With everyone moving back, we thought some advice on making your room feel like home would be good to share with you guys as you’re decorating your new places!  Whether you’re living in a dorm, apartment, sorority house, whatever, feeling comfortable in your room is important, especially if it is your first year in college, and you will have to adjust to living on your own.  Here are some quick tips on how to personalize your room and surround yourself with familiar things without breaking the bank!

1.  Picture collage/3M hooks & tape

In most dorms, painting the walls is not allowed.  To solve this issue my freshman year, I covered the wall in pictures frames!  I started with about 10 frames, most from Target, and I started a collage to cover a particularly ugly wall.  It built to more than 50 frames.  I put them back up this year, and the picture below is what it looks like (Please excuse the clutter, I just moved in.)!  I’ve also seen it done without frames (just the pictures taped up), or just with the little clear frames.  You could make a heart, or another shape out of pictures, or a border on the wall.  The best way to stick frames on the wall is with 3M picture hanging tape.  It’s easy to put on, comes clean off the wall and holds the frames up all year!  It also made my dorm room feel so home-y and surrounded me with familiar faces in a new place, since I went 600 miles away for school.


2.  Curtains/Lamp

You can get nice curtains for under $20 at stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond!  They are a great way to add color to a dorm room where the primary colors in the room are probably dull.  Make sure you check the fire codes for the dorm though.  If you have a heater right under your window, they probably won’t want curtains hanging near it.  Also, the desk lamp provided by the school may or may not be really ugly, so you might want to get a colored desk lamp!  They can also be fairly inexpensive, and you’ll have nice warm light when you’re doing your work, instead of harsh, institutional light.

3.  Plant

My mom insisted that I take a plant to college with me.  She says it is good to always have to take care of something.  In my case, the simpler the better!  A fish would work for this too if the dorm allows it.  A plant is super simple, but makes your room feel like yours.  I would advise getting one that doesn’t require too much sunlight or water, so you don’t kill it quickly.  It sounds completely ridiculous, but I love my little plant, and it’s the perfect thing to put on an extra bookshelf or on the corner of the desk.

4.  Storage

So, as you all know, storage is a big challenge at school.  Some rooms have closets but others have armoires that are not only small, but take up space in the room!  Under bed storage is a big deal.  First of all, have your bed raised (or raise it yourself), so you have maximum storage.  When buying big bins to put under it, either get some that match your bedding or get clear ones.  If you want, you can get a spool of ribbon that matches your bedding.  Glue the ribbon around the outside of the box.  Now, even though your storage boxes are visible, they are decorated!

5.  Mount outlet strip

Another great use for 3M tape – mount your multi-outlet strip on the wall above your desk.  That way you can plug and unplug your lamp, computer, phone, fan and everything else in without having to crawl under your chair and hit your head while doing it.  Easy to do and so useful!  Try to put it behind a picture frame or behind where your computer sits so you can hide it.

6.  Holiday Decorations

Decorating for various holidays is so much fun, and provides a great opportunity to get off campus with your friends or roommate and have a ridiculous shopping trip.  Hello, bonding time!  College is the perfect time to go insane with your decorations.  You can only get away with sparkly pink garland for a so long!  Again with the fire code – sometimes Christmas lights are prohibited, so don’t get in trouble!  Even if you just get one little themed decoration for your room per holiday, it will definitely make your dorm seem more like home.

What neat stuff did you guys do with your dorm rooms?  Leave us a comment!


  1. avatar Susie says:

    Cute ideas. LOVE THE TERRIBLE TOWEL!!!!

  2. avatar avy says:

    these dorm tips will be excellent for me to use and I especially love the tip about the curtains for the rooms

  3. avatar Amber F says:

    Oooh I definitely like the mounted power strip idea ;) practical!

  4. avatar Christine says:

    Great dorm room tips.

  5. avatar Jessica says:

    Wake Up Frankie has some of the cutest bedding ever :] I bought all my bedding from the past 4 years at ISU there.

  6. avatar marrisa says:

    okay these are totally awesome..sooo cute i LOOOVE the purses on the wall<3

  7. avatar Lynnette says:

    Smart thinking – a clever way of lokiong at it.

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