Here's a little background just to set the scene. When I was going to college, I was moving two hours away from home (Franklin, TN) to a small little college town (Murray, KY). Murray is a very small town, and at the time I went there, there was only one Wal-Mart within driving distance. If I forgot something I needed from Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, the mall, etc. I'd have to wait until my next trip home. So, I tried to get as much as possible before moving. My best friend from high school was my "suite-mate"...we had different roommates, but our rooms shared a bathroom. So, we had a little time to talk and coordinate what we were bringing. I later roomed with her, and it wasn't until my junior year that I lived on my own. As an RA at Murray State, I had the privilege of living in my own room with my own bathroom. So I started by just bringing the bare minimum, but once I got to living on my own, I needed EVERYTHING. So, if you are using this list for yourself or your own college student, you may want/need to bring it down a couple notches. Just wanted to give you that warning so this list doesn't completely overwhelm you. Ready? GO!
...to imagine that it will be any kind of cute and comfortable. But, with some creativity and hard work, you can make it unique, homey, and your own little oasis. There are a TON of great ideas out there. I've seen lots of great ideas on Pinterest for organizing and making your dorm room nice. Here are some of the ways I made mine work for me (Most of these are from when I was an RA and had my own space, but you can still transfer some ideas to a shared space):
I got the sheer single-panel curtain and beading valance on clearance at TJ Maxx. Since my window was so narrow, I only needed one, so clearance was the best place to look for cute stuff that didn't have a partner. The signs above my bed are metal...I got them at a shoppe I worked at in the summer. They are just hung with ribbon on 3M hooks. My college had an annual poster sale, which is where I got the print of the famous Wars End Kiss. I just stuck it on the wall with sticky tac.
Be creative with your room set up. Not everything has to go up against the wall. I turned my desk and put my fridge on the other side to leave more room close to my door. Any blank space on the wall should be filled with something colorful, whether it's a poster, pictures, or clothing. I used more vintage prints above my bookshelves and a beach print in the tiny space between my shelves and my closet. Put a 3M hook right inside your door so you always know where your keys will hang. I HIGHLY recommend some kind of calendar, too. I put a dry-erase one on the back of my door with two months, and couldn't have survived without it. The back of the door was also a great place to put class calendars, due dates, sports schedules, and reminders of campus events.
WHEW! That ended up being a lot longer than I expected! Hopefully it will help you college kids get started and at least inspire you to think outside the box. You CAN make it your own...you just have to be creative!