Dorm Room Decorating

If you’re heading off to college this year, start looking now for the necessities for decorating your dorm room.  Buying early and wisely will give you time to find the best deals and find exactly what you need at the right price.

Make sure you know exactly what’s provided in the dorm room itself and how much space there is.  You can usually find that information on the college website.  Also find out exactly what you can and cannot have in the room.  Small appliances are usually banned as fire hazards and many times you cannot use nails or hooks in the wall.


Your best bet is a bed in a bag set with a comforter, sheets and pillowcases.  It’s compact, it matches and it’s usually cost effective to buy the set together.  Ikea offers inexpensive bedding and pillows, but their quilts and blankets tend not to be the best deals.  Check out Target and Walmart for good deals on bedding.  Choosing busy patterns can not only give the room a splash of color and style, but can hide soiling or stains as well.


There’s not going to be much room to deck out your dorm room completely.  Wall decals can spruce up the room and are removable and inexpensive.  If you want to display photos, there’s not going to be much surface area to hold many, consider hanging a laundry line across the wall to mount photos to.


You’re going to need as much storage as possible, especially with all those textbooks.  Consider extensions for the bedframe to raise it higher off the floor so you can fit as much storage under there as possible. 

Plastic or cardboard storage boxes can not only hold your items on moving day, but use flat boxes that can fit under the raised bed and pull double duty for storage.  They’ll be nice and handy at the end of the year when it’s time to pack up and come home.


Any furniture that is not provided by the college can be purchased used when you get there.  Craigslist and classified ads can bring some bargain finds to the room.  Unless you have a freebie from your parents that will fit in the car, consider waiting to purchase furniture so you don’t need to lug it cross country.

Other things to consider for the dorm room:

  • Over the door hooks to help maximize closet space;
  • A shower tote to keep your toiletries in;
  • Drawer liners for dresser drawers; and
  • A throw rug.

Hopefully before leaving for school, you’ll be assigned a roommate and have the chance to talk to him or her.  Coordinate any décor decisions and get to know them via email or phone to make moving in with a stranger not quite so stressful.