For many entering freshman, college is the first time in a long time that they have to share a room with someone else. Freshman dorms are notoriously cramped and uncomfortable, which makes them seem impossible to decorate. Here are ten ways to make your closet-sized dorm room more comfortable and more creative. The key is to creating a dorm layout that is both affordable and will maximize space, specifically with multi-function items.

Storage Sofas

It’s a pretty common occurrence to have a lot of people in a room only supplied with comfortable seating for two. The options usually are: sit on the ground or sit on the beds, which are not always close to the ground or a place you want your friends to sit. Since the other major problem of college dorm rooms is an overflow of clothes, books, and school supplies. Why not kill two birds with one stone and create a hollow storage unit that could also be used for seating. The most basic construction of this type is hollow ottoman sold by stores such Storage OttomanCredit: dormco.comas Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Pottery Barn. These footrests are so versatile they can be used for not only storage and seating, but also as a place to step when climbing into a tall bed or loft. Another option is to build your own by layering a mattress pad or futon over a trunk and fitting it with body pillows and blankets. Save some money on buying separate furniture for comfort and make space for storage with a few easy touches.

Frugal and Functional Furniture 

The great thing about being in college, is that you have the freedom to create your own furniture and as cheaply as possible without anyone judging your interior design. Since bookshelves are usually a highly demanded item by college dorm inhabitants, getting them for less or even creating them you is a great alternative. For inexpensive shelving and other types of common wood furniture you can try shopping online for specifically unfinished items or check out local thrift stores for value deals. The best thing for building your own shelving is buying cheap plastic or metal storage units that are stackable. For a retro look and very inexpensive storage units, try asking local grocery stores and the like for extra plastic crates. Some versions of these crates can actually be interlocked horizontally as well as vertically, which make it very easy to build a shelf to your exact dimensions with no trouble. You can either glue the cratesStorage CrateCredit: together, or glue strips of Velcro onto the sides so that they can be taken apart and put back together easily. Also, instead of buying a privacy screen, hang a shower curtain between desks or under a lofted bed to create a nice study area.  

Artistic Applications 

There are many ways to make your own dorm decorations for very low prices but still make your room look great:

Make Your Own Posters

Buy cheap frames from outlet stores or even antique stores, print your favorite posters on high-quality photo paper, and frame them yourself. Posters are not always cheap and framing costs are even higher, so this method is great for students looking for a cheap alternative. You can also create cool posters by making word clouds of your favorite songs, quotes, or anything else you can think of. is a free word cloud creator that has a variety of styles and colors to customize your word clouds which you can print off theWord CloudCredit: website as well.Using shawls, wall hangings, and flags are often used as decoration in dorm rooms. If you can’t afford to buy this kind of art, you can make your own by tie-dying an old sheet or splattering it in different colors of paint.



Easy Room Decor

Mood LightsCredit:

Another great idea is to create your own dry erase or chalkboards using special paints that are sold at Home Depot or any similar stores. You can use this paint to either paint on wooden or metal panels to make your own dry erase or chalkboards. You can also create cool lighting for your room with your favorite recycled glass bottles. Simply fill the empty glass bottle with water and then leave  hi-liter in the bottle (without the cap) for a few days. When you remove the hi-liter, the water will be stained the color of the ink; hi-liters come in neon pink, neon purple, neon green, neon blue, neon yellow, and neon orange. To really display the colored water, place string Christmas lights on the surface of the shelf where the bottles are displayed. When the lights are turned on, the bottles will appear to light up in whatever color of ink you used. This sort of “mood-lighting” is in high demand by students who are in need of relaxation away from the strong-fluorescent lights of the classroom.

De-Clutter Your Space

The reason college dorm rooms often appear so cramped is because of the accumulation of clothes, books, food, and whatever else that builds up over time. Buy a garment rack for people to hang their coats, hats, and backpacks on when they enter the room instead of throwing them on the floor. You can also buy over-the-door racks for hanging coats, your laundry hamper, mirrors and more. Another tip is to buy a full-sized garbage can instead of a miniature one. Even though the larger cans take up more space, there is a lot of trash to throw away on a regular basis this will reduce trips taking the garbage bags out. 

College Dorm