Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back to School!

Dorm living is a tight squeeze, but a fun one. It's a challenge to organize a lot of stuff into a tiny space. You have to utilize every inch of space to make it work well. I had lots of under the bed storage, small (very small!) pieces of furniture and lots of places to hang things and hide things on the wall. Shoes were my biggest problem with space. My only solution was a giant rubbermaid box that I had to dig through all the time. When I was in college at Union University, pre-tornado days when the campus looked completely different, we had a nice desk space with shelves that were definitely utilized for books and other gadgets I needed but was also spiced up with some picture frames. Instead of curtains on the windows, I used one big curtain over my closet, which was actually just a cut out square with a rack. I could hide messes behind that curtain easily! I also used cute, flat storage boxes around the small ledge at the ceiling for storage. Use every inch if you have to, but tuck it away in boxes!
When going to college, your dorm room needs to be your sanctuary and comfort. It's a great place to crash and study at the same time. I found that having a rug on the floor made the room seem a little less like a dorm room, and covering the wall with photos and artwork helped as well. When I was a freshman, I chose a bright pink and orange color scheme, and then as college went on, I just added different colors. While I cringe at my color scheme now, it was still fun and youthful. Don't spend a lot on bedding, because once you get in the real world, your tastes will change. Plus, I'm sure you won't be sleeping on an extra-long twin mattress once you graduate. However, do invest in pieces that can grow with you, like some great shelving units, accent pillows, small pieces of furniture or artwork. College is the perfect time to express yourself in your own space, so be practical but have fun with it. A little bit of quirky is a good thing. Go for colors you probably wouldn't want in your future bachelorette (or bachelor, gents, I am not forgetting you) pad or newlywed abode, like my hot pink and orange palette.
If I were to go to college and do the dorm scene again, these would be my choices (all from Urban Outfitters):




This turquoise is a soothing yet punchy color and the frills are perfectly girly for this stage of life. It can even go with you into an apartment after college and toned down with more grown-up neutrals.




A colorful rug is a must for a tiny space, it just adds a little bit of homeyness. Try to avoid pale rugs though, because it can get dirty very fast. Have a box of baking soda on hand for spot cleaning.




Pillows are a comfort and a cute way to block the air from windows, prop up a book comfortably and of course, sleep (if you have time for that)




Small spaces require small furniture, so make sure you find something that has good storage space. Look at thrift stores for a good shaped piece and spray paint it a happy color.




Wall art and a light all in one! I am loving big marquee letters right now. This is definitely an investment that will look cool in your house or apartment later on.




I wish I had this catch-all when I was in college because with the hooks, space for gadgets and memo board, it is such a great organizing accessory. The wood is timeless too.




Another great wood piece, this is a nice little shelf for goodies and storage.




I adore this over the door vanity, it is the perfect little space to put makeup on.




Mom isn't there to do your laundry anymore. Once this frilly little number is full, it's time to gather your quarters and monitor the washer and dryers so no one throws your nice clean undies on the floor. At least you'll have a cute laundry bag while doing so.




There is always something to be plugged up on a computer it seems, so the extra USB ports are a necessity. Why not make it a piece of artwork too? This will still look fun on your desktop when it's not being used.

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