Do’s and Do Not’s of Dorm Décor

Heading off to college in the fall is overwhelming enough without the stress of packing up your entire bedroom to take to a fairly small and shared dorm room space.  Don’t fret, I am here to help!  I have created a list of some “Do’s and Do Not’s” of Dorm Décor just for you.

Let’s start with the “Do’s”…

DO:

1. Bring an ottoman with built in storage space.  Not only are they an aesthetically pleasing addition to any room (they can be found in a variety of different styles), but they are also highly functional.  While they may look like they are just for decoration, within the ottoman is additional space for storing towels, sheets, or whatever meets your individual storage needs.  Also, the ottoman is great for socializing because it serves as a perfect place for friends to sit when they come over to see your dorm!  The classic black, gender-neutral ottoman shown in the photo above would be the perfect fit for any dorm room.  They also offer the ottoman in purple, for those of you who like a splash of color.  Snag one at select Barnes & Noble College Bookstores!

2. Get some extra lighting for your dorm room! I can tell you from experience that the dim ceiling light at the center of your dorm room is definitely not enough to keep your space well lit. With homework and reading to keep up with, friends to hang out with, and Ramen to cook for you and your roommate, you’re going to need plenty of light.  String lights are a wonderful addition to your dorm room.  They are pretty to look at, provide extra lighting, and are perfect for when one roommate wants to go to sleep, while the other still needs a little bit of light for staying up to do homework.  You should also definitely bring a lamp for your desk; it will help for homework and provide extra lighting when you’re trying to find your bed when you get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night! Just make sure you find out if your school has any regulations!

3. Remember to grab an air freshener plug-in! This may be the most important “Do” on the list.  With a few hundred teenagers constantly in and out of the dorms, they can start to smell a bit funky (re: a lot funky), and that is why it is necessary to take precaution.  Not only will a scented air freshener plug-in keep your space smelling fresh at all times, but it will bring joy and relief to all of your fellow dorm mates and guests as well. It may not exactly be a physical decoration, but the delicious scent will add to the vibrant energy of the room.  It allows for everyone to feel more at home and you won’t have to spray the room with Febreze a million times.  After all, you’re very busy!

4. Bring plenty of storage!  It is very important to keep your dorm room organized, as it is the space in which you will be living, lounging, doing homework, and keeping yourself inspired.  It can be difficult to keep your college life in order when you don’t know where anything is, so that is why I recommend bubble storage crates and large stack drawers.  They are perfect for storing and stacking under the bed, in the closet, or anywhere else you may find extra space.  Also, bed risers are a must as they allow for additional storage space under the bed.  The storage items above come in a multitude of different colors and can also be purchased from the Rutgers Book Store website (and select other B&N College sites as well!).

Now let’s move on to the “Do Not’s”…

Do Not:

1. Bring a rug without a vacuum cleaner.  Rugs are a very stylish addition to your dorm room and provide a home-y feel. However, make no mistake – they collect dust, crumbs, hair, etc. I love my rugs, but half way through the year, I stopped using them because I kept getting them dirty.  If you are going to bring a rug, I definitely recommend bringing a vacuum cleaner (and some carpet cleaner) because you are going to have to use it a lot!  However, if you can get past that, then a rug could be a great addition to your college dorm room.

2. Pack a ton of stuffed animals.  While stuffed animals can seem like a cute idea, it is important to limit the amount that you bring to school.  Don’t get me a wrong, I’m a huge fan, but when there are too many on the bed you will most likely end up kicking them off and onto the floor. Additionally, the stuffed animals can collect dust, so if you or your roommate’s allergies are bad, it can get annoying very quickly.

3. Steal the furniture from your floor’s lounge or common room and move it to your own room.  I know it can be tempting for some of you rebellious students out there, but let me assure you that it is not worth the risk.  If you get caught, you will definitely get in trouble with your RA and you will have angry floor mates who don’t have lounge furniture to relax and do their homework on.  I know the common room has a lot of great tables, chair, and couches to utilize, but leave them in the lounge where they belong and use them there.  However, if you do end up taking them and getting caught, make sure you compliment your housing supervisor on how tasteful and elegant their dorm furniture is and maybe you’ll get off easy.

Well there you have it, a perfect list of “Do’s and Do Not’s” that will hopefully be of much help to you all during the summer months when you begin packing and planning for school.  Good luck! I know you’ll all do wonderfully now that your stress concerning packing and dorm decorating ideas is well taken care of!

Written by Guest Blogger, Ilana S. of Rutgers University

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