Before you start thinking about decorating your new dorm room, ask yourself this extremely important question: "Am I living alone in my room or with other people?" If you are living by yourself, then go to town, however, if you have roommates, make sure you talk to them before making any large decorating decisions. Decorating your dorm room together can be a great bonding experience for you. Now, here are some helpful decorating hints.
- Stay true to yourself. Let your dorm room style speak to your personality. If you love bright colors, get a few throw pillows that lighten up your room. If you are a movie buff, cover your room with posters of your favorite films. Remember that most colleges do not allow you to paint the walls of your dorm room, so accessories like throw pillows and blankets, posters, photographs, and other knick-knacks will define your room's personality.
- Stay organized. Remember that you have a small space to work with and that without organization your dorm room can become a place that drives you crazy, not a home away from home. You are not only sleeping in your dorm room, you are entertaining there, studying there, and in most cases, sharing the space with at least one other person. A little organization can go a long way in ensuring a functioning dorm room.
- Stay relaxed. Make sure that your bed is an oasis of comfort for you after a long day of classes and socializing. An egg crate mattress pad can go a long way in improving the comfort level of your bed. Also, if you have a security item from childhood, don't be afraid to bring it to school. Sometimes seeing that teddy bear can provide a great deal of comfort and relief to you, especially if you are stressed out. Same thing goes for a few family photos strategically placed around your room. Those photographs will most likely make you feel more at home whenever you see them.
- Stay within reason. Understandably, decorating your dorm room is an exciting adventure to embark on. However, remember that you will be living in that particular room for a year before either moving to another dorm room your sophomore year or moving off-campus. Be sure to not go overboard purchasing items that will only serve you for one year's time. Also, remember that lots of people come in and out of dorm rooms. Make sure you don't have any items in there that are of a great value and/or that cannot be replaced. A lot of accidents happen during college and you wouldn't want your favorite one-of-a-kind item destroyed on a fun night.
If you are unsure as to what you need or if you just want a few decorating ideas, check out The Container Store's college dorm room personality test. It asks a couple questions that can point you in the right direction towards what you might want your dorm room to look like.
Also, check out websites listed below like Target and Walmart, which feature fun, affordable items you can fill your dorm room with. Good luck decorating and have fun!