Decorating your dorm room is even more fun than going to college (well, for me it was haha!) If decorating your dorm seems daunting, overwhelming, and everything in between, this guide will break everything down step by step so you can actually ENJOY decorating your dorm room and make the most out of the process.
How to Decorate Your College Dorm Room
Step 1: Make a List of Everything You Need
The first step in the process of transforming your dorm room is making a list of everything you need. No matter how big, or small. Grab a notebook and start jotting down anything you can think of that you may need.
Will this be a long list? Yes, most likely. My brain likes to work in categories so when I start making my lists, I begin by dividing the room into sections.
For your dorm room, here’s what those sections may look like:
This helps you to put all of your focus on one specific area at a time so you’ll be less likely to forget anything!
Want a free printable dorm decorating checklist?
Step 2: Create a budget
With any decorating project, you want to make sure you are going into it with a budget set. Everyone’s budget will vary, but you don’t have to have an extravagant budget for a super cute dorm room!
My budget for decorating my dorm room was $600 my freshman year and my parents agreed to pay for half of my expenses.
For a rule of thumb, I’d recommend not setting a budget any less than $400-$500 so that you have some wiggle room and flexibility to really make your dorm room your own.
Pro tip: You don’t have to get everything at once! You can space things out 1-3 months after moving in.
Step 3: Make a mood board
Now we’ve made it to the fun part! Head to Pinterest to start creating a mood board of photos that represent what you want your dorm room to look like.
As you pin to your board, you will most likely start to recognize a consistent vibe and aesthetic between all of the photos.
Next, download your top 5-10 favorite pictures from your board and put them into Canva, PicMonkey, or Photoshop to make a collage.
You’re going to want to reach for this collage when planning what decorations you want to buy, and when planning the overall style of your room.
Related: Popular Interior Design Styles Explained
Step 4: Reach out to your roommate
If you will be having a roommate this year, it’s time to reach out to them and get them in the loop if you haven’t already. If you happen to already know your roommate, you can make the process even more fun by doing steps 1-3 with them!
Be sure to share ideas and mood boards to make sure that both of you guys are on the same page about what you want your dorm room to look like!
Step 5: Put Together an Action Plan
Alright, it’s time to get this train moving girl! Creating an action plan will help keep you on track throughout the decorating process. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself when putting together your action plan:
1. What do I need to buy
2. When I am a going shopping?
3. What stores do I want to shop at?
4. Who is buying what (if you are collaborating with a roommate)
Download a Dorm Room Decorating Action Plan Below!
Now that you’ve learned how to decorate your dorm, check out this post for all things dorm room organization!
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