It's August already! And it's that time of year again when the kids will be going back to school! For a lot parents, you're breathing a sigh of relief that the kids will be back in school again. But if you have a son or daughter who is going away to college for the first time, you may be feeling some trepidation. Most teenagers are anxious for a new adventure and to be free from their parent's watchful eye. However, they may also be feeling a little uneasy about being away from home for the first time. If this is the case and your teenager wants to make his/her dorm room more cozy, here are a few tips on making their new abode feel more like home:
1. Purchase a twin-sized comforter in their favorite color or design -- most dorm room beds are extra-long twin beds;
2. Buy rod pocket curtains for the windows (of course, color-coordinated with the bed comforter!);
3. Buy a spring curtain rod (it fits inside the window frame - no need to drill holes in the window frame or wall); it that does not work, consider purchasing regular curtain rods.
4. Picture board (e.g., French memo board) to post personal pictures -- it's more attractive than a cork board;
5. Find out if there's a desk/chair already in the room; if not, purchase a computer desk that is light weight but has some storage;
6. Comfortable office/desk chair - your teenager will be spending many hours in it;
7. Large, fluffy pillows to lounge on - for the bed or the floor – they’ll probably be hosting their friends;
8. Two lamps -- one for the bedside table and one for the desk;
9. Bring some framed posters - your teenager's favorites!
10. Colorful canvas or wicker baskets or storage cubes for extra storage;4
11. Small bedside table – don’t forget the clock and a lamp;
12. Add a comfy throw for the bed - it's great to curl up with!
13. One or two soft, color-coordinated throw rugs - keeps the room from feeling too institutional and feels great under foot!
14. To inject more personality into the room -- and if you're feeling creative and energized - find out if you can paint the dorm room; if so, stick with pastel colors that can be covered easily with one coat of paint.
15. Or - if your teenager loves wallpaper or borders - buy wall decals that are easy to apply and easy to remove. I know that Target carries them in the “home” section.
Additionally, don't forget the staple items such as: bed pillows, sheets, towels, extra blankets, clothes hangers, drawer liners, an iron and ironing board, alarm clock, wastebasket, mirror, extension cord, power strip, a laundry basket and supplies, a shower bucket and toiletries, a backpack, coffee maker, TV, low-power microwave, small refrigerator and a computer.
According to some colleges, items to be left at home when living on campus include halogen lamps, loft beds, candles and incense, fireworks, space heaters, toaster ovens, hot plates, cinder blocks, pets (except small fish), street signs and paint ball guns.
Finally, my advice for new college students: Have fun decorating your dorm room --- you'll be spending a lot of time in it and you’ll want it to feel "homey" and reflect your personal tastes. Happy Decorating – and be sure to check out my Facebook page!