Living On Your Own Is Great. Just Make Sure You're Prepared.

Moving out for College and living in a dorm can be exciting. However, you need to be prepared in order to have an enjoyable and comfortable dorm experience. We've prepared a guide of things you'll need to make the most of your experience living in a dorm.

Brighten up your bed

Many dorms do not provide bedsheets for you so you'll have to provide your own. Due to the small space of dorm rooms, bedsheets and duvet covers can act as a way to brighten up your dorm so invest in some good, comfortable sheets with an interesting pattern or color.


It's important to have proper lighting in your dorm for all situations from studying to having a friend over. First, start with good task lighting. A lamp that gives you enough light when you're reading or on your laptop can help with eye strain and makes studying more comfortable.

Cheap, fairy lights that you can hang on your walls adds a homely touch and is great for watching a movie or when you don't want harsh overhead lighting. You can use 3M hooks or wall tape to stick these lights on your wall.

Scented candles is also a great ambient light source that goes a long way to making your dorm feel more comfortable.

A Door Stop

A cheap doorstop is important for when you want to leave your room open for your dorm mates to pop in and say hi. An open door shows people in your building that you 're approachable and eager to make new friends. This is especially important during those early weeks when everyone is looking to make new friends.

Add a Colorful Rug

A soft, colorful rug right at the foot of your bed is the best way to start your mornings. The injection of color helps make your dorm feel cozy.

Cushions and Blankets

Adding softer elements to your dorm with cushions and blankets adds both color and comfort and does not cost a lot of money.

Decorate Your Walls

Using 3M wall tape, you can hang up posters and pictures to keep your walls from looking bare. If you want to up your decorating game, stick these photos and posters in a frame instead. This creates a much more sophisticated look that doesn't scream "freshman".

Add a Mirror

If your dorm doesn't have a mirror, try to find a large floor mirror. A mirror that is placed across a window can actually make your dorm feel bigger since it creates a faux window and reflects light back into your room.

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A Productive Desk

Apparently studying is a big thing in college, something that gets lost in all of that partying. That's where a good, solid desk comes in. It makes a huge difference studying and doing homework on your own desk. It's important that your desk has a small footprint, but has enough storage for all your supplies.

Here are a few top picks that are designed to work great in dorm rooms.

Espresso Single Drawer DeskFolio Oak DeskFolio Three Drawer DeskFolio Warm Oak 7 Drawer Desk

A Comfortable Office Chair

All that sitting can cause back strain, which makes having an ergonomic office chair even more important for those long study sessions. Here are a few of our top picks:

clwhl-100-c_env1clwhl-718-c_env1cllof-314-o_env1Contoured Black Mesh Back Office Chair

Organization is Key

Small spaces need proper organization so it doesn't end up in an unmanageable mess. A bookshelf gives you ample space to keep your books, snacks, and other supplies while also offering shelf space for small photos and other decorative items.

Other ways to keep your dorm organized include:

  • Cord box: A box with two holes cut into it is a good place to store all your chargers and cables in an organized way
  • Shoe Rack: Place it by your door or at the bottom of your closet

Get a Plant

A living plant can help improve your mood and productivity levels as well as bring in aspects of nature into your dorm room, which can sometimes feel cramped and dreary.

These are some easy, low-maintenance dorm plants you can buy:

  • Snake Plant
  • Philodendron
  • Grape Ivy
  • Lucky Bamboo
  • ZZ Plant

Caring for your dorm plants:

  • Ensure your container for your plants has proper drainage holes. Keep a small dish underneath to collect water.
  • Keep plants next to windows or areas that get a lot of sunlight.
  • Use liquid fertilizers once to twice a month to speed up the growth of your plants.

A Bedside Table

A bedside table is a nice luxury that makes your dorm feel more like home. Find a small one with shelves that give you more storage options. A bedside table also allows your to keep a lamp and offers a place to keep your phone while it's charging.

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Other Essentials

Shower Caddy - Make those trips to the shared showers more convenient.

Laundry Basket to hold dirty clothes - Don't leave them on the floor.

Bulletin board or white board for notes and reminders - To do lists are very handy.

Cosmetic trays/organizers - Having everything in one place speeds up the process.

Extension Cords and Surge Protectors - You'll be surprised at the lack of outlets in your dorm.

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