20 Affordable Ways to Make Your Dorm Feel Like Home

Living in a dorm can make students feel homesick, but there are a number of ways that students can make their little room feel like home, without spending a fortune. This article offers 20 little things you can do to 'home-ify' your dorm room on the cheap.

dorm

No Place Like Home

Living in a college dorm doesn't have to be sterile and uncomfortable. While your room in a residence hall may be smaller and less adorned than your old bedroom, there are many ways to create a comfortable space for yourself at school. Here are 20 simple and inexpensive options for making a dorm room feel more like home.

1. Bring personal mementos from home.

Small items from your everyday life can be more important than they seem. Packing your soccer trophy or the bouquet of fake flowers from your living room can provide a unique comfort in fresh surroundings.

2. Keep photographs of friends and family visible.

Framing your photos is one option for display. You might also use your creativity to put together a photo mosaic that you can hang on your dorm room wall.

3. Get a mattress pad.

The mattress on your dorm room bed likely won't be as comfortable as the one on your bed at home. Mattress pads are an inexpensive option to increase comfort and maintain the quality of sleep you're accustomed to.

4. Use mirrors wisely.

Mirrors can help to give a small room the illusion of space. Hanging mirrors in strategic places throughout your dorm will help you to feel less cramped.

5. Adjust the lighting.

Many campus residence halls have fluorescent lights that provide unpleasant lighting. Bringing your own lamps can enliven the room and reflect your personal style.

6. Loft your bed.

Many colleges allow students to loft their beds to free up floor space. You might want to take advantage of this option to give yourself more room to maneuver.

7. Invest in organizational tools.

Look for organizational tools with multiple purposes and space-saving features. An ottoman that doubles as a storage container and collapsible clothes hangers are affordable options.

8. Create a space for relaxation.

Design a section of your room where you can go to get out of school mode. Beanbag chairs and body pillows are inexpensive, comfortable and easy-to-store accessories for a relaxation space.

9. Bring a rug.

Is there a rug at home that you particularly like? Bringing it to school for your dorm room can add a personal touch to your living space, and keep the floors a little cozier.

10. Make a throw pillow from an old shirt or childhood blanket.

Exercise your creative side to make a comfy pillow. Fabric from a worn-out shirt or childhood blanket can provide comfort during bouts of homesickness.

11. Stay stocked up on the essentials.

There are a lot of small conveniences that can be forgotten during a move. Make sure you have adequate tissues, floss, bandages, cotton swabs and other essentials that are easily overlooked.

12. Bring potpourri that smells like home.

Smell is one of our strongest senses. If your residence hall doesn't allow candles, you can use potpourri to remind you of your home's distinct smell.

13. Decorate for the holidays.

Tape cutouts of jack o' lanterns and witches on the door for Halloween. Hang colored lights in the window during the winter season. Give your room a festive touch for holidays that occur during the school year.

14. Hang a message board on your door.

Having a corkboard, chalkboard or dry-erase board on your door can allow friends and classmates to leave you messages and notes of encouragement. Decorate the message board with photos and other mementos.

15. Think about the climate.

How is the temperature in your dorm room compared to the temperature at home? You might want to get a fan or a space heater to keep it at your comfort level. Be sure to check residence hall rules on these appliances.

16. Bring your comforter from home.

Shopping for new dorm accessories can be exciting, but the familiarity of an old comforter can do a lot to make a new environment feel like home. Pass up something new for a longtime favorite.

17. Discover the multiple uses of sheer fabric.

A simple piece of sheer fabric can be draped across a lamp to create ambiance. You might also use it as a makeshift room divider or to cover an open closet.

18. Buy a plant.

Experts have documented many psychological benefits to caring for plants. Find varieties with a look you enjoy. Make sure to invest in a plant you can take care of. Many varieties, such as cacti, require little attention.

19. Add curtains.

Residence hall curtains will most likely be pretty ordinary. Find fabrics infused with your own personality. If you aren't allowed to replace the existing window dressings, try hanging your fabric over them. Buy hooks with an adhesive solution to avoid damaging walls.

20. Bring favorite books.

It's probably not possible to haul your entire bookshelf to school, but you can display at least a few of your favorite titles in your new room. Seeing the spines of your old books peek out at you can help you feel more at home.

Want to go green? Learn tips for being environmentally friendly while living in a dorm room.

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