Decorating your dorm room is an important part of identifying who you are when you start the next phase of your life and perhaps the first real time spent away from home. So your dorm style or décor is something you want to think about and plan for well in advance of actually arriving at school. The best place to begin is reviewing any checklists provided by the school itself – pay special attention to what is and is not allowed because while a toaster oven might seem like a big idea, it may well be prohibited for safety purposes.
It’s best to get a copy of the rules from your school and then to look online at places like Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Overstock etc. – they have a dorm checklist that really details everything you might want or need from bedding basics to hampers, storage organizers, lighting and more.
Whatever the rules, you can be certain you will need a few power strips with surge protectors so you can safely operate your laptop, cell phone and other electronic devices. You will also need a great desk lamp so you can see to study. This is another area where the rules are important – halogen lamps may or may not be acceptable and there may be special guidelines about the type of lamp that is or is not permissible – a clamp lamp might sound like a good idea but many dorms do not allow them.
Save money and avoid duplication by checking in with your future roommates on social media. Not only can you discuss and share pictures of possible décor ideas, you can take stock of what you might need and see if they already have the dorm fridge or on demand coffee maker you might like to have. No one wants to show up with a microwave only to find there is already one in place or that a fellow roommate has brought a better quality model. It’s also not cool to bring too much stuff because space is quite limited and you need to share it with others, plus you have no way to get rid of anything you brought that you don’t really need or can’t fit. At the same time, it can be hard to buy things once you are at school, especially if you don’t have a car. That’s why ordering online is a good idea – you can get stuff delivered directly to the dorm. This is a really good idea if you will be flying or taking a train or bus to college because you don’t really have any way to haul all of your stuff.
Bedding is an area where you really need to read the checklist and be prepared. The bed and mattress will be previously owned, so you will want to be certain to invest in a mattress protector along with some sort of mattress pad or enhancer. Most dorms feature beds with twin extra long mattresses designed to accommodate the broadest range of kids.This is great, but you will need to invest in twin XL fitted sheets along with flat sheets in order to properly make up the bed because conventional twin sheets will not fit. You can use a conventional twin comforter or quilt and blankets or you can just make life easy and get a dorm room kit. The Melora Dorm Room Kit is a good example of what you can expect to get – it includes a comforter, pillow, pillow shams, sheets sets, mattress pad, towels and more. This basic set covers most of the bases or you can upgrade to sets which include things like storage organizers and pop-up hampers.