First-day dorm hacks 

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Going into a new space can be exciting and overwhelming. Here are some ideas to freshen up your space.  Photo by    Christopher Jolly    on    Unsplash

Going into a new space can be exciting and overwhelming. Here are some ideas to freshen up your space. Photo by Christopher Jolly on Unsplash

You’ve finally moved all your stuff into your dorm room for the year, but how are you going to choose to decorate and organize your space? Whether you want your room to be a fun space to hang out with your friends or a relaxing study area, here are some practical and fun dorm hacks to make college living a little easier. 

 Livin’ lofty 

If you’re looking to place a dresser, some bins or even a mini fridge under your bed, lofting your bed mid-way is a good idea. Still more space back there? Invest in some long drawers that go all the way under your bed to make the most of your storage. Make sure to bring a stool to easily access your bed. 

If you’re looking for something roomier, loft your bed to standing height (or close to it). You can fit your dresser and desk under it and configure a makeshift counter if you place them together lengthways and they are the same height. If you want a cozy seating area under your bed, place your desk against the back wall of the room to make more space for a comfy butterfly chair. A storage ottoman can serve as another seat, storage or a side table. Hang a tapestry, tape up some photos or drape some fairy lights on the wall to make the space even more inviting. 

Step it up 

If you don’t need to use the provided ladder to climb onto your bed, incorporate it into your room for a practical piece of decor. Prop it up near your closet for another place to hang clothes you might wear again, or drape some scarves and hats on it as a fun way to display your accessories. If your ladder is magnetic, you can add some of your own personal touches with some fun magnets or to hang up reminders and photos. 

Take command 

… of your room, that is. An RA has probably mentioned that you can’t use nails to hang up anything in your dorm room. Command hooks and strips will be your best friend for college move-in. Buy a variety to hang up lights, signs, photos and use the bigger hooks to hang up jackets, towels or bags behind your door. Command strips are an easy way to get creative with your space without having to drive a nail into the wall. 

Cozy and comfy 

Our freshman dorm room quickly became a favorite of my friends because of our comfy area rug. Not only does it cover the less-than-flattering dorm room floors, it also keeps your feet warm from the aforementioned floor in the winter, as well as tying the room together in a simple way, especially if you go with a neutral color. If your decorations are more simple, then a patterned rug can add some fun to your room. In a small space where chairs and seating options are in demand, a rug can provide a comfortable option for your friends stopping by. Make sure to have blankets on hand (which can also double as an easy way to liven up your bedding) and your room will be cozy central in the cold Storrs temperatures. 

Stock up on snacks 

Unfortunately, the dining hall is not going to be open for your midnight cravings. On nights when you know you’ll be staying up later to study or you want to contribute to the movie night offerings, you’ll thank yourself for stocking up on some easy, budget-friendly snacks like cereal, mac and cheese cups, ramen, granola bars, bags of chips, yogurt or popcorn. Snag some fruit from the dining hall to snack on later. These snacks are easy to share with friends and they’ll probably thank you too. 

Thumbnail photo by Yasmine Boheas on Unsplash


Hollie Lao is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at hollianne.lao@uconn.edu.

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