Some Smart Thoughts about Decorating a Dorm Room

Posted in Family
at 2021.04.01
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Moving to a dorm room for the first time can be as daunting to the parents as much as the student.  I am hoping by sharing some suggestions from my own experiences that move in day can be met with a plan that calms both participants’ nerves. Students need to know what to expect, parents need to understand the needs of their college bound children. 

In planning how to decorate the dorm room, first thing to consider are the beds because they are the biggest piece of furniture in the room, so it is usually the first piece of dorm furniture that a location is decided upon. Whether bunk beds or singles, the placement is usually established after a roommate conversation. Compromising is important here, this may be the first time that compromising may be required, but it won’t be the last because compromising is a big part of dorm life and communal living. Becoming a better compromiser with your roommates, your floor mates, and your team mates, teach an important tool, that can be used throughout life, with school, your job and in even in your family life.

If you feel you are big on coordinating colors then your roommate input does matter, you can wait until you meet to coordinate comforter colors or involve a theme for room design if you like. It could be a simple sports motif, or driven by a roommate’s artistic furor. The trick is to think of using removable applications.  Remember, this is a rented space which means you stand the chance of not getting your deposit back (if off campus), or worse to paying damage fees if your walls require repair or paint. For temporary wall designs use colored tape (that won’t leave a residue) for straight line designs or paint removable contact paper for wider art. Try hanging paper for murals and wall drawings, painter’s paper come in 36” wide rolls, photography paper even wider. Paint, chalk, or magic marker, can let the artist come out of you. Thanks to an artistic roommate, I had a whole living room decorated in a Star Wars theme back in the day. Use wall poster putty to put up posters for easy removal from walls at year end. Contact paper, Curtains and murals can all be added and then removed. Even fabric can be used as wall or cabinet coverings by using a starch and water paste combination, which will wash away at year end.

Dorm rooms represent a life change, for some students it is the very 1st time they are away from the comforts of home for any length of time. And every student has to deal with a new load of daily responsibilities that now fall under their own discretion, all while some students will feel home sick too. To help diminish this overload of new distractions, every student needs to define a personal recharging zone with their room, a place where they can find peace for their soul.  It is important for students to find personal things that inspire them to be better, work a little harder, be the best they can be; to rejuvenate strength going forward, to change an attitude. It could be family pictures, knick-knacks, or even a small piece of favorite furniture such as a bean bag chair, a book, or a favorite desk lamp. Even an award for some accomplishment, a poster of a favorite band or theatre play, anything that expresses style, personality, and adds comfort and serenity into the living space will work.  These objects help project positive influential feelings and can help in times of low self-esteem, and loneliness.

Parents have to realize that dorm rooms have to flex as a studying, dining, partying den, and a bed room. So you might want to provide adjustable lighting, like a reading lamp that the student can stick a different color light bulb in or a string of Christmas lights strung across a room to show the parties on. Double sided comforters work because they can change the look of a room with a flip and very little effort.  You will also want to maximize storage with closet organizers, under bed storage bins, hooks, towel racks, and etc. to fight clutter. Remember everything needs a place in order to look inviting if your student wants to ask a guest to come back and visit.

Students should re-decorate whenever they get the urge, every few months, or seasonal! But above all else de-clutter every few months to lessen the size of that dumpster needed at the end of the year.. Stay in budget use items from around your home first, and spend only when you have the extra cash to avoid credit card interest rates.  Remember classes and books are necessities, while dorm room stuff wellComputer Technology Articles, they are just accessories.



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