Setting Up the Perfect Living Space: Dorm Room Tips

Many teenagers going to college have not had to share a living space with others, and for some, adjusting to dorm life can be a little difficult at first. For people worried about residence hall living, fear not! There is so much to look forward to. Yes, sharing a room with someone you barely know may not be entirely exciting, and yes, maybe sharing shower spaces with an entire floor of people is also not particularly ideal either, but the important thing to remember is that dorm-living is going to let you get to know a lot of your peers quickly.

Before you arrive at your residence hall, you should have already contacted your roommate and introduced yourself a little, and have set up a plan for who brings what. Review the rules of your residence hall to check if things like microwaves or refrigerators are allowed, and also check the layout of your specific dorm room to see if what you are bringing will fit.

When planning out your room, plan with space in mind. If something can fit underneath/above something else, it’s best to go with that. Having a compact and organized room will help you down the road when classes become more stressful. Here are a few tips for setting up your room so that you can make the most out of the limited space.


Lofting your bed is a great way to make the most out of your limited space. Although climbing up to and down from your bed might seem like work, you will get used to it. By placing cut-up pool noodles, towels, or cloth on to the ladder steps, you can cushion the climb making it more comfortable. You can also place other furniture, like your dresser or desk, under or beside your bed to make a platform for you to use to get up and down. If you do not want to loft, consider raising your bed at least to waist height. This way you can fit bins, laundry baskets, and other things underneath.


You don’t need a full wardrobe with an assortment of outfits. Take to college what you need for that particular season, and then plan to switch out during breaks. Plan to bring a few season-appropriate casual clothes, and also a pair or two of outfits you would wear to more formal occasions. Bring athletic clothes if you plan to be active, and only bring shoes you plan on wearing regularly.


Now that you will be sharing a laundry room with a lot of other people, keeping track of your own stuff is important. Invest in two laundry baskets: one for dirty clothes, and the other for clothes you can rewear. Things like fleeces, sweatshirts, and pants can be reworn, saving both you money and the environment. Having two laundry bins also keeps your room more clean, and clothes more organized. Finally, set up a laundry routine to make sure you are doing laundry consistently.

Hook What You Can

Things like coats, hats, jackets, or towels can be hung up for easy access, saving you closet and drawer space. Hanging lights around your room, fake plants, or art can make your room more inviting and liveable.

Desk Space

Everyone has a preference for how to arrange their desk, but make sure that it is a space where you can sit down and focus on classwork. Use drawer liners to protect the inside of the desk drawers, while also making the inside more colorful and personable. Also, consider adding a plant or two on top of your desk for good vibes.

Miscellaneous Tips

These little extra tips can do a lot to make your room more pleasant and homey. Think about investing in a trash can with a lid to prevent your room from stinking up. Maybe buy a rug to cover up the hard floors, and also buy a small or cheap vacuum to have on hand. Finally, think about bringing a full-body or door mirror so that you can make sure you look ready for the day.

The most important thing about setting up your dorm room is that you set up a space that works for you. This takes coordination and communication with your roommate! Taking the initiative to set your room up right will allow you to focus on more important things as the school year gets going.