Dorm Room Decoration: Four Tips Before You Head Off

When you’re at college, your dorm is much more than a bedroom. It’s an office. A dance floor. An impromptu infirmary on those too-bright Sunday mornings you spend sipping Gatorade through a bendy straw because you drank way too much…chocolate milk the night before. With that many functions, you’re going to want to make sure your dorm room décor is practical, stylish AND fun. Here are 4 tips to help:

1. Light the Way!: Tragically, the days of the lava lamp as the go-to dorm room accessory seem to be past; disappointing to be sure, as no other accessory before or after has said “this is where the funk is!” as succinctly. That doesn’t mean you’re stuck with whatever flickering fluorescent nonsense is currently failing to provide adequate light.

Hit up Target for a cheap, stylish lamp that provides solid desk lighting. For true hipster flair in dorm room decoration (and a very special place in my own heart), check out these super sweet Mario-inspired lamps.

2. Get a System: We all have different routines, and having a system for where everything goes can makes sure yours is running as smoothly as possible. You don’t want to spend ten minutes rummaging through old papers trying to find your keys when you’re already running late for a 9 a.m. class.

Invest in some cute little baskets or plastic drawers, like these from The Container Store. Knowing right where to find everything exactly when you need it will prevent a lot of headaches.

3. Buy Real Dishes and Silverware: As alluring as the ephemerally bohemian lifestyle might be, there’s nothing stylish about hoarding plastic plates and silverware cribbed from fast food restaurants and children’s birthday parties. Check out, or a small local shop or flea market; your future guests will appreciate it, and will likely write nice things about you on their Livejournals.

4. Remember, You’re Moving On Soon: This means that you have to be able to easily put the room back exactly the way you’ve found it: something difficult to do if you’ve painted the walls chartreuse and carved your name into your desk. One easy way to jazz up your room without cutting into your security deposit is using removable sticker frames; instead of damaging the walls with nails or peeling the paint with masking tape, bring your pictures to life with these peel and stick frames.

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