Dorm Decor Ideas

Home Stager with Nicola Lindsay ReDesign and Home Staging

I recently had a grandson preparing for dorm life and as always it seems the need to cut costs was on our mind. Here is a column I wrote on the subject of getting ready to leave the nest.



Off to a Dorm?


Many of us have someone off to a dorm this fall. First time “dormers” have a whole new way of life ahead of them and maybe this column will help you prepare for living on your own or sharing a room.

First on the list is a call or email to your school to find out all the particulars they already have in place. Some schools do not allow certain things so you need to know all that before buying for your room.

If sharing a room talk to your room-mate to see what they are bringing as you certainly do not need two microwaves and no fridge. Shop around for a deal as there are always before school deals available.

Storage is always a huge concern. Never enough room to bring everything you have at home.

·        Buying risers or using cement bricks,to lift your bed higher allows for under bed storage.

·        The plastic chest of drawers you can buy for around $20 is a good idea as it also can work as a night table.

·        “COMMAND” has a huge amount of hooks you can put on the wall and do not make holes in the walls. They are strong enough to hang bathrobes or coats or your wet towel fresh from the shower.

·    Wicker baskets will sit under your bed and are great for storage and priced well.

·        Shoe bags or closet organizers for the closet also keep your things safe and separate for easy access.

Laundry, egad they have never washed clothes before. They need a sturdy folding laundry bin or bag to make it easier for storage and bringing to the laundry area. I also saw a back pack made especially for carrying laundry to and from. A coin holder to keep they change they will need to use in machines. Laundry soap for cold washes is a great idea, and costs less then having to buy two different laundry soaps.(You know they will never sort whites and darks) If you have kids in high school and planning to go away to school, teach them now how to do laundry.

Wall decorating is most reasonably done with posters attached to wall with poster adhesive that comes off easy at the end of the year. If you are artistic, colored chalk will wash off easy. New Pizza boxes covered with wrapping paper or a fabric of your choice make a statement too. Match the colors to your bedding and voila, you are decorated. A dry erase calendar is a great suggestion to keep your organized and a colorful addition to your room. If you have an open closet and want to hide the mess a tension rod and a piece of fabric will take care of that problem, of course in a color to match your bedding. A French memory board also is a nice idea for decorating and keeping care of mementos you are saving. Very easy to make with cardboard and material and bits a pretty ribbon. A cheap area rug helps warm up any dorm room. If you can have a small electric broom to take along, then you can keep your room a bit cleaner.


·       Stretchy bottom sheets, a duvet and washable cover and your favorite pillow will make your bed comfy and easy to care for too.

·        Add a few more pillows to the top and you are ready.

·       Be sure to buy colors that hide soil.

·       Be wise to ask the size of the beds as well, some schools have extra long beds to accommodate those tall sports players.


Don’t forget to consider your computer and all that needs to come along with that. You may want your own desk chair as often the chairs at school are not something you want to sit in for hours. A task light is essential. A place to keep books organized is also needed. Would hate to be doing a last minute report and not be able to find the reference book. Also for lighting ,a set of mini lights make a room more personal and cozy for watching TV or just lounging around.

I hope these few suggestions will make the transition from your parent’s luxury home to a dorm room more inviting.

Now if only the exams were so easy.


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Adam Hankey
Search Engine Marketing Strategist - Myrtle Beach, SC
Internet Marketing, MLS IDX, Web Design

Great post! Too many parents don't help their kids to plan well enough ahead, or they believe their kids can handle it, but those kids have a lot going on in their lives at that time and in the whirlwind they can manage to forget a lot of these important details. Thanks for the nice summary!


Aug 09, 2008 02:44 AM #1
Ann-Marie Clements
Dubai International School, UAE - Saint John, NB
M.S. Ed., Innovative Proactive Principal

AWESOME!!!  Where were you when my older daughter first went to university three years ago???  She was scarily disorganized.  When you got to her apartment, you thought it was a "frat" house. 

When she comes in tonight I will show it to her and see if we can implement it for this school year.  My other daughter I will also show, since she will be leaving us for university next school year (1 yr from now) AUGH!!!  I'm running to the "poor house" soon....


Aug 09, 2008 08:56 AM #2
Nicola Lindsay
Nicola Lindsay ReDesign and Home Staging - Saint Stephen, NB

Thanks Adam. Just a little effort can make a huge change in how the student settles in for the year.

I know Anne Marie, it takes time to get ready to leave home and anyone can use a little reasonably priced ideas. Love the picture, hope you bought insulation!

Aug 10, 2008 04:02 AM #3
Sandi Gerrard
Toronto, ON

Hi Nikki,

Excellent advice and so very timely too.  Hope your grandson does well.  Looking forward to seeing you at the Conference in October !


Aug 12, 2008 01:37 PM #4
Jean Groesbeck
Coldwell Banker Bain - Anacortes, WA
Broker, CRS, e-PRO, ABR, ASP, CNE, IMS

I just read your boomer blog which was great so I wanted to see what else you had written.  This is another great post!  You have found a great voice!

Sep 12, 2008 05:59 PM #5
Nicola Lindsay
Nicola Lindsay ReDesign and Home Staging - Saint Stephen, NB

Thanks Sandi,I am looking forward to Conference too!!!


Thank you Jean, I appreciate your comment and encouragement!

Sep 12, 2008 11:48 PM #6
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