Living Simply, Surviving College

Dorm Decor Ideas + a DIY

Your room is your sanctuary. Especially at college. It is where homework is done without interruption, naps are taken often and alone time is always had…in a perfect world, right?

Over my college years, I’ve shared rooms with girls who became my closest friends, and I’ve also lived in tight quarters with people who I haven’t gotten along with 100% of the time. All my experiences have led me to today. It is my senior year of college and I have been given the (absolutely wonderful) chance to live in an alternative dorm on campus that gives me the opportunity to have my own room.

Despite whether I have had to live closely in tight spaces with a best friend, a complete stranger, or on my own, I have found that when my room is clean, cozy and cute, I am the most relaxed and productive. I have also found that the way my space is decorated and organized affects my mood. There is power in owning your space–and it is not as hard as you may think!

Here are some of my best tips on making your space yours, for even the smallest of college student budgets!

1. Keep it simple.

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Neutral colors are calming and don’t overload your senses. When there is a lot going on, your brain is trying to focus on everything and then some. I recommend white bedding because of its ability to feel cool and clean. Plus, if you’re looking for a pop of color, white bedding goes with any kind of throw blanket pattern or throw pillow color.

Check out Target‘s collection of bedding for an affordable option!

 

2. Keep it affordable.

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If you are in college, you are most likely paying a whole lot for your degree, but that doesn’t mean you have to skimp out on transforming your tiny room. It’s the smallest things that make your space the coziest.

Christmas lights aren’t just for the season, they’re for making your space sparkly and magical. Get a box for under $5 and string them along your window or wall for a pretty glow that will soften up your room for the semester.

Go for the vintage-inspired globe style lighting, or for the classic Christmas light look. Both are sure to bring the perfect amount of warmth to your space without breaking the bank.

 

3. Keep it “you!”

Even though university dorms are limiting with the rules against hanging things with nails or creating holes in the walls, there are alternative ways to make your home away from home more “you!”
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Tapestries are very very trendy at the moment, but they serve a very beautiful purpose. They have the ability to add personality to a bland dorm wall with little effort (you can use thumbtacks which are approved by most university residence hall protocol. Simple tacks will do the job at keeping them in place all year long!)

And, you can almost find them anywhere!

  • $ – you can find all kinds of affordable tapestry patterns in all different colors on Amazon.com!
  • $$ – if you are willing to splurge a little,  Society6 offers a variety of unique and bold designs for a little extra cash
  • $$-$$$ – I think we can all agree that Urban Outfitters knows what they’re doing when it comes to home decor. Their tapestries do not disappoint! And, some options are pretty budget-friendly!

A Decor DIY!

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These dream-catcher-esque wall hangings add the sweetest whimsical touch to my room! Not only are they super adorable, they were insanely easy and cheap to make!

Here’s what you need to make your own:

  • Twigs
  • Twine
  • String
  • Fabric
  • Hot glue gun

First, gather three twigs around the same length (I got mine from my backyard!) then, begin connecting them together by tying a knot around both ends

Next, begin connecting them together by tying a knot around both ends and wrapping the twine around multiple times while dabbing hot glue to adhere the twigs to the twine.

After you have your twig triangle, tie string at the top of the shape and wrap loosely around the twigs.

Lastly, cut up fabric in about 2″ wide, 3′ long strips, fold in half longways and pull through loop.

Ta-da! An easy, simple, and earthy addition to your abode.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

Having a cozy space doesn’t mean it has to be costly. You can easily find cute decor items at shops like TJ Maxx, Target, or Marshalls, or even go the Amazon route to achieve a dreamy dorm.

Just refer back to these tips for the sweetest space you’ll never want to leave!

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Living Simply, Surviving College

Making Space: the (life-changing) magic of tidiness

I wanted to transition into my next phase of topics that I look forward to covering on this blog, and I thought, what better way to transition out of minimalism and living simply than to cover some thoughts and ideas on how to survive college by first starting with the basics–taking care of yourself.

As I type this, my room isn’t so much in shambles (as it can sometimes get) but there were definitely too many things on my bed which would, in turn, require too much energy of me to make space for myself on it. Bypassing that altogether I picked a nice, cozy spot on my floor (note: sarcasm).

I look around me and within a 1-foot radius, there is a pile of mugs, a gift bag, clothes, papers and a few miscellaneous items surrounding where I sit. None of these items belong where they reside on my floor at the present time. But I have too many things on my to-do list that sit above cleaning my space.

I have come to realize that my room reflects my brain. If my room is unorganized, I am unorganized. If my brain is going in a million different directions, my stuff is in a million different (wrong) places all over my tiny room.

I have always been a pretty neat and tidy person. I enjoy being able to have a place for all my things. But if there is one thing I have learned is that throughout my transitions in college, is that I am now the main person of contact in looking after myself. Sounds silly, but for a while there, we depend on our parents to keep us in line as we live under their roof, but there comes a time where we break away from the nest and venture off on our own–and we need to be there for ourselves.

I have discovered the life-changing magic of tidying up.

Like I said, I am a pretty organized person with her moments of minimal destruction, but here’s a little boost to those who may not be so neat. I present the magical formula to staying tidy! (The outcome really is magical!!!)

Here are some of the lessons I take away from being tidy (and others have taken notice of this magical feeling too!)

  1. I own my things, my things don’t own me, but I should respect the things that I own because I (or someone I love) worked hard to provide them for me!
  2. There is a right way and a wrong way to store my things–Marie Kondo believes that if you put things in a way you can easily access and view them, you will come to notice what you value and what you don’t. (There is even a specific way she instructs how to fold your clothes–you can even just simply Google it).
  3. I have come to really love the things that I have. Marie Kondo teaches you to only display things in your space that “spark joy.” Everything else goes.

Trust me. In college, there is a lot going on in your life already. Let your room (however small it may be) be a place of rest and peace and a place that reflects you.

Make your bed. Fold your clothes. Display what you love. Light a candle. Breathe.

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