Door Room: Senior Year

It’s taken me awhile to post this year’s dorm room tour, but here it is!  I’m living in an on-campus apartment this year, but today I’m just going to share the bedroom I share with one roommate.  It’s quite small, definitely the smallest room I’ve had in my four years here.  That said, the wardrobes don’t fit in the bedroom and all 5 of us keep our wardrobes in the living room of the apartment.  It isn’t ideal, but at least the living room is big, and it works.  (Also, I apologize for the poor-quality photos- at this point I just didn’t want to wait to take better ones)
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe bed sits against the wall, and I store a bunch of stuff underneath the bed.  My dresser stands next to my bed.  I store my lotions and such on top of the dresser.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbove my bed is a photo collage that I’ve added to throughout the year.  There is a small nook between my bed and my desk, which is where I put my hamper, garbage, and yoga mat.  Above those are my whiteboards/bulletin board.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe top whiteboard/bulletin board is where I keep a bunch of inspirational quotes, as well as a countdown to my Peace Corps departure (only 103 days- eek!).  Below that is a calendar for all of my school-related stuff and some of my jewelry storage.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy desk has a double shelf on top, which I love!  On the side of my desk, I used command hooks to hang a clipboard and smaller whiteboard.  On the wall by the door is my Katie Daisy calendar- which I love!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn the shelves, I keep photos in frames, a few of my ceramics, my journals and sketches, and such.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s another view, where you can see the bulletin/whiteboards to the right.  I still want to hang something above the desk, but haven’t figured out what yet.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe top of my dresser.  For awhile, all of my lotions and such were just randomly scattered all over the top, but I finally got a little basket to corral everything.

So, there you go!  Hopefully, I can get some photos of the rest of the apartment up soon.

Junior Dorm Room: Round 2 (a.k.a. We Moved Some Stuff Around)

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I know I’ve shown photos of my junior year dorm room already, but we moved the room around a few months ago and I also changed up the walls a bit, so I decided I’d share the new-and-improved space.  In November, when the heat finally kicked on, we decided that we probably shouldn’t have our beds next to the old radiators.  The radiators get very hot to the touch and my roommate actually burnt her hand on hers one night while she was sleeping, so it just didn’t seem very safe.  I tried several ways of rearranging the room, but ultimately settled on just switching the bed and the desk.  It took a little getting used to, but I actually think I like it this way better.  It seems much more open.

2015-01-16 12.23.08 2015-01-27 15.31.39 2015-01-27 15.31.46 2015-01-27 15.31.53I moved my Starry Night poster up and over a bit and moved my memo board (the one with the ribbon) above my bulletin board/white board.  I like that I can put pictures, cards, and other mementos in a place that’s easier to see and enjoy.  My monthly calendar (mostly just for assignments) dresses up the post to the left of the bed.

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My dresser hasn’t changed all that much.  I did get a new plant though!  I helped out at a girl scout event and they one of the activities was to plant and learn how to take care of this plant (urg, I can’t remember the name of it!).  I also have a tray underneath the dresser now for wet shoes (when water mixes with road salt, it really looks icky on wood floors).  It actually just the top of one of my plastic totes, but it works.2015-01-27 15.32.21

Our amazing window seat!  Did you spot my new record player?  I got it for my birthday and I love it!2015-01-27 15.32.57 2015-01-27 15.33.12

I also put up my Big Ben poster.  I’ve had it forever (my brother gave it to me for Christmas one year), but hadn’t put it up yet this year in my dorm.  Our room is now very British (my roommate has a British flag, London collage frame, and London artwork on her side of the room).  I keep all of my textbooks to the left of the hutch and all of my journals/books for fun on the inside of the hutch.  2015-01-27 15.33.48

I know it’s not very pretty, but the box at the foot of my bed has provided much needed storage space for my records (need to put that new record player to use, after all!) and binders.  I’m hoping to pretty it up soon (any ideas?).  2015-01-27 15.34.04 2015-01-27 15.35.19 2015-01-27 15.34.24So there it is!  My rearranged dorm room.  As I said in the original post, I really love my room this year.  The windows do get pretty cold in the winter because they aren’t insulated and they don’t appear to be sealed very well, but it is totally worth the amount of sunshine we get all throughout the day.


Dorm Room Living: Organization

As a college junior, I’ve found that one of the biggest issues with living in a dorm is organization and space.  Obviously, dorm rooms aren’t very big.  You can’t alter the space, and you usually share the room.  This makes organization pretty difficult.  So I thought I’d share the ways I keep my space organized.

1. I utilize the furniture I am provided with.  All dorms (at least all the ones I’ve seen) come with a dresser of some sort and a desk.  Use them!  I’m really fortunate this year to have a larger-than-normal (for a dorm, at least) dresser, but other years, I’ve still managed to store all of my clothes in my dresser and in my closet.  My desk stores all of my office supplies, school supplies, notebooks, writing utensils, most of my board games, books, files, art supplies, stationary, and more.  In fact, the majority of things I have besides clothes and shoes are stored in or on my desk.

Desk Organization

I store my high school yearbooks, files, sketchbooks, journals, and the books I read for enjoyment (aka not textbooks) in my really large bottom drawer.  I also store my art supplies (the shoe box holds them) here, along with my DVDs and some board/card games (Mad Gab, Bananagrams, and Dutch Blitz).  Some larger odds and ends also hang out here, such as my sewing supplies and a large binder for one of my classes.

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I store my class notebooks, assignment planner, and larger sketchbooks in my second largest drawer.  I also store my tape, stabler, a flashlight, a small box of tacks, my pencil cases, and some other odds and ends in here (like my camera, some CDs, extra yarn (in the canvas tote), and extra lightbulbs).

Desk Organization

My top left drawer is where I store a lot of the smaller items.  In the desk organizer, I store all of my pens, pencils, whiteboard markers, highlighters, scissors, glue, sticky notes, erasers, staples, paper clips, and so on.  I also keep a stack of index cards, a tape measurer, some craft/office supplies, some rulers, and my sunglasses here.  the big black bag holds my drawing supplies (charcoal, etc.).

Desk OrganizerMy top right drawer is where I store all of my stationary and related items.  The plastic bin stores extra envelopes, blank white cards, stamps, and address labels.  I also keep my magnetic storage tins in here.  I try to send at least one letter or card every month, so I like to keep my writing things readily available.

2. I use my desk top and hutch to store things.

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My hutch is meant for a smaller desk, so I was able to move it over to allow for a little space for my textbooks.  I have 14 textbooks this semester, so I needed quite a bit of space to store them.  I originally stored them in the large desk drawer, but it was difficult to open the drawer because it was so heavy. This makes them more easily accessible.  I stacked them by height, but had to rearrange them a bit to prevent them from falling down.  The big contemporary art book is huge and heavy, so it works well as a bookend.

Desk Organization

In this photo you can see my textbooks to the left of the hutch.  To the right is where I store all of my loose papers.  I use a clipboard to keep them organized.

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Inside the hutch on the other side is where I store my writing utensils, markers, and colored pencils.  I keep the things I use everyday in the small pencil cup.  I made it out of the cardboard thing Glue Dots come on (I glued several together), then wrapped it with some strips of fabric leftover from making my quilt.  The large mug stores my Sharpies (It has a chip on the rim and a crack, so I can’t use it to drink out of anymore).  My colored pencils are stored in a glass mason jar and my Copic markers (on loan from my brother) are stored upright in the container they came in.

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I store my chapstick, coins, and old batteries in a souvenir shot glass I got on senior trip in Boston.  Our college does dorm storms (where they collect change for fundraisers/charity) every month or so, so it never gets too full.

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I store receipts, index cards with quotes, and cords in a wooden box on top of my hutch.

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The books, sketchbooks, and journals I use more often are also stored on top of my hutch.

3. Command hooks are awesome!  I use them to hang things in the closet, to hang my necklaces, and to provide a space for coats and jackets.

Jewelry Storage

The smaller ones are great for necklaces.  I love them because they don’t damage the walls at all.

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I use a bigger hook (it has two hooks actually) to hang the coats I wear on a daily basis.  Having a place right there to hang things helps me remember to not just throw my coat on the window seat or in one of my chairs.  The little area below is great for putting wet boots/shoes to dry.

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Ok, these aren’t command hooks, but it’s the same idea.  My closet has this bar all the way around the closet with hooks every foot or so.  I use it to store things like my winter accessories (it’s not quite cold enough for them yet, but there is snow in the forecast for tomorrow!), extra bags, backpacks, and the rest of my coats.

4. The closet is a great place to store things, in addition to clothes.

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I go to church pretty much every Sunday, so I more dressy clothes than some, which I hang in the closet.  Come spring, I’ll be student teaching, so this will actually probably need to expand a bit, but for now I have what I need.  I would recommend bringing at least one pair of slacks, some nice shirts, and one dressy dress.  Several of my shirts that hang in the closet are ones I wear on a daily basis, but that wrinkle easily.

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I got this hanging shelf on clearance freshman year and it is amazing!  I store my towels, hairdryer/straightener, and toiletry items on the shelves, and the mesh pockets on the sides are great for stocking up on extra toothpaste, medicine, etc.

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I store my washcloths in one of the mesh pockets.  I just fold them in half, then roll them up.  It makes it really easy to grab one (there are usually more in there, I took this photo on laundry day).

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My closet has a shelf above the bar, and this is where I store things like my laundry detergent, painting box, shower caddy, and a big plastic tote for random things like packaging and other things I don’t typically need.  My extra blankets are currently stored up there, too, but I’m hoping to get a basket of some sort to store them in for Christmas (well, I’ll probably buy them with the money/gift cards I get for Christmas and my birthday).  I really wish I could install more shelves- the ceiling is super tall and I feel like I’m wasting so much space.

5. Under bed space is really great for storing bigger things!  I store my suitcases (I have one rather small suitcase and several duffle bags, which I just put in the hard suitcase), and two totes beneath my bed.

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I store all of my shoes in a plastic bin.  To prevent them from getting stinky, I leave the top off.  I brought a lot more shoes with me in the past years, but this year, I really only brought the shoes I actually wear regularly (my sneakers, my hiking boots, black flats, brown flats, black heels, and sandals).

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I store all of my food-related items in another plastic bin (I keep the top on this one to prevent dust/bugs).  My dishes all go in here (don’t worry-that’s not actually margarine, it’s just the container), along with hot chocolate, tea, and any food I have that doesn’t go in the fridge.

6.  Last, but not least- scarf and belt storage.  I’ve done different things in the past.  Freshman year, I stored them in the hanging shelf in my wardrobe.  Sophomore year, I stored them in the same place, but had a plastic bucket to store them in.  This year, I store them in one of the small drawers in my dresser.

Scarf Storage

Check out my dorm rooms from freshman year, sophomore year (update here), and junior year (this year) for more ideas.  Are there any (really cheap, easy, non-permanent) ideas that I forgot?

Real Dorm Inspiration: Junior Year


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The view from the door towards my side of the room.

I am once again living in a dorm room on campus this year.  As is typical with many campuses, the upperclassmen dorms are quite a bit nicer than most freshmen dorms.  The building I am living in this year was built in the 1920s and is definitely older in style.  All of the rooms have wood floors, old windows with lots of panes, and plenty of charm (and, of course, those little quirks that come with older buildings).  No two rooms are the same, and my roommate and I definitely hit the jackpot.  We have a huge window seat, windows that span almost the entire wall, high ceilings (the room directly above us is similar in size but has much lower ceilings, so this is definitely a plus), and it’s a pretty large room.  In fact, it’s one of the nicest rooms I’ve seen in the building so far (a couple have their own bathrooms or fireplaces).  So basically what I am saying here is that I love our room :).

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The closets aren’t huge, but they do have quite a bit of vertical space (it would be nice if there were more shelves, but there there isn’t much I can do about that).  There are hooks all along the walls within the closet though, which are nice for hanging coats and bags up.  The door has this huge full-length mirror built into it, which faces inside toward the closet when the door is closed.  Unfortunately, it is very old and therefore foggy.  2014-09-24 13.39.59The room’s shape (pretty long and narrow) made it a little difficult for furniture arrangement, especially because we didn’t want to block the window seat too much.  My desk is very wide, which also complicated things.  My roommate was able to fit her desk against the wall next to her bed, but mine is bigger, so this was the arrangement I ultimately came up with.  It isn’t perfect, but it works.  At night, I just rotate my chair around to act as a nightstand and there is plenty of space for the drawers to come out and such.

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I am using the same quilt as the past two years.  I love how bright and cheerful it is and I’m glad to see it’s still holding up pretty well.  The blanket over the foot of the bed is the one I got on my trip to Peru this past spring.  It is light but pretty warm and perfect for snuggling up in or for adding a bit of warmth at night.  I also got new sheets this year.  Although the pink ones were great, pink isn’t my favorite color and they were starting to get a little stiff, so I switched them out for pale turquoise ones.
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Above my bed is my Starry Night poster.  I probably should have hung it up a bit higher since the ceilings are way higher than you can tell in this photo, but command strips are expensive, so it’s staying put.  To the right is my memory board which is already filling up quickly.
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And here is the beautiful window seat and windows!  We really need to get more pillows to make it a little comfortable.  There’s a pretty deep ledge above the window seat, and that is where we actually sit most of the time.  That way the sun shines right on you.  The wood is very slippery, so we’re trying to figure out how to prevent our pillows from sliding right off.  2014-09-24 13.41.56

You can see how the desk fits next to the bed here.  The hutch is not original to the desk, but very nice as it has a bulletin board that I have promptly filled up. 
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This is the desk.  It holds a lot of stuff in the drawers!  What appears to be the bottom two drawers is actually one really deep drawer.  I keep all of my textbooks (I have 14 this semester!), art supplies, games, and other books in the big drawer and the other drawers are filled with my folders and notebooks and other office/desk supplies.  The drawer on the right is where I store all of my supplies for writing and sending letters and notes.  2014-09-24 13.43.39 2014-09-24 13.44.08 2014-09-24 13.44.21

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My dresser is to the right of the door and MUCH larger than other ones I have had at college.  I had a lot of problems fitting all of my clothes in the closet/dresser last year, but actually have extra room this year.  The mirror above the dresser was already there.  2014-09-24 13.44.54I store my necklaces on two command hooks to the right of my dresser. The rest of my jewelry is stored in the small bone dish and a heart-shaped container that used to be my mom’s.  
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And…last but not least, my view from my bed!  It really does make me happy every time I see it!  Also, see the little puppy sitting on the ledge?  He’s pretty much the only stuffed animal I’ve ever really cared about (there’s also Spikey, the teddy bear, that I left at home).  His name is Jack and this is his first time at college.  I realized that sometimes you just need a stuffed animal to cuddle with, so I decided to bring him along.  He’s a little worse for wear (he’s missing an eye and his nose had to be reattached a long time ago because my real dog chewed it off), but he’s still in pretty good shape.

*Sources: the sheets are from Target, the pillowcases are from Walmart, I can’t remember what fabric I used when I made the quilt, turtles are from various vacations (Boston, Muir Woods in CA, Peru, and Rhode Island), ceramic bulls from Peru, all furniture provided by college, rug from Target.

Dorm Room Update: Desk Area and Wall Decorations

At the beginning of the school year, I shared pictures of my sophomore dorm room.  Since then, I have made some small updates, particularly to the desk area and on the wall above my bed.  I really like how it looks now, so I thought I’d share the updates.

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The major difference is the painting on the top shelf.  My college friend Jess, who is a art/psych double major, painted this painting and gave it to me for Christmas.  It is one of my favorite pieces in the entire room.  I actually placed it here because I needed somewhere to put it, not intending for this to be its permanent place, but I ended up loving it here.  I also added a small mountain calendar, which fit perfectly between the two electrical lines to the right of the desk.

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And here are some details of the part below:

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Some organizational tips:

1. I love using my bulletin board (above the desk) to store my jewelry.  I just used pushpins as “hooks” for my bracelets, rings, and necklaces, and used two pushpins with thin wire wrapped around to store my earrings.  Everything is easily accessible and it looks nice as well.  I also love that my jewelry doesn’t get all tangled up.

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2. The white board helps me stay organized.  I use it for ongoing to-do lists and shopping lists.

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3. I use two separate shot glasses to store my chapstick and any coin change I have.  It makes it easy to empty my pockets at night and then find them again in the morning easily.

4. The only makeup I usually wear is mascara, so I store my mascara and eyelash curler in a large glass from the Hard Rock Cafe.  It works really well and keeps my makeup very easily accessible.

The other thing I wanted to share was the “posters” that I’ve added to the wall above my bed.  I had originally put up a poster/photo collage, which I still love and has stayed up well.  However, as a college sophomore, I was in need of some added encouragement/motivation.  One of my best friends from home sent me a couple of posters she made, and one of my college friends made another poster, so I put them up so I would see them each morning first thing and at night as the last thing I see.

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They’re not perfectly centered, but I love them!

Pretty much everything used is old, so I don’t have much of a sources list.  The lamp was from Walmart, the turtle sculpture was from the gift store at Muir Woods in California, and pretty much everything else was thrifted or gifted.  The landscape painting was done by my friend Jessica Brower.