Featured Image

Making the Most of Your Dorm Space

Quick and easy tips to help you make the most of your limited space!

One of the most exciting aspects of the college experience is living in a dorm room. Dorms are full of new friends, long nights, and life-long memories. However, the first day you walk into your new room . . . you’re probably going to freak out. For the entire school year, you’re going to have to call 12x12 square feet home. Dorm rooms are tiny (probably even tinier than you’re imagining), so it’s going to take a lot of time and skill to make your room seem bigger and feel more comfortable.

But don’t worry! These quick and easy tips will help you make the most of your limited space:

Loft your beds

Even though it can be a pain in the butt, lofting your bed will create so much room in your cramped space, especially you and your roommate both do it. Put the TV and food under one bed and the seating under the other, or put desks under each bed. Loft beds provide much needed floor space and are well worth the effort.

Buy area rugs

Area rugs showcase you and your roommate’s personality and spirit (so talk about it before you buy one that covers your whole shared floor space!). Whether you want it to stand out or be subdued, whatever your style calls for, show it off with a rug—and be nice to your toes in the process. You can find good rugs for dorms anywhere, but some of my favorites are from Target and Bed Bath & Beyond. (Editor’s note: TJ Maxx and Marshalls have lots of good rugs tooooo.)

Add lots of light

Dorm rooms can be pretty dark and gloomy. Adding lights will make your space happier and brighter. Plus, it’s really hard to study in the dark. Buy string lights, floor lamps, desk lamps—the sky is (literally) the limit.

Limit your decorations

The more decorations you have, the more cluttered your room is going to feel. Wall hangings (like tapestries, pictures, and paintings) aren’t bad, as long as your entire room isn’t covered with them. So even though you’ve been pinning dozens of dorm room DIYs on Pinterest, you may want to reconsider. Limiting items on your desk, floor, and wall will make your space feel more open—and make it easier to clean. Bonus!

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Decorating Dorm Room Walls 

Use light colors

Because who wants their room to stay dull and dark? When you pick out your bedding and accessories, go for lighter colors to keep an airy feel. They’ll also help with making your room seem bigger. Avoid dark colors like black, brown, and maroon unless you’re using them to compliment another color (and even then, use them sparingly).

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Tags:
decorating decorations dorm packing dorm rooms dorms shopping student life

About Cecily Girton

Cecily is a senior at Greencastle High School in Greencastle, Indiana. Besides writing for CollegeXpress, Cecily writes for her school newspaper and participates in her school and community theaters. After high school, Cecily plans on attending a liberal arts college to major in English.

 

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
CollegeXpress Logo

$10,000

Are you our next winner?

Register now for our scholarship giveaway

Ana Sophia Garcia-Cubas Assemat

Ana Sophia Garcia-Cubas Assemat

$10,000 Scholarship Winner-2020, High School Class of 2020

CollegeXpress has been an instrumental resource for my scholarship search and has given me the opportunity to try my best so I can graduate from college debt-free.

Amelia

Amelia

High School Class of 2023

CollegeXpress helped open me up to many colleges that fit my interests. I’m only a sophomore in high school, so I like having a lot to look at, and CX does a great job of picking colleges that meet my wants. It's a great website that I'll continue to use until it comes time for me to apply for colleges. I also like that it notifies me through email with options to look at. Thanks CX!

Alexandra Adriano

Alexandra Adriano

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2016

I've used CollegeXpress quite a bit as a senior, particularly for colleges and scholarships, so it's been a very big asset in that respect! I would recommend it to anyone looking to pursue a college education, especially seniors! This scholarship will help me achieve my goals in ways I couldn't have before, and I know that there are opportunities like that for everyone on the website and in the magazines!

Jeannie Borin, M.Ed.

Jeannie Borin, M.Ed.

President and Founder, College Connections

I frequently visit CollegeXpress to answer questions from students and parents. There are countless hot topics in admissions that need to be addressed. I enjoy reading what my colleagues post and gain additional insight from different perspectives.

Lydia Huth

Lydia Huth

Student, Campbell University; CollegeXpress Student Writer

I discovered CollegeXpress while embarking on my college search journey as an excited—but scared and way confused—high schooler without a counselor or college-bound sibling to give me advice. Let me tell you, I’m so glad that I stumbled on this community! CollegeXpress helped me find potential colleges and keep application deadlines straight. It gave me a great list of scholarships, and the blogs and emails made me feel like I wasn’t going it alone. Almost three years later and with freshman year of college down, I still love the CollegeXpress vibe so much that I’m writing for them. I’d recommend this site to anyone!

College Matches