're not around. They can leave a message to let you know when you're meeting for dinner or at the library for some good ole study time.

You may also want to hang a schedule around the room. This lets you and your roommate know when your coming and going so you can plan things together. It's also good for safety in-case your roommate goes missing for a few days, err, I mean hours!

If you have a land line phone (who does these days?), try hanging it on the wall or one of the bed posts. When you have a small dorm room, remember space is at a premium, so start thinking vertically. You'll be amazed at how much space you can find!

Finally, a laptop is a necessity in college and in small dorm rooms there's no room for large monitors and desktop computers. Plus, the laptop is portable and can be carried with you anywhere. If you go home to visit your parents or to a friends dorm for some studying or fun, you'll always be able to take your computer with you.

Adding the Personal Touches
Got any holes in the wall from the previous students? Chipped paint or ugly scratches? Try grabbing a few cheap posters to hang on the walls. They're great for covering these up and showing off your personality. Don't like posters? Go get some cheap sheets from goodwill and drape them around the room or on the walls like wallpaper. Viola, instant color change! You can also use these sheets as window treatments to help liven up the room.

Bring some pictures from home to cover the boring walls or take some pictures throughout your college experience and hang them in collage fashion. Anything to add depth and color will make your small dorm room pop with comfort and the feeling of home.

Talk to your roommate before you arrive. Not only does this get the two of you acquanted with each other, but it gives you an opportunity to go over decorating ideas and decide who's bringing what. There's no need in loading the car up only to find out your roommate has the same item. Remember, space is at a premium in a small dorm room, so multiple items will usually have to go back home.

Decorating a small dorm room doesn't have to be hard work and you'd be surprised what all you can fit into that tiny space. A little preparation and planning can go a long way to making your dorm room the best on the hall!

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