Dorm shopping is a lot of fun. I remember spending weeks and even months collecting all of the items I took to school with me. Many items I purchased were from places like Target and Bed Bath and Beyond, which means that a lot of girls had the same things that I did. When I went to school and saw that numerous girls on my floor had the same desk storage containers as I did I immediately wanted to buy different things. But, I figured that buying new things would cost too much, so instead I figured that I can paint and decorate the storage containers I already have.

I’m really creative so having a clean space to decorate is really exciting. Last year for my desk area I had wood shelves. Here’s a picture of my desk from first semester:

Second semester I changed it up a bit. I bought flower pots (I’m really into floral patterns) and mason jars and put my utensils inside of them. I didn’t take any pictures of them, so here are some pictures of a flower pot and mason jar I painted for my desk this year:






My favorite decorations on my walls last year were the pictures I hung from Command hook to Command hook by twine and clothes pins. Here’s an example of what I did last year:


This year I have sea shell lights and I plan on hanging pictures on them via clothespins too.
There are other ways to dress up your dorm room too! Pinterest is a really great resource for finding ideas for different decorating ideas. Here are some more ideas!

1. As mentioned in an article by TP staffer Chris Kurien, you can glue flowers or shells onto the frame of your mirror. Another idea is to modge podge pieces of fabric or stationary onto your mirror. If you can only find the mirror in a certain color you can always spray paint it or paint it by hand. This is a really great option if you are crafty and want to add designs to the frame of your mirror!

2. To add a more home-y feel to your room you can always make a headboard for your bed. This is really easy to do. All you have to do is buy fabric from your local craft store and a large piece of cardboard. Cut the cardboard out in the shape of a headboard and then take a staple gun and staple the fabric to the cardboard.

3. Rather than bringing your jewelry box to school with you, use small plastic drawers from Walmart or Target to store your jewelry. Fill the drawers with foam from the craft store and place your jewelry inside. Rather than having plain plastic drawers in your room, decorate them with stickers, tape, or paint!

4. Whether you want to decorate your dorm room or not is up to you. Make sure you check with your school’s policy on destruction to your walls. Policies might even differ from dorm to dorm. When I first saw my room there was a nail in my wall, many holes, and even part of the wall was missing. I left it the same way and was never charged. This seems to be the norm at my school, but it is definitely not like that at others.

5. At the same time, make sure that you do not take too many things with you. I took WAY too many items with me to school and I thought that since I was so close to home if I did not need anything my family could just come up and take it with them the next time they visited. I always forgot to give them the things I did not need. It is so much better to start out with less and then buy the things you need as the semester progresses. Good luck!

*All pictures are mine

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the author

Sarah Wiszniak is a student at the University of Connecticut. She is a college writer and video blogger for The Prospect, a national video blogger for, and has her own college admissions blog. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys pondering political theory, crafting, and taking meaningless Buzzfeed quizzes. Her favorite flowers are daisies and she plans on ruling Washington, D.C. one day.

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