It may be on your mind right about now -- just what to take and what to leave behind as you pack for college. You may have already gotten a lot of advice from your friends, your parents, your school, and your relatives.
But ultimately it's up to you how you'll live in your new "home away from home" and how you'll try to decorate it. Comfort in this small space will be one way to make a tiny dorm room feel homey and inviting.
Here's our list of items that will make any room more comfortable.
1. A big rug will soften the look and feel of hard institutional flooring and make it more inviting to lounge or exercise on the floor.
2. A featherbed mattress topper or mattress pad can really improve the comfort of a dorm bed. They're fluffy and comfy, and available in either feathers or fiberfill.
3. Good lighting is essential. Have focused task lighting at the desk, by a chair, and near the bed, so you can read and work anywhere.
4. A comfortable place to sit is a must. It can be a side chair, loveseat, or even pile of pillows, but will be great for studying, lounging, or talking on the phone.
5. A BedLounge is a great chair-lounger-reading pillow built with an ultra-lightweight, internal Active Frame. It can support an adultís weight and can bend, move, flex and customize itself to the userís body shape and comfort needs. It even has a headrest and armrests. You shouldn't go away from home without it!
6. Closet accessories are made to solve storage problems. Evaluate your space, then choose from peg racks, over-the-door shoe racks, belt and tie holders, and hanging shelves to organize your clothes and accessories.
7. Large body pillows are great for sleeping. But you can also use them to turn your bed into a "sofa" or for extra floor lounging.
8. Handled laundry and shower totes are made to organize and carry just about everything. Keep a big one on the floor of your closet to collect laundry, and use another to hold bathroom supplies. Then grab and go!
9. A large bulletin board or white board is essential for notes, photos, schedules, and assignments. It can help you get organized, show off mementos, and serve as a message center.
10. Filing space -- another must-have . Whether you use a file crate or full-size cabinet, it will go a long way in organizing your completed schoolwork, letters from home, insurance papers, pay stubs, tax info, scholarship applications, and more.
11. Wall Decor can be another touch of home. Use artwork to reinforce your room theme or highlight special interests... make a collage out of favorite photos (using color photocopies)... hang favorite posters -- whatever feels like "home" to you. A full length mirror is another wonderful convenience. Use it to check your outfit and decorate the edges with photos, tickets, and memorabilia.
Make a dorm room your "own" and you'll love living there! You might not even miss Mom's cooking so much!
Dorm Room Decorating Ideas
Summer is here and college students everywhere will soon be headed back to school. And besides worrying about classes, schedules, clothes, and transportation, now they've got to think about decorating a dorm room as well.
Confused? Overwhelmed? Excited? You're not alone! Read on -- help is a few clicks away with these articles from About.
Where can you buy dorm room decor?
Some online stores cater primarily to students , while others offer a general selection of merchandise as well as special dorm decorating departments in the summer.
There are also many other websites that have interesting products , storage solutions, and bedding patterns that may also fit your budget and decorating desires.
Ready to begin? Grab a tall cool glass of lemonade, and window shop to your heart's content.
Hold off buying anything until you have a good idea of your space limitations, any prohibited items (check with your school), and until you have an overall plan in mind for the room. You'll find some really helpful dorm room advice from a mom with two college kids in our article on dorm room organization.
In the meantime, check out some of these sites to see some of the colorful, functional, and fun products designed especially for students.
Bed Bath & Beyond - Shop in their summer "Shop for College" section with products categorized for sleeping, washing, eating, and studying. Take advantage of the a handy "pack and hold" service so you can buy it now and have it shipped directly to school as soon as they will accept your packages. What a great idea!
Even if you're not a Martha Stewart fan you may like these coordinated collections of bedding and bath products, including fresh plaids, solids, and prints.