This summer really flew by for me. With trips around the world to see friends and family, an internship, and a job, this has been my busiest and best summer yet. I have about a week left before I move back to school and start making my new dorm room feel more like home. Luckily, I have three amazing roommates, all with great ideas and excellent taste so I know that our room this year will be great. Here are some pointers we've implemented.
- Clean: Bring a vacuum cleaner to school with you. Dorm rooms can get pretty messy fast. A small vacuum cleaner (one that is easy to store and can fit in what is likely to be a very small, cramped space) is ideal for picking up stray crumbs and dust. While I may or may not be in any place to say this, it is also a good idea to put away any papers and fold or hang any clean clothes that you've decided not to wear. And please, clean any dirty dishes in a timely manner.
- Invest in good lighting: The harsh overhead lighting in the dorms made our freshman room cold and dreary, but the lamps and string lights my roommates and I added made it feel ambient and more welcoming.
- Make your bed comfy: Mattress toppers make such a big difference. My mattress was extremely uncomfortable at first, but after I added one mattress topper and then another, my bed at home had some serious competition.
- Get 3M Command Strips: I use these to hang up posters, necklaces, string lights, postcards, and photos. They don’t damage the dorm walls in any way, which is ideal, and they allow you to personalize your space. This is probably my number one purchase for my dorm room.
- Get an iPod dock or speakers: This will come in handy when friends come over and your iPhone isn’t loud enough to blast music from. (Also great for when you want to passive-aggressively bother your rude neighbors.)
- Use fresh flowers: My roommates and I only did this a few times our freshman year, but I plan on buying flowers much more this year. I love that flowers can add some life to a dull room. I also associate flowers with special events — birthdays, graduations, etc. — and buying them just for fun is actually even better.
- Build a relationship with your roommates: Unless you live in a single dorm room, you have roommates, people with whom you share what is probably a fairly small space. I have been so fortunate to live with people I can call my friends, and this really makes coming back to the room so great. I have people with whom I can share details about my day, watch TV, or grab a meal. While you certainly don't have to be close friends with your roommates, building some sort of relationship allows your dorm to be a more pleasant environment to live in.