One of the big decisions first-year students make is deciding how to organize and decorate their dorm room. It can be overwhelming if you’re planning your room from scratch, so it’s important to keep two things in mind: space and taste. Your dorm room is your new home, so you will need to fit a lot of possessions into a smaller space than your bedroom at home. Trendy items are fun but not timeless. Make sure you pick decor that you won’t get sick of after one month.

Since space in a dorm room is limited, it’s essential to maximize the space with convenient storage options. Clear three-drawer organizers are a great option, and two of them fit side-by-side in the closet. These are great for storing smaller clothing items like socks, athletic shorts and leggings. Prioritize hangers for clothing that must be hung upright, such as jackets, dress pants, skirts and dresses. The shelf in the closet can house bulkier items such as sweatshirts and laundry supplies. The beds can be raised, allowing for storage underneath them, such as university-provided dressers and a trunk or drawer organizers. Some drawers can store clothes and shoes, and others can store non-perishable food items, such as snacks and microwavable meals. If you have a mini-fridge and microwave, sandwich these between the foot of your bed and your desk. Pro-tip: leave no flat surface unused! If you have plants, picture frames, or something else you want to display, the top of your microwave or fridge is a great place. Instead of a nightstand, a three-shelf metal rolling cart is a great option. Another recommendation is to purchase a bedside lamp with outlets and a power strip for your desk.

The most time-consuming but rewarding part of moving in is decorating. There is a lot of wall space, which is perfect for displaying your favorite posters, artwork and pictures. Hanging up pictures of friends and family can ward off homesickness by bringing pieces of home with you to college. Hanging a bulletin board or whiteboard calendar above your desk can keep you organized by displaying due dates and reminders. Putting up fairy lights around your room can add a cozy touch and give you an alternative lighting option to the fluorescent overhead light. Decorating your new home is exciting, so keep these tips in mind and have fun with it!

dorm room