If you’re headed off to college for the first time, adjusting to the smaller space of dorm living can be a big wakeup call. To ensure you don’t make the same mistakes I did—four different Buddha desk trinkets—are not necessary, I’ve rounded up my favorite DIYs to make your new room feel like home. And for those of you not in PSYCH 101, these tips also work for smaller-scale living. Let’s get started!
1. Keep your dirty clothes out of sight and off the ground with this embroidery hoop laundry hamper that hangs behind the door.
2. Create some customized shelving on a budget with this easy DIY for a milk crate storage table.
3. Upgrade a plain full-length mirror with some eye-catching gold leaf.
4. This PVC pipe laptop stand is a bright and bold way to maintain good posture at your desk.
5. Warm up plain flooring (and upcycle your old t-shirts) with a mini customized shag rug.
6. Not all accessories are best stored on regular clothes hangers. Attach shower curtain hooks onto them for easier storage of scarves, belts and more.
7. Make sure you always have a comfy place for guests to rest with this cushy floor pillow.
8. Inspiration boards keep you motivated. If you’re constantly switching up your style, whip up this changeable photo display from an old window.
9. Plastic storage bins are always affordable, but they’re not very interesting looking. This DIY provides an easy way to upgrade and customize them!
10. Bring some freshness indoors! Customize cheap terra cotta pots into beautiful planters for your room.
11. Keep cords organized and out of sight with this tidy charging station.
12. Everyone has the cliche “college” posters. Try to mix it up by creating some custom canvas art to really bring those boring white walls to life.
13. A warming or chilling eye mask can help you adjust to sleeping in a new space (and block out any unwanted light from your roomies up late studying).
14. All you need is cardboard and fabric to make a headboard that will immediately upgrade a standard dorm bed.
15. If you don’t have a side table (or are stuck on the top bunk) this bedside caddy keeps your nighttime necessities within arm’s reach.
16. No student should suffer through dining hall food all the time. Make this recipe holder to keep easy-to-make meals close at hand.
17. Cover clipboards in fun fabric to easily swap out important memos or notes above your desk.
18. Who likes having to drag stuff out from under the bed? With a rolling storage bin, everything you need is tucked away but still useable.
19. Free up desk space without damaging college property with these clip-on desk organizers.
20. Finally, it’s easy to feel homesick when you’re away at school. Collages like this Instagram photo tutorial are a fun way of remembering your friends and family.
Heading to college should be an exciting experience, so we hope this has alleviated some of the stress. If you have any other favorite dorm life DIYs you’d like to share, let us know in the comments!