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Photo Credit: Dan Whipps for Macy's

With some creativity and clever storage solutions, you can make your dorm a well-functioning cozy home away-from-home.

Firstly, it’s important to check the rules. Many dorms have strict rules about mounting photos or painting walls. ‘Wikihow’ says: Check BEFORE you decide to do anything major.

2: Chat with your roomie about decor ideas, budget, likes & dislikes…you’ll be together for at least a year.

3: Multi-functional Furniture – think multi-purpose, compact and mobile. HGTV says ‘a futon is the perfect example; by day it can be used as a sofa, but by night it can instantly turn into a full bed.’ Ottomans can double as coffee tables and storage cubes. Filing cabinets can serve as nightstands as well as hold all your paperwork. Photo: IKEA

loft bed Ikea photo - blog

4. Furniture Layout. Experiment with placement…try back-to-back desks or putting a dresser inside the closet.

5. Clever Storage Solutions. Go Up, Up, Up! Don’t forget vertical shelving to maximize storage space. Also, use bedrisers to lift your bed off the floor to make room for under-bed storage caddies & bins. Or if you can, loft your bed! Most dorm bunks can be raised to free up valuable floor space for studying or storage. Photo: IKEA

Vertical Storage - Blog

6. Decorate Blank Walls.  Many dorms do not allow you to put holes in walls. Work around: Use washi tape, temporary stick hooks, wall decals, temporary peel & stick wallpaper to add a personal touch to your dorm decor. Wall decals can be placed on everything from walls, furniture, floors and mirrors. Temporary wallpapers can transform your space…and are easy to switch up for a new look each term. Photo: Land of Nod

Wall decals - blog

7. Area Rug. Add a colourful patterned area rug to add warmth and cozyness to your dorm. Not only will a rug anchor the space, but it will add a pop of colour.

area rug - blog

8. Tidy Workspace. Westelm says: “Don’t let yourself get distracted by a cluttered workspace! Organize tech items, notes, and office supplies into trays and pen holders so you can focus on the task at hand.” There are multiple options in trendy neon plastic, wicker, wire and tin…to name just a few. Photo: Monika Lundholm

Desk - blog

9. Homesick?….bring nostalgic items from home. By integrating items from your childhood into your new dorm room you will be reminded of  home – and provide much needed comfort for your soul. Photo: etsy

dorm blog text


– Big storage bins
– Storage with pullout drawers
– Hamper
– Shoe rack that can hang in a closet
– Organizational material for desks (letter sorter, pen jar, etc.)
– Small trash cans
– TV wall mount
– Bed risers
– Tote for toiletries
– Throw pillows