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How to Approach Decorating Your New Dorm

Summary: At the start of each school year it is best to decorate your dorm in a way that will help you stay both comfortable and productive. Understanding how to approach this shopping process make a big difference.

Before You Shop

It can be tough not to pick up every item that catches your eye, but there are a few things you must take into consideration before you begin purchasing for your new dorm. For starters, research online or reach out to your resident assistant (RA) to find a list of items that are not approved for dorms. Many universities prohibit certain items as safety precautions. Candles, irons, and space heaters, for example, are very practical but they are all fire hazards that can be dangerous if left unattended, especially in a snug and somewhat crowded dorm room. Many items, however, have safer alternatives that are oftentimes allowed. A mini steamer, for example, is a great alternative for an iron and it is just as efficient at getting rid of wrinkles in your clothes.

Another thing to keep in mind is how big your room will be. Dorms usually are not very spacious and are frequently shared with at least one other roommate. Keeping that in mind, try to stick to items and furniture that are essential. Bulky items will take up a lot of valuable space and limit the amount of walking room residents and guests will have.

Staying Comfortable

Regardless of whether you are pulling an all-nighter writing an essay or binge-watching the latest season of Game of Thrones, you will want to make sure you are comfortable and content in your dorm. It is crucial that whatever separates you from the ground, such as a bed or desk chair, be well-cushioned. A mattress topper with a foam cushion, for example, may be a wise investment, as it will likely make the stiff, standard dorm beds more bearable. A desk chair with proper back support will prevent you from getting aches, even after sitting in it for prolonged periods of time.

One issue that students living in dorms regularly encounter is dealing with loud noises. It is fun socializing, listening to loud music and movies, and having a fun time with others on your floor. However, when you have work to do or you need a good night’s rest, these noises can be quite bothersome. Places like The Foam Factory offer a variety of acoustic foams that can help reduce the amount of outside noise that enters your dorm, allowing you to focus more easily. Similarly, noise-cancelling headphones are also quite effective in limiting distractions, making it easier for you to work calmly and productively.


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