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Live That Dorm Life

If you recently moved into on-campus student housing, you’re probably still settling in. Moving into a dorm can be both exciting and scary, as you will be adjusting to a new environment and new people. While living in a residence room often comes with lots of strict rules on how you can (and cannot) personalize your space, there are ways around this to ensure your comfort in this home away from home.

Fun, comfortable bedding

Turn that sad-looking twin bed into a comfortable place to sleep, study and lounge with fun bedding, throw pillows and extra blankets. Get a fluffy duvet with a fun patterned cover and an assortment of colourful pillows. The pillows aren’t just decorative, as you can use them to prop yourself up when studying.

Choose a colour scheme and stick to it. It’s nice when everything matches and creates a cohesive design, even when you don’t get to choose your wall colour or furnishings.

More light

If your dorm room is lit by fluorescent tubes or a single bulb, you might want to improve the lighting situation. Add some additional task lighting to the desk for studying, and think about a floor lamp as well to warm up the space.

If you want to get really creative, splurge on some smart color-changing light bulbs. You can set them to regular, white light or bright mood lighting.

Desk decor

Most dormitory-style student residence rooms come with a standard desk. However, what you put on it is entirely up to you. While you will want to leave space for your computer and other devices, the rest of the space is yours to decorate.

You will want some practical items such as a stapler, pencil cup, magazine files and other desk organizers. Luckily, today’s consumers have an abundance of choice when it comes to these items, with matching sets available in different colours, patterns and finishes.

After you’ve organized the desk with everything you need for school, you can add some fun decor, such as figurines, photos of family and friends, plants, clocks and other keepsakes and knick-knacks from home.


When living in a dorm room, storage can definitely be a challenge. Most traditional residence rooms have a closet and one chest of drawers. While this should be enough space for your clothes and linens, you might want to bring in additional storage. Because you’re working with a small space, look for storage bins that slide under the bed, or stack in the closet.

Add a closet shoe organizer to keep the floor decluttered. If it’s possible, leave seasonal clothing and outerwear at home and switch your wardrobe when you’re visiting over the holidays. If you’re able to do this, it will really free up space.

Establish boundaries

While decor can personalize your space, it won’t feel like home if you’re not comfortable with the person you live with. If you’re living in a double room with a virtual stranger, it can be tough to adjust. It’s important to talk things out from the get-go so that you don’t end up in a disagreement down the road.

You need to set boundaries and agree to respect each other’s space. Even if you end up being the best of friends, it’s important to be upfront about your expectations and be open to compromise. University or college is an exciting time, and living on campus can really add to that experience. Don’t spoil it for others, or yourself.

If you’re looking to move off-campus, visit to check out listings for student apartments for rent near your school. Moving away for school, whether into a dorm or an apartment, is a life-changing experience. You can gain independence, learn important life skills, and meet new people.