Courtesy of UCR Housing

Perhaps the most exciting part of being admitted into your college of choice is making the decision to dorm. Dorming is one of the most yearned-for aspects of college by many first-year students because it epitomizes the college experience: it allows for meeting new people, going to social events and having the first moment of your life where you are truly independent. 

Though you are no longer living with your family and are probably living with at least one or two other roommates, every dorm room needs a sense of home to make it feel like it is your room. Here are a few tips on how to organize your dorm room so that it feels like home while also allowing you to utilize your space most efficiently. 


Of course, every bedroom needs a comfortable set of blankets and pillows. Arguably, what you choose to have on your bed will dictate the overall vibe of your room since it’s the space’s focal point. The rest of your decor will revolve around your bedding choices, so make sure you choose something that is both comfortable and appeals to your tastes. A fun idea would be to try finding blankets and pillows that are reversible so that you can switch between both sides as you get tired of one. A recommendation would be to also invest in a small throw blanket to place at the end of your bed or hang over your chair. Throw blankets will provide you with extra warmth during those rare cold nights in Riverside, and they’re also comfortable to snuggle up with as you watch a movie. 


The trickiest part of designing your dorm room is making it look nice while still having enough space for all of your belongings. Thankfully, there are tons of choices for storage compartments that allow you to do just that. I recommend buying both storage bins to place anywhere in your room and storage trays that can be more easily stored by sliding them under your bed or in your closet. A must-have for any dorm room is an over-the-door storage hanger. These can be used to store your shoes, any clothing that might not fit inside of your closet or any miscellaneous items. Another option to maximize storage is to look for multifunctional furniture when going on your shopping spree. For example, an item as simple as a multipurpose ottoman where you can open the lid and store items inside can do a lot for your dorm room. 


This is where you should allow your creativity to roam free so that you can get your dorm room to represent who you are as a person. Even though most students will probably be looking at Tik-Tok or Pinterest to get inspiration for this category, here are some quick ideas for convenience. Considering most dorm halls won’t allow you to drill any holes into the walls, command strips and hooks are essentials for hanging anything up. I’d recommend hanging up posters, pictures or artwork you love. Fairy lights are currently trendy and would look aesthetically pleasing around your bed or on your walls. Another idea for decor is to bring in a few potted plants. These would bring some greenery and life into your dorm, and caring for them could also be therapeutic. I also strongly recommend bringing in any comfort items that you have to make your room feel more like home, whether that be stuffed plushies, some of your favorite books or any other objects.

Clever item hacks

Dorm life is really about trying to find any way possible to make your experience most comfortable and hassle free. Since most dorm halls share a bathroom, it would behoove you to purchase a shower caddy where you can store all of your toiletries. Another item that will keep you friendly with your roommates is a clip light. It can be clipped anywhere and will be extremely useful during those late nights where you need to stay up to do homework while you try your best to not disturb your sleeping roommates. Using the same clip method, buying a handheld clip fan will make Riverside heat waves all the more tolerable. Last but not least, buying a bedside shelf to hook onto the edge of your bed frame will provide you with easily-accessible space for your bedside essentials. 

Hopefully, some of these tips will be useful for you!