Technology Tips


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If you and your roommate are both into gaming, it might make sense to have two separate television screens.  It might seem unnecessary at first, but it gives you both the freedom to have constant access to a TV.  This will definitely reduce tension among roommates who would have otherwise fought over it every day.




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If your room has a drop down ceiling, you can wire speakers through the ceiling and mount the speakers on the opposite wall from the television.  This creates surround sound for the perfect cinematic experience.  The Samsung 1000 watt Home Theatre System is featured in this picture.




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An interesting feature in my room is a pair of Water Dancing Speakers.  They don’t create enough base to satisfy as a sole source of sound.  However, if you plug in these speakers as well as another pair of speakers with base, there is great sound as well as entertainment.





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You can use an HDMI cord to hook your computer up to a TV.  This is great for watching movies saved on your computer or on Netflix.  Also, if you want to use a TV as a monitor for your computer, you can use an HDMI cord and use a wireless keyboard.





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If you have your speakers set up to accommodate your television instead of your computer or vice versa, it can be a hassle to switch the speakers over to the other device.  A 1/8 inch jack audio line allows you to switch the speakers back and forth between devices easily.





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Since the limited amount and poor placement of plugs is often a problem in dorm rooms, surge protectors can be extremely useful.  It can be convenient to plug similar products into one surge protector.  I have all of my lights plugged into one so that as soon as I flip its switch, all of my lights come on.




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Sometimes, plugs are not in the place you want them to be.  Extension cords eliminate this problem and allow you to have full freedom when determining where to place things in your room.  In my school, we are not allowed to have two prong extension cords.  If you are not sure if they are allowed at your school, you might want to take some three prong extension cords as well.


Bathroom Necessities

IMG_5170 (768x1024) A shower caddy can be extremely helpful when multiple people are sharing one bathroom.  Only a limited amount of products can fit on the slippery little shelves provided by small showers.  Unless you enjoy your products constantly falling onto the floor, I suggest you buy a shower caddy.






IMG_4527 (768x1024)A unique and convenient way to store cleaning products is with an over the toilet storage stand.  It doesn’t take up any space in the bathroom, and it provides a variety of storage area.  When we built our stand, it was not sturdy enough to hold heavy products.  We used string to tie the base around the back of the toilet to make it more sturdy.






IMG_4490 (682x1024)A shower curtain with matching rugs will make your bathroom look nice.  Your shower probably comes with a shower curtain, but you can also buy a decorative one to put on the outside of it to make to bathroom look personalized.







IMG_4532 (768x1024)Storage drawers provides separate storage areas for each individual sharing the bathroom.  It also keeps belongings private and out of sight to those passing through the bathroom.







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If you and your roommates want to separate bathroom cleaning duties, you can hang a calendar dry erase board.  Write names next to duties on the particular days of the week they should be completed.  Then, that person can check off the chore when it’s done.





IMG_4557 (768x1024)A shower floor mat can be a lifesaver when it comes to showering.  The bottom of the shower can become a slippery when its wet, and a shower floor mat helps you keep your grip (as well as your dignity).







IMG_4487 (768x1024)An air freshener is always a welcomed feature in a bathroom.








Seating Session

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Seating is one of the most important factors to consider because it applies to everyone who sets foot in your room.  Comfortable seating is needed to create a room your peers will actually want to visit and spend time in.

Using your bed as a couch might be the comfiest and most convenient option.  Beds are definitely long enough to seat multiple people. You wouldn’t have to pay for a couch but would still get the community that comes from friends sitting together.  The only downfall about a bed doubling as a couch is that your bedspread and covers will get messed up and pushed around whenever people sit on them.  Also, a low bed might take up more floor space than you are willing to give up in such a cramped space.





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Futons are cheap and common in dorm rooms.  They can be easily transported from home to college and can fit in the limited space of a dorm room.  If you think futons are too small or uncomfortable, you can splurge and get an actual couch if you have a way to transport it to school and back.



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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA couch isn’t particularly always necessary for a dorm room since there is such limited space.  Sometimes the best option is the have portable chairs.  While chairs don’t bring together as many people as a couch would, they are perfectly cozy and sufficient.  If you are like me and you move your room around a lot, it can sometimes be easier to come up with designs when there is not a couch to factor in.

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Home Suite Home

IMG_5178 (1024x768)There comes a time when every college student needs to get away from the stress of college life.  For some, going home on an occasional weekend is not a possibility.  The best way to find home amidst the craziness of college is to add little homey touches to your room design.

An actual couch provides a comfy, homey feel for your room.




IMG_4547 (1024x681)Rugs can provide a refreshing change from the unattractive floors offered by a dorm room.  They can also hide any carpet stains left by your room’s previous owners.





IMG_4494 (681x1024)Nothing screams home sweet home like the smell of coffee brewing in the morning or relaxing with a hot cup of tea before bed.  A coffee maker has the potential to sooth your most stressful college moments within minutes.  It can bring blissful memories of home to your everyday hectic college schedule.  Whether drinking coffee is a necessary for your morning routine or it just really helps you concentrate on schoolwork, a coffee maker is essential for a dorm room.  They are fairly inexpensive and keep you from buying overpriced drinks at your local café. For some great homemade tea recipes, visit this website.





IMG_4521 (1024x768)Blankets and pillows make a room seem soft and inviting.  Blankets are extremely convenient in the winter and pillows add comfort to the room for your guests.  A throw can be placed over a couch or chair to add a subtle splash of color and softness.  When you curl up on your couch with a blanket and a cup of tea, you can unwind and temporarily forget about the pile of homework you haven’t gotten to yet.




IMG_4536 (683x1024)Having soft, warm slippers to put on when you roll out of bed in the morning can be comforting.  A robe can also add comfort to your daily showering routine.







IMG_4503 (1024x684) (2)What can bring a homey feel to your room better than pictures of home?  Having a collection of picture frames to showcase loved ones on a daily basis will make you feel right at home.  If you don’t have any picture frames, you can use sticky tack to mount pictures directly onto your wall without the possibility of damaging the paint.  If you have a strip of wood lining the top of your wall like I do, you can hang pictures using thin metal wires and mini clothespins.

DSCN1902 (768x1024)DSCN1727 (768x1024)Warm lighting is necessary to replace the typical harsh fluorescent overhead lights.  Since fluorescent lighting will most likely serve as a daily reminder of your dreary living conditions, I suggest you look into alternate lighting opportunities. Pole lamps supply soft, warm lighting while brightening up your room.  Check out my blog entry titled, “Light it Up” for more details.

Organization is a MUST

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When you are working with the extremely limited space of a dorm room, it’s especially hard to stay organized!  Maybe you’re just not an organized person, or maybe your roommate is the one with the problem.  Either way, the solution is simple.  Surround your room with organization tricks that will force you to stay organized (for the most part).

I have a really hard time keeping all of my dishes clean. They would always be cluttering up the top of my sink and grossing people out as soon as they walked into my room.  Once one of the mugs perched on top of my sink broke, I decided that something had to change.  I got one of the little fabric bins I had brought with me and placed it underneath the sink.  Now when I have dirty dishes, my room still looks clean!  When the bin gets full, I’m forced to wash my dishes since I can’t add any more.


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Closets in dorm rooms don’t provide much space for the essentials.  However, there are some simple storage items you can buy in order to increase your organization and storage space.  A simple milk crate perched on its side can create an instant shelf for the bottom of your closet.




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Shoe racks , hanging shoe racks, and boot racks can prevent loose shoes from taking up the whole bottom of your closet.





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Do you have a hard time keeping track of your remotes? The easy solution is actually as simple as Velcro.  All you have to do is add a strip to the wall and a strip to your remote.  It can also act as a conversation starter since it isn’t common to see a remote sticking to the wall.






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My room would have little creative options if it weren’t for Command Hooks.  I use them to hang paintings, towels, washcloths, coats, and decorations.







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I always climb into bed only to realize that I need something.  A bedside caddy organizer allows you to store necessities (tissues, lip balm, phone, etc.) right next to your bed for your convenience.





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A door hanging hook rack is extremely useful.  I use it to hang my book bag, scarves, and coats.







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I use JM New York Beauty Cases to organize my drawers.  This isn’t a common way to organize drawers, but I strongly suggest you try it out.  There are four storage compartments in every bag.  They can be removed from the bag altogether so that you can place them into drawers.  If you want to give your drawers a cleaner look, keep the bag closed up and only open it when you need something from it.


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Dorm rooms don’t supply enough drawer space for much of anything.  From what I’ve seen, Storage Organizer Drawers are used in mostly every room I’ve seen.  They are extremely convenient as well as cheap.





Light it Up!

The atmosphere of your room is centered around the way lights are incorporated into the design.  Usually, dorm rooms come equipped with fluorescent overhead lights that make everything look like the inside of a hospital.  In order to avoid awkward lighting, you have to take matters into your own hands.


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From my experience, a pole lamp is essential for every dorm room.  It provides a simple way to create yellowish, mood lighting for all situations. I put a color light bulb at the top of my pole lamp to add a splash of color to the room.



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This LED Strip Light Lamp Kit with remote control is cheap and is sure to wow anyone who ventures into your room.  With its variety of colors and settings, it can create all kinds of moods for your room.


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Puzzle Lights are completely unique and cast interesting shadows around a room. You can personalize the shape, size, and color of a Puzzle Light.  I have one of mine hung in front of the window to show it off at night.



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Turning on a hidden black light is a unique way to get your peers into a party mood.  A black light doesn’t take up much space since it can easily fit under a bed or couch.





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Green and Red Laser Projector Lights can entertain college students for hours after a long day.




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Rope lights and Christmas lights can create a distinct outline of the room while setting a relaxing tone. Who doesn’t want it to be the holidays all year round?




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Water Dancing Speakers are one of the main features in my room people can’t help but ask about.  When you plug them into a computer and turn on music, they light up with lasers and bounce water to the beat of the song.  It’s bizarre but extremely fun to watch!





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Disco Ball Lights are classic and never go out of style.




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Having a ton of lights to turn on when you walk into your room can be frustrating and time consuming.  I strongly suggest that you purchase a Wireless Remote Wall Outlet.  It can can turn on multiple lights with the touch of a button!



Decorating on a Tight Budget



You don’t have to buy tons of decorations for your dorm room to make it unique and fun.  A lot of decorations can be made with only a few cheap purchases.

This is a homemade melted crayon art piece with a few modifications. I used a canvas, some old crayons, cotton balls, glue, and paper letters and hearts.  Instead of keeping the crayons at the top of canvas like in typical crayon art, I removed the crayons and replaced them with cotton balls to create a cloudy affect.  After everything was dry, I glued hearts and letters over top of the melted crayons.


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Don’t forget to think outside of the box!  Decorating your room should reflect your personality and interests.  Display something that others wouldn’t normally consider when decorating their own dorms.  For example, I show off a unique display of sparkling grape juice in my room because it reminds me of Christmas, my favorite holiday.  The personal touches in your room show others what you value.  Don’t be afraid to be different.

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Hanging flags  and posters is an easy way to cover up wall space.



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This painting was really easy to make and there was really no money or thought put into it.  I just tried out some splatter art on a spare canvas I had at home.  After everything was dry, I added glitter glue to the painting in random places and tied a mesh ribbon around it.




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Who wants to look at the underside of the top bunk?  Just take an extra sheet and drape it through the bars of the top bunk to add some drama and hide those ugly springs.



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Instead of buying an expensive curtain, I just used a sheet to separate my sink and closet area from my room.  In order to fit the sheet onto a curtain rod, I let out the hem at the top of the sheet.





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Since I had a single room this semester, I had a spare desk chair in my room.  At first, it was a total eyesore.  However, after I draped a pink sheet and a couple scarves on it, everyone was asking about my cool chair.






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An unexpected decoration can just be a simple slinky.  Drape it somewhere in your room for a fun vibe.