The stress of thinking up stylish dorm decorating ideas, combined with the stress of leaving home for college, can suddenly make college a lot harder than you anticipated.
Since it is going to be a place where you will spend a lot of time studying, hanging out, and sleeping, it definitely merits tasteful and fun decor.
However, when it comes to dorm decorating ideas, or any ideas for that matter, some people don’t know where to begin because there’s an overwhelming amount of choices.
With dorm rooms, space is limited, which presents a challenge because it’s human nature to accumulate things and trying to weed out what we should bring with us to our new dorm room is a difficult decision.
After prioritizing the most necessary possessions you will need to bring with you, the next step is trying to organize your new space.
Here is a checklist of ideas to help you on your way.
Storage Bins: One of the main concerns for most college students is getting and staying organized.
It’s easy to fall behind on staying organized because of studying for exams, doing research papers/projects, working, and spending time with friends/family.
In order to achieve getting organized, it’s important to have a file organizer or stackable bins.
There are some very pretty ones that come in a variety of colors – pink, blue, green, brown, and many others.
Some are made from materials such as, plastic or canvas, and have slide-out panels for custom labels. This will save you time because you will immediately know which bin contains what.
Bins are a great place to store important papers, such as financial aid documents, other important paperwork, or precious items. You can stack them in the closet or you can slide them under your bed.
Since dorm rooms are generally small, putting the bins under your bed will free up more space in your closet.
Underbed Box: If bins don’t suit your style for dorm decorating ideas, then consider an underbed box, such as a 3-foot long canvas underbed chest. It fits easily under your bed and features a clear vinyl top cover for easy viewing with a nylon zipper.
Storage Drawer Set: Another great way to store your things is by picking up a storage drawer set (comes with 4 drawers), which is made from plastic. These are spacious storage compartments and you can stack them on top of one another. It’s perfect for storing clothes and under garments.
Over-the-Door Rack: Another fabulous way to maximize space is to hang an over-the-door rack for shoes, coats, or towels.
Closet Organizer: For the closet, you can pick up handy organizers, such hanging shoe racks, shoe racks that can be placed on the floor of the closet, hanging jewelry bag holders, small hanging storage organizers with pockets that hang in your closet or that can be mounted to the wall, and canvas organizers that hold up to 24 shirts, 18 sweaters, and 8 pairs of pants.
You can even get a canvas organizer that consists of drawer compartments ideal for underwear and socks, making this one of the best dorm decorating ideas around.
Bags: Other ways to stay organized with your dorm decorating ideas include getting a lunch bag, which is excellent for bringing along nutritious snacks, an ice pack for your lunch bag, a tote bag for workout gear or extra clothes, a backpack that rolls on wheels, a homework holder that has pockets and compartments that helps you stay organized, and a laundry bag.
You can find these items in different colors and patterns according to what suits your taste.
Desk: If your dorm room doesn’t have a desk, you can choose from corner desks that have a hutch and a file organizer.
This will help you save space because you can tuck the desk in a corner.
Other desks are built with Smart Technology that is accessible from either side and have drawers that slide both ways, and a five-plug outlet in the cabinet perfect for charging your cell phone, iPod, and other electrical items.
Having more outlets is important since they are limited in dorm rooms and if you are sharing a room with someone, the additional outlets come in handy.
Desk Chair: To complete your desk, consider investing in an ergonomically correct desk chair. It makes all the difference in the world, especially when sitting for hours.
It’s important to have good back support and that’s where a well designed and comfortable chair is necessary. Your back will thank you later. These chairs are available in different styles, colors, with or without arm rests, and with wheels for easy rolling. Ergonomics is hardly on anyone’s mind when brainstorming dorm decorating ideas, but it should be.
Bookshelves/Shelving: If you prefer a bookshelf or other shelving, there are many to choose from in varying heights, widths, and colors.
Some have a couple of drawers and a mirror in between the shelving, while others just have shelves or rotate giving you four times the storage in less space.
However, since most dorm rooms are high, a vertical bookshelf is great because it better utilizes the space.
Media Storage: Space permitting, media storage is fabulous for ensuring that you keep all of your treasured DVDs in one accessible location.
Again, the style, color, and size of the media unit varies depending on what your storage needs are.
Dresser/Armoire: These are perfect for storing clothing and other personal accessories. If you have space in your dorm room, a piece of furniture of this sort will add style to your dorm room decor.
Vanity: Having the ideal place to apply makeup and style hair is important. Some vanities feature four drawers with a middle faceplate that folds down to expose a convenient keyboard tray. The mirror hutch is usually sold separately. It can also be used to store jewelry.
Screen dividers are available in different colors and styles. Some can hold up to 17 photos while others have a fabric screen or a durable synthetic paper screen.
Decorative Trash Can: These are available in different graphic designs and colors. The choices are fabulous and it will add a nice decorative touch to your dorm decorating ideas.
Lounge Seating: Lounge seating comes in many styles – beanbags (available in funky and fun colors), ottomans, benches, lounge chairs, butterfly chairs, and a lounge chaise.
It’s a wonderful way to liven up your room while giving your guests a comfortable sitting area.
Bedside/Accent Table: A bedside or accent table is a good place for setting an alarm clock and a framed photo of your loved ones. Some are available with a drawer and a shelf on the bottom while others have several drawers and even feature the Smart Technology with a five-plug outlet.
Bedding Essentials: Since your bed is where you recharge your batteries, it’s important to have the right bedding ensemble. Not only will it make for a peaceful night’s sleep, but it will enhance your dorm decorating ideas.
There are so many colorful styles to choose from. The choices are endless. You can pick from solid colors, floral patterns, zebra patterns, polka dot patterns, paisley patterns, stripes, sports themes, and more.
You can find sets that include the sheets, comforter, and throw pillows, or you can mix and match.
Rugs: Not only does it feel nice to walk on a rug, but a rug adds warmth to any room. It gives the room a sense of coziness and helps tie together the other elements of your dorm decorating ideas.
There is no shortage of rug choices and finding one will not be difficult.
Window Treatments: Dress up those lonely windows with window treatments.
Window treatments come in a variety of styles, colors, fabrics, and sizes. You can choose from panel window treatments, roman shades, cellular shades, mini blinds, and more. It all depends on how much privacy and light you want your room to have.
Good sources of lighting is a must have. The last thing you want is to be pulling an all-nighter cramming under poor lighting because it puts a strain on your eyes and can lead to headaches. To eliminate this, it’s worth investing in good lighting.
There are many chic table lamps, floor lamps, and desk lamps to choose from and they come in a variety of fun colors.
Frames: If you prefer to do without the fancy wall decor and want to stick to something simple, consider hanging framed pictures.
There are many lovely frames to choose from – wood, metal, and plastic. They come in a variety of colors and sizes. Therefore, finding ones you like won’t be difficult.
It’s easy to apply these to the walls and they come in many different colors and themes, such as animal silhouettes, flowers, skaters, etc.
Some contain an adhesive backing and others come in an adhesive-free laminated paper.
Check out Art Decor for more distinctive ideas that will separate you from all the other boring dorms.
Essential Electronics: Other important dorm decorating ideas include a compact fridge, blender, toaster, microwave, coffee maker, iron, fan, portable heater, hand vacuum, DVD player, alarm clock, and iPod accessories.
The nice thing is that you can find these items in different colors, which will add punch to your dorm decorating ideas. Some alarm clocks come with an iPod docking station and speakers, which enables you to wake up to your favorite playlist.
Other great iPod accessories include the Rockin’ Lap Desk, speaker shelf, and Rockin’ plush perfect for plugging in your iPod.
A non-electrical item that is a must have and will simplify your ironing task is an ironing blanket. An ironing blanket will help with storage and space saving. It is ideal for ironing on a bed, desk, or floor.
Bathroom Accessories: Some important bathroom items include having a spare set of towels, a floor mat, and a pop up caddy for transporting shower items, such as, shampoo, conditioner, soap, razors, shaving cream, a toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. Other handy bathroom items are shower sandals, a shower caddy, a hair dryer, a towel rack, and a bathroom scale.
Check out Bed, Bath, and Beyond’s dorm checklist for more must-have items.