There’s nothing quite like going off to college: the excitement, the unknowing, that new sense of freedom. But, we know that as a parent, sending your child off to college is no easy task.
Annie recalls that when her daughter, Charlotte, went away to school, it was gut-wrenching. The only thing that made her feel better was working with her to create a dorm room that felt comfy, inviting, homelike and reflected her own personal style. If you’re anything like Annie, we know it’s important for you to be able to envision your child in their “happy place.” That’s why we’re here to help teach you exactly how to make their dorm room feel like home.
We’ve compiled a list of Annie’s tips for everything you need to build your own “happy place”—either for you, or your son or daughter going away for school:
- A mattress pad for comfort on those old, lumpy school-issue mattresses.
- Plenty of pillows that serve as perfect back, shoulder, and arm support for reading or studying in bed.
- A high-quality, durable down or down-alternative duvet insert.
- Two down or down-alternative pillows. Don’t even think about using the ones provided by the university or boarding school. For real.
- Two sheet sets; one for the bed and one in the laundry. Annie notes, “Include instructions for how often to wash and rotate the sheets. This might seem simple, but when they’re away from home, students tend not to pay attention to these details.”
- Two duvet covers, for switching up the look of the room.
- One quilt for warmer temperatures and easy wash-and-wear maintenance.
Don’t forget to confirm that any bedding you buy fits twin extra-long beds!
- At least one throw for an extra layer of warmth while sleeping, or for cozying up in the afternoon with a favorite book.
- A bunch of decorative pillows. Many students like to push their beds against the wall and line up their pillows along it, for a sofa-like effect when entertaining friends.
- A pouf or floor pillows. “Poufs are a dorm’s best friend,” Annie says. “You can use them as seats, night tables, or a place to drop your tote bag after a long day of classes. Floor pillows are great for when guests come over, and can be stashed under the bed when not in use.”
- A cute laundry basket or bag; we love the type with a hands-free carrying strap.
- A small tote bag packed and ready to go with laundry-night essentials—detergent, stain remover, fabric softener, and coins.
- Pack up a month’s worth of bath towels.
- Curtains that will add a dash of privacy, and will help soften an institutional space.
- A runner rug, if you want to break up your side of the dorm from your roomie’s, or a 4’ x 6’ rug if you want to unify it. We recommend indoor/outdoor rugs for worry-free maintenance and easy cleaning (check out our tutorial), but if your student is willing to commit to weekly vacuuming and prompt stain removal, anything goes.
- Denim Rugs are especially perfect for dorm rooms. They’re just like your favorite jeans—versatile and essential in any space. Fun fact: they’re actually made from your old favorite pair–each of these area rugs are made from recycled denim. They’re a breeze to clean, making them perfect for the inevitable dorm room disaster.
Some final things we think your student will love:
- Pack up photos of friends, family and pets–real, not virtual–to fill up their wall space.
- And don’t forget all those little extras: extra phone charger, extension cords, hangers, wastebasket, desk lamp, etc.