For a parent, that can feel like putting your child on a roller coaster and waving as their car leaves the platform. We can only do our best to help them prepare.
If your child is headed for a college dormitory this fall, here is a list of tips we’ve compiled to help make the most of the new, cozy quarters – and transform his or her home away from home without breaking the bank.
Get On a Roll With Washi Tape
Washi tape belongs in every dorm decorator’s toolbox. Washi tape, is decorative Japanese tape made from natural fibers. It looks like masking tape but much prettier. You can decorate cork boards, mirrors, furniture or just about anything without damaging it. And you can find it at most craft stores. Here are more great ideas for decorating with Washi tape.
Turn Walls From White to Wow
Think of those dorm walls as a blank canvas for art, photos, memorabilia and more. Don’t have a budget for framing? Drape pieces of twine on the wall and use old fashioned wooden clothes pins to hang pics of old and new friends, the family dog -- and maybe even the parents. Make it personal with one big wooden letter (sold at many craft stores). For many more ways to spruce up the walls, look here.
Turn Something Old Into Something New
Add charm and character with upcycling. With found treasures from garage sales, you can turn old shutters into a bulletin board, a great place to organize folders and notes … or a stack of vintage suitcases can become a nightstand. You might even find used small furniture items you can repaint with bright colors.
Learn more about upcycling ideas here.
Shed Some Light On the Subject
Dorms generally have utilitarian lighting. But you can add some flair to lamps and more with a few creative touches. Start by breaking out that Washi tape on a lampshade. Or even repurpose a strand of white holiday pin lights and drape them around mirrors or windows. You can even make your own novelty flower lights. Want even more great ideas? Check these out.
5 Simple, Cost-saving Ways to Organize
Organizational skills are key to college success and it can start in the dorm room. Here are some budget-friendly ideas:
- Think outside the box. Use decorative trunks that are one part décor and one part storage. You can get them super cheap then paint and decorate them to reflect your very own style. Check out some of these ideas.
- Pillow talk. When you’re low on space, nothing makes storing sheets easier and more compact than using the pillow case for that particular set of sheets.
- Rise and conquer. The tried-and-true trick of using under-the-bed storage. Not enough room under there for so much as a sheet of paper? No problem … get some risers, elevate to the desired height, and slip boxes and baskets filled with anything and everything you need but can’t find a spot for.
- Behind closed doors. No storage war can be won without the behind-the-door hanging shoe rack. Sure, they started as holders for shoes but the options are endless. School supplies. Cleaning goods. Munchies. You name it, there’s a good chance the shoe bag has a spot for it. Here’s even more great proof that these organizers are a shoe in.
- The can-do caddy. That shower caddy no longer has to be confined to the bathroom. It’s perfect for anything from notepads and noshes, to textbooks and technology.
Dorm Room Cleaning 101
As moving day draws near and you’re doing your marathon back-to-school shopping, don’t skip the household cleaning goods. When it comes to bang for your buck, your best bet is often the dollar store or warehouse clubs. Think your new student will have too much to keep track of to remember to clean? Here’s a simple guide as well as a printable schedule. And for those of us who aren’t well versed in laundering, here’s a cheat sheet for that, too.
Pass along these tips to your favorite future college student courtesy of the Home Matters Team.