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How to Make Your Dorm Room Feel Like Home

Posted by on Sunday, December 9, 2018 in Commons, Commons, Family, Freshman Life, General Information, Housing.

Dorm room shopping is one of the most memorable and exciting parts of starting your college journey; everyone remembers their first dorm room and all the fun they had shopping for just the right things to put in it.  Having the opportunity to decorate a space that is (almost) all your own is a big task, and with all the Pinterest and Instagram dorm room inspiration pages, it can quickly become overwhelming.

College packing lists are great for making sure you have all the necessary items like bedsheets and laundry detergent, but they may not have all the things that you’ll need to make your dorm truly feel like home. After a long day of classes and studying, the first thing you’ll want to do is come back to a place where you can finally unwind and let go of that 15-page paper that you stayed up all night writing. Here are a few items that my friends and I have put in our rooms to give them that extra touch of home.

  1. A lamp! Dorm room lighting is harsh and late at night, those bright lights can be blinding. Adding a lamp gives your room a softer source of light to help you relax at night.
  2. A rug! Trust me, those tile floors are the absolute worst early in the morning; especially in the winter time.
  • Sidemode: Don’t let anyone fool you, it still gets cold in Nashville. You’ll need all your winter gear. Bundle up!
  1. Pictures from home! Being able to look up on your wall and see all your friends and family smiling back at you is sometimes all you need after a long day; especially since it may be a while before you get to see them again.

    A picture of one of my best friend’s “Photo Wall”. She would add pictures throughout the year to remember special moments.
  2. Air freshener! Small spaces tend to get dingy and if you eat snacks or other meals in the room it’s sure to start smelly a little dingy, so an air freshener is definitely a necessity. I personally bought the same air freshener that my parents buy for our home, just to give my room an extra touch of home.
  3. Plants! This also goes along with helping keep your room smelling fresh and clean. I have two small plants in my room this year and I love them so much. Being a plant mom is so fun, even if it is an extra responsibility.

    My plants the day I first got them! They were a free gift from a Kissam event which makes them extra special.
  4. Extra pillows and blankets! It’s inevitable that the group of friends that you make freshman year will have a favorite room to hang out in. If it’s your room then it’s nice to have extra pillows and blankets to offer your friends, and if it’s not, you’ll be glad that you brought your own to your friends’ room. I promise the embarrassment of walking across commons with a blanket will quickly fade.
  5. Your favorite books and board games! You’ll be glad you have these on those rainy Friday nights when there’s no choice but to stay in. Get a group of friends together and have a game night, or spend a nice night cozied up with your favorite novel.

    Two of my absolute favorite books. Every now and then I’ll read them as a study break- no shame!
  • Confession Time: I definitely bring my favorite childhood book with me every year, and even though I might not read it, I like to know it’s close.


This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s a start! You know yourself best, and you know just exactly what you’ll need to really make Commons feel like home. So, before you leave your real home for good, take one last look around and consider some of the things you may want to have with you to remind you of where you’ve come from!

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