If you’re heading off to college this fall and living on campus, you’re probably in the throes of curating the perfect dorm room pieces. If you already have a roommate, you’re spending some time coordinating with them on who’s bringing the microwave and how your beds will be arranged. As the summer winds down and the countdown to classes gets shorter, chances are you’ll also be thinking about how to take a bit of home with you to school.
I was the most excited to graduate high school in Florida and start a brand new adventure at college in Ohio, but that didn’t mean I was immune to homesickness. When I started missing my family and the warm sunny days of South Florida, I was so glad for the parts of my dorm that reminded me of home.
No matter where you’ll be in the fall, we’ve got a few ideas on taking a little bit of home with you.
Five Ways to Make Your Dorm Room Feel Like Home
1. All the cozy things!
Don’t leave for college without an arsenal of cozy things. Of course, you’ll have your bed sheets, comforter and pillow, but also don’t forget to stock up on a few more cozy pieces. Some of the coziest ones you should add to your list are:
- A big, fluffy blanket (or just the one you’ve had for years that you love)
- Comfy slippers
- A robe for when temperatures dip (this one’s even monogrammed!)
- A few strands of lights
2. Lots of photos
We know you’ve got a full camera roll with all your favorite photos, but before you leave for school, have them printed! I loved having a giant collage of photos on my dorm walls every year I was in college with all my favorite people represented.
It’s also fun to pick up a few frames that go along with your new room decor and that you can put out on your desk during those late night cram sessions.
3. A few appliances
The quickest way to experience the comfort of home is to skip the college dining hall. Some days you just won’t want to trek across campus for another meal at the same spot. Stock up on a few appliances that will help you cook your favorites from the comfort of your room.
A few staples that we love (besides your classic microwave and mini fridge) are:
- An electric kettle
- A small blender
- A nice coffee pot (This one by Ninja brews hot and cold and makes lattes with an espresso setting and frother!)
- A panini press– an easy way to make the simple sandwich feel fancy!
4. Encouraging words (and some sentimental ones too)
For the days when winter break feels a million miles away, you’ll be glad you chose a few encouraging words to hang around your room. Think about words your mom or best friend always say to you to cheer you up or cheer you on. Find a few plaques with those words or, better yet, pick up a letter board to create your own sayings with.
Don’t leave behind the sentimental words. The day my parents dropped me off at college, my mom left a note for me on my desk. I read it, cried and tucked it away for the days when I missed her the most. I kept it in a special spot through four years of college and I’m so thankful for her wisdom through those special words. Gather all the kind cards and notes from your loved ones (and the ones they’ll send you in the mail during your first semester) and keep them close by for the hard days.
An easy way to keep your dorm room feeling like home is to keep it organized. You may feel tempted to let the laundry pile up or to just keep stacking more papers on your desk, but you’ll feel better in a clean and well thought out space.
Bonus: a clean space should always smell good.
Since most dorms don’t allow candles, get some air freshener (I loved Febreeze plus Gain in college), wall plug ins or diffusers to keep your space smelling good.
Perhaps the best way to keep your dorm feeling like home is to get out of there–and not in the way you’re thinking. Don’t spend all of your first few days of school holed up in your room. Get up, get out and go make some friends and memories that will last a lifetime. Join a club, find a job on campus and go to class. You’ll be thankful for a homey, cozy space to return to at the end of the day and soon you might find you love this new little home!
One of the easiest ways to make a dorm feel like home is to utilize the Bed Bath & Beyond college registry and pack and hold. Registering means you can pick out all the things you love for your new room and point graduation party guests to your list. And with Pack and Hold, if there are still a few things you need, you can buy them at your local Bed Bath & Beyond and choose to pick them up at the store closest to your new home once you arrive on campus. It’s seamless and stress free and it will make move-in day even smoother!
-Written by Sami Moss, who loved decorating her dorm with photos and a yellow comforter every year in college.
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