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How Can I Make My Dorm Room More Comfortable?

Whether you shop at Walmart or Pottery Barn, here are some expert tips for making your college dorm room as comfortable as your favorite pair of jeans.

Christine EisneDChristine Eisner
Lifestyle Consultant
The way you decorate your dorm room can play a huge role in your college experience. You can't control lengthy class reading lists, looming term papers, or overpopulated 101 classes, but you can control your dorm (at least half of it). Whether you live in a dorm, a fraternity or sorority house, or an off-campus apartment, your room should be your sanctuary during the tough times as well as the good ones. It just might affect how you feel and function, both academically and socially. Here are some ways to make your college dorm feel more comfortable and homey.

  • Come up with your comfort words: What words describe how you want to feel in your dorm room? Keep those words and goals in mind as you make changes that shift the emphasis onto what you want to feel daily, instead of how you want your room to look.
  • Prioritize your bed: Sleep is critical, so make sure your bed is conducive to that. Try adding an egg crate foam topper or spend some money on a better pillow. It’s worth it. Also, make sure to bring your favorite pillowcases or blankets from your childhood for a bit of homegrown TLC.
  • Use a light timer: Wouldn’t you rather wake up for class or return after a long day to the warm glow of lamplight instead of a dark and empty room? Buy a light timer that you can get for only $5 at the hardware store. Set it to turn on both with your alarm in the morning, and when you expect you or your roommate to be back at the end of the day. It will be a nice gentle "Good morning!" and “Welcome home!” every day.
  • Warm up your floor: A rug underfoot makes getting up in the morning just a bit better, especially if you have a cold dorm floor or live in a region with heavy winters.
  • Decorate with what reminds you of home: Claim your wall space in a big way by hanging up a flag of your home state or country. Stay connected to loved ones by downloading some of your favorite faces and places on a digital frame. Bring a few beloved trinkets that will bring you joy to see every day.
  • Get a comfy chair: A small corner of your room can become your go-to place to chill out or unwind after a rough day simply by adding an extra place to sit that isn't your bed or school-sanctioned desk. Options abound at yard sales and consignment stores!
  • Utilize background music: Music is the fastest and cheapest form of relaxation! Ask friends from home for their favorite songs or albums and make a compilation so you can easily return to shared memories. Set up playlists to put you in different moods—for studying, exercising, relaxing, or partying. Just make sure to pop in your earbuds when your roommate asks. 

One of the best ways to make your dorm experience great is to get along with your roommate. And we have just what you need to make that happen: Our Best Advice for Life With College Roommates.

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