So you've moved into your dorm and discovered it's not quite the open expanse you had hoped for. Even if you were prepared, your room likely feels tiny. Small dorm rooms are a reality of college life, like shower sandals and solo cups, but you don't have to feel like a sardine! In fact, you don't have to feel like any type of fish. You can be any animal you like, just by following these easy tips for making your small space look and feel larger.
Cut The Crap
This is easy, right? Simply having less stuff will give you more actual space to move around in. Remember: you only have one room in college. Pack accordingly. Do you really need your entire collection of National Geographics dating back to 1970 (with the exception of February 1982, which you could never find despite months spent searching on eBay)? Think about what you're actually going to use while you're at school. For tips on what's essential and what you can leave behind, be sure to read all our advice about what to bring to college.
Now that you've cut the clutter, start consolidating. If your school allows it (or even if they don't... shhhh) you might consider lofting your bed (you can learn How to Construct a Loft Bed right here on DormDelicious). Now, you can put your dresser or desk under your bed. Even if you can only lift your bed up on risers you should do it, so you can stash stuff under the bed. Unless it's the National Geographics. You need to send those home... now.
Push It Out
Pushing all your furniture against the walls will you give you a big space in the center of the room. Resist the urge to have your bed stick straight out into the center of the room. I see the bruises on your shins. It's not working out, accept it and move on. You can also throw a nice big rug in the center of the room so you and your friends can sit in a circle and play drinking games pass that doobie sing campfire songs.
Light It Up
I mean the room. Light up the room. A lighter room appears larger, so invest in a floor lamp or two to complement the oh-so-understated fluorescent glow provided generously by your university. One of those 5-bulb numbers is good because it has a couple of brightness settings. You can also go light in your color scheme all over the room. Light colored bedding and curtains will make the room seem larger and more airy. Sorry, your dreams of the perfect gothic bedroom are ruined. Next year...
Pause to Reflect
Well-placed mirrors can make a room feel more open. Arranging small mirrors in a pattern on the wall can be a creative alternative to that Bob Marley poster you've been pining for. You know, the one that everybody else has? Just don't throw a mirror up on the ceiling, unless that's your thing. Actually, don't do it even if it is your thing.