Home away from home

Personalizing a dorm room cheaply and cheerfully

A student makes her room feel like home by hanging up a poster in East Hall at SAIT in Calgary on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016.(Photo by Dawn Gibson/ SAIT)

A student makes her room feel like home by hanging up a poster in East Hall at SAIT in Calgary on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016.(Photo by Dawn Gibson/ SAIT)

Living in residence is a new and exciting experience for students with new surroundings and new studies.

With a few DIY tricks, and budget savvy advice for students, one can personalize their room so they can feel at home on campus.

The most recommended item to bring to residence is pictures of friends, family and loved ones so it doesn’t feel completely lonely.

Jodie Willis, a second-year business administration student majoring in finances who lives in residence, said, “When bringing stuff from home, don’t bring everything and don’t over pack, or else your room would be too cluttered.”

By having sentimental photos of family and friends in picture frames, it creates a sense of comfort and security. This makes one feel like their dorm is like home away from home, said Willis.

Keeping clutter under control is also very important, especially in a small living space. Use organizational boxes and storage bins to keep clutter accessible, but conveniently out of sight.

First-year architectural technology student, Rachel Robertson shares the same opinion. “I brought with me photos of friends, lights that I hung in my room and paintings.”

Rearranging furniture in one’s dorm room can reflect the same layout that they would have at home. For example, one could move the bed to where they had it in their old room.

This is a technique that some students, such as Robertson, use to make their rooms feel more familiar.

To stay on budget, Robertson, who is originally from Manitoba, held off on buying necessities for her dorm room until she came to Calgary, because of Alberta’s lower sales tax and the anticipated back-to-school sales.

Robertson got deals at Bed Bath & Beyond and was able to stay within her budget.

Some students get crafty when it comes to decorating their room. Pinterest, a content sharing website that allows users to ‘pin’ images, is a popular resource for dorm decorating tips.

Robertson’s advice to prospective students that wish to live on campus is to decorate their room. “[Personalize it] to make it more comfortable and warm for yourself.”

Here are three quick DIY tips and tricks

  1. If a dorm bed does not have a head board, one could easily make their own out of cardboard, tacks and fabric, using hot glue to put it all together.
  2. Take strands of lights from the dollar store and hang them on the wall like a clothesline, tying the ends to hooks, creating a warm atmosphere in the room.
  3. Clothespins on the strand of lights can be used to hang different photos or decorations.
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