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Style > Decor

10 “Do’s” and “Don’ts” for Dorm Items and Decor

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bowling Green chapter.

Choosing what to bring to your dorm can be so hard! There are so many items targeted at college students that are extremely unnecessary (and take up a lot of space). As a second-year student living on-campus again, I have learned that there are many must-have items that are worth the hype, but there are also items that should just stay at home!

Do – Decorate your space with memories

It can be extremely hard to move on-campus freshman year. If you are a homebody like me, it can be hard to leave home and live in a new environment. Something that really helped me acclimate to living in my dorm was surrounding myself with pictures and items that reminded me of people, things I did or fun memories of home! This is a great (and affordable) way to make your dorm feel more like home!

DO – Make decor for your room

A great way to get creative and save money while decorating your dorm is to create your own decor! Some of my favorite decor in my dorm I’ve made myself. Some easy crafts to spice up your dorm are macramé plant hangers, beaded curtains, dream catchers and garlands!

Do – USe alternative lighting

Let’s be real, the over-head, fluorescent lighting in dorms is terrible in all ways. Fluorescent lights often cause headaches, can induce stress and aren’t cute. Using ambient lighting such as lamps or fairy lights help create a chill and relaxing vibe for your space!

Do – Get an Essential Oil Diffuser

Because dorms are an extreme fire hazard, candle-lovers (myself included) can’t use them in their beloved space. Dorms can get smelly so without candles, what are you supposed to do? Buy an essential oil diffuser! Essential oil diffusers leave an amazing smell in your dorm without fire. They can be affordable or luxury items depending on the style and brand but they leave your dorm smelling amazing!

Do – Go thriFTing for dorm decor

One of the best and most affordable ways to get cute and unique decor for your dorm is to thrift it! By buying second-hand items you are getting something more unique for your space. Some great things to thrift for your dorm are glassware, vases, rugs, baskets, wicker and more!

Don’t – Bring a t.V.

While living on-campus my freshman year I debated whether I should bring a T.V. numerous times but I always came to the same conclusion; it’s a giant waste of space. “Table-top” space in a dorm is very limited, putting a T.V. on a stand or dresser wastes a lot of that space. T.Vs are also very loud and not necessary if you have streaming services available to you on your computer.

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Don’t – Bring an excessive amount of pillows and blankets

Pillows and blankets are soft, cozy, and make your room feel like home but, they take up a crazy amount of space! Pillows and blankets take up valuable space on your very tiny twin bed. I suggest bringing no more than two pillows and blankets each!

Don’t – Bring tons of clothes

One of my biggest dorm mistakes as a freshman was bringing tons of clothes. Whether you have a university-provided closet or armoire, it is going to be extremely small. I suggest bringing basics that will be versatile and can be worn in a variety of ways!

Don’t – Bring lots of dishware

Storage space is extremely limited in a dorm so having tons of dishware is not practical. Most students will have a very intensive dining plan their freshman year so dishware in dorms should be very limited. One of my most useful pieces of dishware is mug sets! They can be used for both bowls and cups and are very affordable!

Don’t – Bring a Printer

Although having a personal printer may seem incredibly useful, it’s really not. Having your own printer is just another waste of space especially when universities have many printers around that come at little to no cost to students!

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Haley Muter

Bowling Green '25

Hi! My name is Haley Muter! I am a chapter leader for HC at BGSU! I am a sophmore majoring in middle-childhood education, specifically language arts and social studies. I am also minoring in psychology. I write about many topics under the sun but, my favorite topics to write about are mental health, music, and environment-friendly things!