By Deborah J. Sergeant
Most dormitories come with the basic necessities — a bed, desk and chair. Cozy up your room with a few accessories that will make your dorm life more comfortable and fun.
• Seating. Unless you want to sit only on a hard, non-upholstered chair (the only kind your dorm probably provides), bring along a cushy chair. Keep in mind the space constraints of your dorm and select something that won’t gobble up floor space. Bean bag chairs or micro bead seats are good examples. For some people, large pillows — in addition to their bed pillow — can be placed against the wall to turn their bed into a sort-of couch.
• Window treatments. You may get basic blinds, but a swag or sheer panel can add panache to your otherwise drab windows and reduce sound in your room.
• Fabric wall hangings, like a tapestry or throw with an appealing design, also muffle racket. But also bring some photos from home, special posters, removable wall stickers or framed art to personalize your space.
• Throw rugs. Many dorms are tiled. But even with typical low-pile carpeting, a shag throw rug can make your floor cozier and cut down on echoes, too.
• Lighting. Whether you study in bed or at the desk, a personal lamp can help you see better. Clip-on lamps offer the most versatility. Additional lighting such as a floor lamp and patio lights can brighten your room, too.
• Power strip. With roommates vying for outlets, you’ll need a power strip with a surge protector.
• Kitchen gear. A small microwave, coffee pot, hot plate and mini fridge (make sure these are allowed) can make your dorm feel more like home. In addition, a place setting of microwavable dishes, a small pot and some flatware will come in handy.
• Wastebasket, shower caddy, closed organizer, desk organizer. These items will help corral clutter in your room.
• Layered bedding. Some roommates like it hot. Others like it cold. With layered bedding, you’re prepared.
• Bed curtains. Whether window curtains, shower curtains or actual bed curtains, a large, grommeted fabric panel to hang around your bed can give you a sense of privacy for studying and sleeping.
• Bedside furniture. You’ll need a spot for your phone and alarm clock, so choose a small bookcase or table with storage underneath. Since space is limited, maximize what you have.
• Houseplants. You give them carbon dioxide, they give you oxygen. Plus, they look good, too.
Check your school’s policy on what appliances and furniture you’re permitted to bring, how to hang items on the walls, and what items the dorm includes.