Let’s be real: it can be hard to come up with great ideas for small rooms, especially dorm rooms that leave little to creativity.
When you move into a dorm room, it’s pretty much the same layout as every other one–you have a bed (sometimes bunk beds), a desk, and a closet/wardrobe, and not much space for anything else.
Now, although I’ve never personally lived in residence, I’ve definitely learned how to make stuff fit in a small space! Connor and I moved into a one-bedroom apartment that is not all that big, and there are a few practical and cute ways that I’ve managed to increase storage without becoming cluttered that I wanted to share with you all today!
1. Utilize under-the-bed storage
Grab one of these bad boys for your sweaters, sweat pants, gym clothes, and all of the other things that you just don’t want to be bothered to fold up and carefully place back into drawers every day! The trick to surviving living in a small space is to use your space that you have, while not bringing too much stuff with you!
The reason I love these so much is that they work as giant drawers that can hold a ton of stuff that can all be just shoved away out of sight with only a moment’s notice. Have way too many shoes? Throw them in one of these! For me, leisure clothes & workout gear took one of these at the house I used to live.
Related: The Freshman’s Guide to College Day 7: What to Pack for College & What to Leave Behind!
2. These wall stickers are great ideas for small rooms!
I’m absolutely in love with these wall stickers that are completely removable from Amazon.com! And none of them are over $5! These are a great option since they will not damage the paint in your dorm rooms but will add a ton of character to your space!
I’m kind of obsessed with that cherry blossom one, not gonna lie. If Connor would let me I’d probably get it for the living room above the couch.
3. Invest in some cute desk organizers
Hey, if you need to keep your desk organized anyway, why not make it aesthetically pleasing, too? Here are some ideas:
4. Add some life to the room with a plant!
Some people may disagree with me here, but I think that plants are so important. They help purify the air, and remind you while you sit hunched over your desk for hours upon hours during exam season that life still does exist outside of the classroom.
I personally suggest something low-maintenance. African violets, Aloe Vera, or any cute little cactus plant would do the trick. It’s pretty easy to see by my instagram that I thoroughly enjoy having flowers and plants in my life.
But definitely find some you can keep alive. That’s been the hard part for me. (I got it from my mother ;) )
5. Light up your dorm life!
What’s better to make a room feel like home than some cozy twinkle lights? This is something I really wish I had done at my room back before I got married because I have always loved the look so much!
I love these rose lights. I think they are my favourite I’ve ever seen!
6. Invest in a good shower caddy
No matter whether you have to share a shower with just your roommate or a bunch of other people, no one wants to have to move your stuff out of the way when they take a the shower! Amazon has some great ones–these are my favourites:
Make sure to get one that dries quickly and easily! You don’t want to get one that traps the water in–you’ll grow mould and no one will be happy with you. All of these are big enough to fit all of your essentials, and having a good shower caddy makes life a lot easier when you’re living in a dorm and sharing a bathroom.
7. Splurge on a nice duvet cover
When you only have so much space to work with, make sure you’re milking what you do have! Your bed is a huge focal point in your room, so why not use that to your advantage?
Here are some of my favourites (I really couldn’t choose just one):
If you have a few different duvet covers from home, too, you can always switch them up when you visit home to give your whole dorm room a new look!
8. Use Washi Tape to Create a Memory Wall
Every dorm room has different rules as to whether or not you can go pounding nails into the walls, but washi tape is a safe alternative to wall-mounted picture frames! Be creative, and add old letters, pictures, and the like from your life at home to your walls to make a mural that’s all about who you are!
I love the idea of also lining your furniture with washi tape, like bookshelves or the edge of a desk. Be creative!
9. Finish it off with a statement rug
Depending on how big your dorm room is, you may have to figure out one that works for both you and your roommate, but I love throw rugs. I think they add something special and warm to a room (I also do live in Ottawa, so anything that looks warm is automatically my new favourite thing.
Here’s a black and white one that I love and is super affordable:
So there you have it! Those are my 9 decorating ideas for small rooms, apartments, and dorms!
What are some ways that you’ve decorated a small space?
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DISCLAIMER: some of the pictures above contain affiliate links from which I can make a commission if you make a purchase. All opinions about these products are my own.