Five tips for decorating your dorm room

Res hall, sweet res hall.

By Katie Rosso | June 9, 2016

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So this is it: You’re moving out to go to college and you have free reign to design your room however you want. Even if you have a roommate, you still have half a room to make exactly your own.

For MU, it depends on the residence hall you’re going to live in how you can decorate your room. In College Avenue Hall, where I lived last year, pins were allowed but Command Strips were a no-no. So before you get all ready to put Command Strip frames all over your room, be sure to double check the rules of your res hall.

But the best part of finally having your own space to live in is being able to decorate your own space, so go crazy and make it your own.

Find ways to mask your clutter

Putting your entire life into one room can sometimes be tough — and messy. Storage for under your bed is key to storing all your nonhanging clothes and some of your pantry food. Colored tubs or plastic drawer sets are great and relatively inexpensive. To make them pretty, modge podge some fabric or paper on the inside of the clear plastic cabinets to put your own spin on them (and hide all of your stuff).

Using every square inch to maximize your storage space is the most important part of fitting all of your stuff in your dorm. Using a plastic hanging shoe holder to store your snacks is a fantastic way to hide all of your food from making your room look cluttered (and also hiding your favorite food from your roommate).

Canvases, canvases and more canvases

Canvases are a great way to bring your personality and your favorite colors to your room’s decor. You can do a cute pattern or add sayings that mean something to you to add your own flair. To make a canvas with your favorite quote, take small sticky foam letters and spell out what you want on the canvas. Then, take paint or spray paint and paint the whole canvas with the colors you want. Peel the letters off and voila, you’ve got a clean and cute canvas to show off to the world.

Curtains are key

An easy way to take a dorm from blah to beautiful is to hang some curtains. Put a small curtain near the window and then use a curtain to cover your closet. This also lets you use all of your closet for storage without having to worry about how pretty it looks. As a bonus, add a rug that ties it all together to really make you feel like you’re at home. When you get out of bed and your feet hit something other than the fake wood or the vinyl floor, you’ll feel like the room is really yours.

Light it up

The res halls are pretty awesome, but their lighting is abysmal. No one wants fluorescent lighting to illuminate the dorm room they worked really hard to make cute, so bring some lamps. I had four lamps in my room, but the number you bring depends on how much light you like. Another way to spice up your room is fairy lights. From the basic holiday string light to flower- shaped lights, using lights to frame the best part of your room can draw the eye away from the bowl of ramen that’s been on your desk for four days.

Chairs are necessary

Trust me, if you do all of your homework in your bed you will lay down, get comfortable and get so tired you’ll decide to take a six-hour nap. Having a comfy chair in your room, like a papasan chair, is great because you can sit somewhere other than your bed. You’ll also get to do homework in a comfy chair and hang out somewhere other than where you sleep. Plus, when friends come over, they won’t have to all sit on the floor or on your bed. It’s a win-win-win.

For more tips and tricks, check out MOVE’s Pinterest below:

Edited by Theo DeRosa | tderosa@themaneater.com

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