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How to Set Your Dorm Room Up for Success

Dorm room layout with white walls, white floors and green carpet and bedding
Written by CB Community

Whether it’s your freshman year or your senior year, the art of putting together a dorm room that is both comfortable and conducive to productivity can feel next to impossible if you don’t have it down to a T. The reality of dorm life is that it’s a serious adjustment—especially if you’re sharing the already-small space with another person.

Having half of a room to sleep, study, and socialize in takes some keen arrangement skills. At the end of the day, your dorm functions as a place to rest your head as you work toward earning your degree, so harnessing your highest productivity levels within the comfort of your dorm should be a top priority. However, setting your dorm up for success means striking that perfect balance that makes your tiny space feel like home.

Using these tips, we’ll give you the edge you’ll need to put together the perfect dorm room.

Tip #1: Invest in shelving

When you’re confined to a small area, finding space for all of your many things can be a bit of a challenge. With limited space comes the call for clever ways to store everything in a way that is both easily accessible and clutter-free. Shelves are the ultimate answer to this call.

Whether it’s a standalone bookshelf or drilled-in floating wall shelves that are sturdy enough to hold your textbooks, investing in shelving is a great idea for those short on space. You’ll be better prepared to organize all of your essentials without the stress of a mess.

Tip #2: Dress the bed with comfort

Transforming a lackluster twin XL bed into a comfort haven takes some strategic buying. Done correctly, you’ll set yourself up for the best night’s rest, every single night. Believe it or not, one of the most important facets of college life is getting enough rest to maintain good mental health and generate enough energy to last through the days, weeks, and months hard at work. The comfort levels of your bed directly impact your overall sleep quality, so it’s well worth your time to invest in quality bed dressings. Start with these essentials to get your cozy on:

  • Comforter
  • Duvet cover
  • Sheets
  • Pillow
  • Throw blanket

Tip #3: Utilize under-bed storage

The vast majority of traditional dorm room beds feature an adjustable bed base that makes it possible to raise the level of your bed higher, offering increased under-bed storage. Whether you plan to put a storage container or an assortment of stacking cubes under there, having the extra space will make a world of difference when organizing all of your belongings.

Tip #4: Eliminate distractions in your study space

When you’re working with tight deadlines and fast-approaching test dates, you depend on quiet spaces to activate your highest levels of concentration. There are few things more frustrating than trying to bang out an essay or cram a semester’s worth of information into your immediate memory when just about everything in your reach is distracting you. By removing distractions, you effectively set your space and mind up for laser-focused success.

Tip #5: Take advantage of vertical space

There are only so many spaces where you can store your clothing, tech, and school supplies when you’ve only got half of a room to call your own. Rather than depending solely on under-bed, closet, dresser, and desk storage, you can utilize your vertical space to hang everything from extra shelves to memo boards. Over-the-door storage racks are stellar options for hanging everyday miscellaneous items like umbrellas, glasses, purses, pens, tech devices and more.

Tip #6: Coordinate with your roommate

While you may be doing yourself a service in setting your side of the dorm up for success, it takes two to complete the package. Before embarking on your dorm room makeover, talk to your roommate about how they plan to decorate and organize. If you’re both on the same page about wanting a clutter-free area that is clean, comfortable, and conducive to learning, you’ll be better able to coordinate how your room looks and functions.

Adjusting to dorm life can be a struggle when you’ve got so many different things to prioritize. With these six tips, you’ll be six steps closer to creating the dorm of your dreams that is perfect for sleeping, studying, and more!

For more awesome college tips, check out the other blogs on College Basics.

About the author

CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.