10 Ways To Individualize Your Dorm Room

I have several friends who are sending children to college this summer. My own step son will also be heading for college this summer. I wanted to share a few tips for organizing and decorating the new home away from home!

Before you get started:

1. Be sure to get the dorm rules as far as holes in the wall!

2. Get the schools rules as far as fridges, hot plates, Keurigs, microwaves, etc.! 

3. Talk to your roommate(s) (about going half on things like the mini fridge, TV & other items that can be shared. 

4. Figure out what furniture comes with the dorm.

HOW TO PERSONALIZE:

1. Bedding



For your bed you can purchase:

  • Mattress pad (makes bed more comfortable) 
  • Fitted Sheet
  • Pillow Cases
  • Comforter 
  • Two pillows 
  • Throw pillows (most of the time these end up on the floor when I’m sleeping but they look nice)

2. Desk Accessories 


This is an area where you can let your creativity shine through! I’d also recommend considering options that are vertical which allow you to save space and hold more like the white option pictured above. 

You should have the following options:

  • Stapler & staples 
  • Tape dispenser 
  • 3 whole punch
  • Loose leaf paper
  • Notebooks
  • Binders 

3. Storage Containers 


Remember to take advantage of going vertical whenever possible. You also have the option of using risers to lift your bed & create more storage space. 

4. Great bags 


Your bags will be an important part of your collegiate experience! Consider whether you’d like a backpack, a messenger bag or a tote bag. Make sure there is lots of storage!

5. Mini fridge magnets


If you & your roommate have a mini fridge you can use it to bring out more of your personal style. You can purchase a box of business card magnets at any office supply store & turn anything into a magnet! 

There are also fridge accessory caddies like the one above that you can pick up at places like Target

6. Desktop Wallpapers 


When deciding on laptop vs. desktop I’d recommend the laptop. A desktop will force you to remain in your dorm to do your work. You never know when your roommate will make too much noise so you should have the option of doing your work in other spaces. Most campuses have state of the art computer labs so you should be fine. Search “desktop wallpapers” on Pinterest & several options will come up. 

7. Area Rug


An area rug is a great way to add softness to your room & to differentiate your room from other spaces. If you get a cozy one it makes a great space to sit! 

8. Unique Sox & Great Slippers 


Always wear Sox or shoes! These also make great conversation starters when you’re trying to break the ice with new people!


Nothing says home like great fabric & house shoes! 

9. Decorating with photos 


If you aren’t allowed to put holes in the wall you can create frames with washi (decorative) tape available at office supply stores, Michaels & here on Amazon.

10. Lighting


Most dorms have terrible lighting! Invest in at least a floor lamp & a desk lamp. Rope lights & “fairy” lights can also provide great mood & dramatic lighting. You can also purchase a HUE light bulb (color) which will allow you to create multiple light colors! We’ve converted 4 rooms in our house to HUE lamps & will eventually replace all bulbs with HUE bulbs! Learn more here

Here are a few general inspiration pics:


The flowered mirror is a project you can easily create with Faux flowers, a wire cutter & a hot glue gun! 

Here are 10 places you can shop:

1. Bed Bath & Beyond

2. The Container Store

3. Homegoods

4. Hobby Lobby

5. Target 

6. TJ Maxx

7. Nordstrom’s Rack

8. Marshalls 

9. Walmart 

10. Amazon.com 

Feel free to post comments below! I’d love to see photos of your organized & decorated dorm room! 

Spring Decor 

I frequently change out the decor in my house to reflect the season or the holiday. The decorations that I have now will stay in place until the first day of Fall. This is the longest stretch of time for my seasonal decor.

Here is what I did:


One of the easiest things to change is the wreath on my front door. 


Another easy update is to change out trays. This tray is turquoise & we use it for our little bar area. 


The other thing I swap out are the fillings in my vases & apothecary jars. Here I’ve added green grass balls and brightly colored glass beads. My favorite vase fillings can be found at Target, Michaels & Hobby Lobby. I store them in zip lock bags when not in use. 


The egg tree thing will only be around until Easter. I’ve also added brightly colored glass & metallic mason jars. They all reflect light very beautifully. 


Another thing I like to use is colored glass. The purple pitcher is functional & I recently picked it up from a vintage store in Cincinatti. My favorite place to shop for glass is Homegoods. I also change out the pots for my plants from season to season. 

The blue “S” stands for our family name & has a spring friendly print. 


Pillows are a cheap & easy way to update decor. They are a pain to store so try to get pillows in colors that can work during multiple seasons. For example my red pillows work for Fall, Christmas & Valentine’s Day. 


Swapping out picture frames is a cheap & easy way to freshen things up, and nothing says Spring or Summer like birdcages. 

I picked up two things in New Orleans to bring into my home!


An original from an artist in Jackson Square! I loved the rhinestones & the replica of the Square.


I make coffee at least once a day, and now I have this sugar bowl to remind me of my favorite city. 

My next big home decor projects include my front porch, when I put out our lanterns & other outdoor decor as well as planting my flowers & landscaping which usually happens after Mother’s Day.

Love Day Decor 

I love decorating my home. February is special because not only do we have a day to celebrate love, it is also the month of my anniversary. Che and I will be celebrating 7 years of being married and 8 years together. 

Here is my living room decor:


And here is a closer look at the different sections:


Many of my decorations this year were found at Michaels for 40 – 50% off!

Here is my dining room:


And close ups:


This past weekend I had the chance to visit my hubby who is acting in his first film called “The Public.” We hadn’t seen each other in two weeks so we had an amazing time:

Project: Organize Boots

My boots were all jumbled up in one of those cheap plastic containers. It came with a lid & you couldn’t see inside of it, so it hid the clutter, but getting dressed was irritating.

I’m a visual person. I like to see my options & then make a decision from there. I also blame the movie Clueless


I’ve always wanted a nice big walk-in closet that is well organized! Our home was built in 1910, so closet space was very limited back then. We converted one of our bedrooms into a closet. 

I ordered boot organizers and assembled them. That process took about 90 minutes. From there, I pulled out my vanity table, which I no longer use, and other containers that were taking up space. Here is the final result:


On the top of the shelf I have all of my accessories and my makeup. 




I also had to relocate our mirror and ironing board. We leave our ironing board set up:


The rest of the closet remained the same. Here is a peak at my side:


I’d like to add an area rug to the room, and more images on the wall around the mirror. I’ll share pics once I find the right rug. 


My shelving & accessory organizers were purchased from The Container Store and Amazon.com.