Dorm Room Decorating Tips

Hello, World.

One of things I miss most about college is decorating a dorm room. While I absolutely love my house in Virginia and wouldn’t change how I decorated my room, I treated dorm rooms like blank slates. I loved that you could change a few simple details and feel like you had a whole new room. So, today I am here with my best advice for making a home in your dorm room! There are many things that can transform the often small space that is a dorm room into a cozy home that you will enjoy returning to at the end of a long study day.

Making your dorm room

Photo by Priscilla du Preez via Unsplash 

One || Less is more. I think the only thing that didn’t work for me in a dorm room was the space…obviously. On-campus housing typically offers pretty tight quarters, unless you live in an apartment style room (and even still there are space issues). The best thing you can do to feel at home without feeling claustrophobic is maximizing space. How do you do this? Well, you pick what you are willing to sacrifice space for, and then save space everywhere else. Saving space means maximizing space. In order to maximize space, you should try to figure out ways to create dual-functionality. I used to have desk in my room that was a desk for most of the day, and a makeup /get ready table in the morning and evening. However, I fought clutter by storing my “get ready” materials (hair brushes, curling irons, blow dryer, makeup, etc.) under my bed or in my bottom desk drawer.

Two || Make it your own with the largest items. If you’re unsure how to bring your personality out or make yourself more comfortable, I advocate choosing pieces that speak to you and that will be clearly displayed. For example, spend a little extra time finding bedding that resembles your personality. If you are happy and cheerful, pick a vibrant duvet that you won’t get sick of in a few months. Or, if you are more simple and understated, a classic white eyelet may be a better choice. I think there a a few spaces you can bring your personality out: the bed and the desk. Let’s be honest, the bed and the desk are basically most of the dorm room. You may have other spaces, but the bed and the desk are the main areas. Create a collage or gallery wall above your bed (while conforming to all wall hanging rules). Add a vase of flowers to your bookshelf!

Three || Shop the sale. A lot of popular stores have back to school specials, and I definitely recommend taking advantage of the sales. PB Teen always has great bedding bundles. While the price may seem a little steep, they are built to last you four years, so it’s well worth it! Follow the stores you like who sell dorm furnishings or accessories, and try to track when they offer sales! Another pro tip: many places discount their items after peak move-in season, so if there is something you like, but don’t need immediately, wait and by the middle of September, it’ll probably be on sale.

Four || Consult your roommate. There may be decoration ideas that you think are brilliant, but your roommate may think are not brilliant. For example, I wanted to buy a rug for my dorm room my sophomore year. I thought it’d be a chic, grown-up addition to the room. I asked my roommate, however, before I made a purchase. I knew there was a possibility that my rug would go into her space, and I didn’t know if she’d be okay with a rug. She gave me the green light, so I ordered a rug. However, we quickly learned part of the reason it was so cheap is because it shed… everywhere. I ended up removing the rug at Christmas because we were both sick of our stuff being covered in tan colors shavings (it was one of those neutral  knot rugs). The point here is make sure your roommate is okay with your design choices, especially when they may affect her space!

I plan to do a “get dorm room ready with me” post soon where I will style a few dorm rooms. In the meantime, what are your favorite places to shop? If you’re beginning college, what kind of decorations are you hoping to do?

Truly,
Callie leigh

Tips For Being Productive While Living Alone

Hello, World.

If there is one thing I’ve learned about living alone, it’s that sometimes it’s hard to be productive. When I’m alone sometimes, it’s easier to convince myself to watch one more episode of Scandal than it is to begin reading for class tomorrow. It’s also easier to convince myself to just go to bed than it is to finish homework. I usually promise I’ll finish it in the morning, and just head to bed (granted, I usually do). Perhaps the worst part of living alone? Laziness. It’s so much easier to be lazy than be productive when living alone, which is kind of weird. I thought living alone I’d be less distracted than when I lived with someone, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Since I lived with someone for two years, now I’m used to studying and hanging out with someone. Being productive alone has become a difficulty. So, I wanted to share some tips and tricks for making sure you’re maintaining a productive and efficient lifestyle once you live alone after being used to roommates (or when you’re living totally alone for the first time).
how to be productive while living alonephoto via

Tip #1: Create an organized and clean workspace.
If there is one thing I find HIGHLY distracting, it’s a messy room when I’m trying to work. I’m a little OCD, and so when I try to homework in a room with an unmade bed, dirty dishes, and a messy desk, I cannot concentrate for the life of me. I usually will take an hour or so in order to maintain concentration.

Tip #2: Make a to-do list, and reward yourself for crossing tasks off.
I’m the queen of to-do lists. I make them daily, and I make multiple. I usually make a personal to-do list (i.e., clean room, fold laundry, do dishes, go grocery shopping), and a professional (i.e., finish homework, type up daily response, organize Google calendar, email management). Once you finish an item, eat a piece of chocolate, or take a ten minute break. Do something to keep your motivation present, but also ensures you’re not studying from dawn til dusk.

Tip #3: Listen to music with headphones.
While I’m typically tempted to blast music in my room, since I live alone, I’ve realized that I simply concentrate better with headphones. I think it is partially owed to the fact that I listened to music with headphones when I lived with someone, and now just associate headphones with productivity and serious study. So, I use headphones when I really need to concentrate and study. It keeps me focused on what I’m doing.

Tip #4: Set your coffee pot to make coffee ten or fifteen minutes before you get up.
Since you may not have someone else to get up and have coffee with, or who is already up, make a new incentive to wake up early. I used to hate sleeping in if my roommate was already awake because I felt like I was missing out, or like they couldn’t easily navigate the room since I was sleeping. I also feel like having a roommate makes getting up easier because you have someone to get breakfast with, have coffee with, etc. However, living alone makes it difficult to wake up and get moving. Make coffee before you get up…the smell will be incentive to get out of bed.

Tip #5: Work out in the evenings.
I usually have a ton of energy in the evenings, so sometimes I’ll do some yoga or some form of exercise to get energy out. I don’t have someone to talk to, or work out with, so doing something simple can reduce my energy level, and make me refocus on schoolwork. For the record, I’m still working on incorporating working out into my everyday life.

How do you stay productive living alone?

Truly,
Callie leigh