How to make your room feel cozy on a budget

By Cindy Om, Design Editor

Your room is going to be your home away from home for the next year, so it is time to start making it comfortable. I have lived in residence halls for three years and would like to say I’m an expert. Here are my tips on making your dorm feel cozy on a budget:

Move furniture around

When I moved into my dorm, I changed the original layout. I moved my desk against the wall and put my shelf in my closet. Move the furniture around to your liking. You do not have to stick with the layout. You can also request to loft your bed to different heights, I mid-lofted my bed so that I could put storage under it. I know some people who even lofted their bed to the max height. They put their desks and dressers underneath. Move and change stuff around until you are happy.

Get a mattress topper

The mattresses provided in the dorms are okay. Some people like them and others hate them. I bought a mattress topper from Amazon for $50 and it made my bed 10 times more comfy. If you are on the fence about getting a mattress topper, get one. I spent the most money on the mattress topper because I knew I would be sleeping on the mattress every day for a while. You can also get mattress toppers from Bed Bath and Beyond, Walmart and Target. I recommend looking up coupons for all of the big box stores. I chose Amazon mostly because of the free shipping.


The lighting in most dorms is not great. I recommend getting a lamp for your room. I bought a lamp that had multiple settings and lights. I would set it to a different setting depending on what I was doing. If I had to study late at night I would turn off the room light on the side of my room and use the lowest lamp setting to do work so I didn’t disturb my roommate. I bought my lamp from Walmart for under $15.

Make a collage

I’ve always had a cork board above my desk where I put photos of my friends and family, ticket stubs of concerts and sporting events and Post-It notes of funny sayings. A collage is a nice reminder of your friends and family, and what you have done.  Add whatever you want to the collage. You can get a pack of cork sheets from Walmart for less than $5 and you can also print out your photos there too.

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    Get some real plants

    One of my friends gifted me a succulent and it instantly changed my room. Before I had no plants, and with the succulent it just made my room more colorful. Succulents are great because they do not need a lot of water. You just have to water them once in a while. You can get succulents at your nearest hardware store or grocery store. You can also wait to buy a succulent or plant because there are plant sales that happen on the Main Quad throughout the semester. 

    Throw blanket

    I like to take naps, but I do not like to to mess up my sheets. I use a throw blanket as my actual blanket for naps and I also cuddle with it when I study. You can also use the throw blanket for friends if they come over.  I recommend going to TJ Maxx, Marshalls or Ross. They have tons of options for great prices. I got a blanket for $8 from TJ Maxx and it’s great quality.

    Cindy is a senior in Media.

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