Dorm Rooms: Creating a Home Away from Home
Moving into college is a huge step for most teens that are leaving home for the first time. It is hard for any parent to watch their kid leave home but it is even more difficult to make a “home away from home.” Not sure how to make the perfect home away from home? Check out some of our tips on how to make a drab dorm room a cozy space your child can call their own.
Maximize Your Space
Unfortunately you cannot choose the size of your child’s first dorm room. Most freshman year dorms are quite small and almost always are shared by one roommate. Because of this, space and storage becomes the most essential element of making any dorm feel like home. My freshman year, my roommate and I made the mistake of not having enough storage from the beginning so we were constantly trying to corral our collective clutter. Try to find a way to create storage where there is none. Storage bins should become your child’s new best friend. Try to find bins that can fit underneath the bed and in the closet. No room under the bed? Consider lofting it! Most college dorm beds can be adjusted to any height. If your student is ok with a bit of climb, lofting is a great way to add some extra floor space.
If you are looking for any additional furniture pieces try to search for multifunctional pieces. Storage ottomans are excellent for this because they provide additional seating if your student has multiple people in their room. Storage trunks with a flat top can easily double as a table. Use a filing cabinet as their side table to hold important papers and supplies. If there is no more space on their floor, try going vertical. Setup removable wall hooks to hang bulky clothes and scarves so they don’t take up valuable closet space. Also, look for an over the door or hanging shoe rack to free up more floor space for any extra storage they might need. Try stacking their bookcase on top of their dresser or desk, store the stuff your student uses the least at the top and free up even more space on their floor!
Style Your Space
Every incoming student should try to find a way to merge styles with their roommate. This does not mean that your student and their roommate need to match exactly. Instead with such a small space try to find a style that they can both be comfortable with. Similar color palettes, complementary accent colors, even similar patterned bedding can be a great way to merge styles without having to sacrifice your student’s own personal style. Have your child plan out with their roommate before they arrive to be sure they aren’t purchasing items that will clash. My college roommate really didn’t have a preference for colors so it was easy to find something we both loved that worked well together. If your student is having trouble finding a style that will merge with their roommate don’t worry about it. Have your student get something they love, not something that is a compromise.
Create a Home Away from Home
When your child is away from home for long periods of time they will want a dorm room that is comforting to come back to. Buy fabrics that are comfortable and have patterns and colors that soothe them or remind them of their bed at home. Keep in mind that mattresses aren’t replaced too often at colleges, so it might be good to invest in a mattress topper or mattress pad. Customize their bed as much as possible with throw blankets and pillows. Try to personalize stark dorm room walls with wall decals or artwork. Wall decals are great because they add style to your student’s space, are customizable, and don’t damage dorm walls. Most dorm rooms are outfitted with cold linoleum or old carpet. To add some warmth to these cold floors purchase a vibrant area rug. Consider adding a rug pad as well, it makes the rug extra comfortable for your feet and for hanging out on! Ultra-Premium is great to prevent slipping on linoleum floors, so your student won’t have to worry about readjusting their rug every time a friend comes to visit. Trying to cover up gross dorm room carpeting with a new area rug? Try using our No-Muv pad to prevent that rug from moving all year round! Don’t forget to add pieces from your home to make your child feel even more comfortable. Bring a throw blanket from their room at home or even add a photo collage of your family and their friends and place it near their desk or bed so they always feel close to them.
Simple changes to your student’s dorm room can make a cold dorm room feel warm and inviting. Try some of our changes when when you move your student in this year!