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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How To Survive Your Dorm Room - Bed

The How To Survive Your Dorm Room saga continues! I've already shared how to survive your bathroom and closet, and now it's time for the fun part…your actual room! There's so much I can talk about, so I'm going to split this part of the series into two posts! Part 1: How To Survive Your Dorm Room - Bed. Stay posted for Part 2 (How To Survive Your Dorm Room - Everything Else)!

Your bed is one of the most important pieces in your dorm room, decoration and storage wise. Most people decorate their rooms around the bed, because it is the most noticeable piece in a dorm room. Here's how to make the most of your dorm room bed, starting from the basics:

1. Mattress pad
This is probably the most important (and overlooked) piece of bedding that you need. It doesn't matter how cute your bed looks if it's not comfortable to sleep on. Your mattress pad is the one thing that I recommend splurging on! You want to get the most comfortable thing you can! Dorm mattresses are not comfortable, in case you were wondering. I decided to go the cheap route and buy just a plain old mattress topper that I thought would be ok (note: it was not a Tempurpedic or any fancy brand). I was W-R-O-N-G! I barely slept for an entire week until my parents could bring me another one. My new mattress pad was a Laura Ashley Fiberbed, and it was like sleeping on top of a giant down pillow! My roommate, who had the same one, equated it to "being surrounded by little, tiny angels hugging you and telling you not to get out of bed." So, the moral of the story is don't be cheap like I was, and go ahead and buy a good mattress pad. Don't forget your mattress protector while you're at it!

2. Sheets
I bought every single cute set of sheets that was not outrageously expensive. Problem numero uno was that I didn't need ten sets of sheets. Problem numero dos was that I bought mainly twin size sheets, which was a big issue because I didn't realize that my mattress was a twin XL. Luckily, a friend bought my regular twin sheets because they would fit her bed. That being said, before you buy bedding check what size bed you will have! A good rule of thumb is to have at least two sets of sheets: one on your bed, and one for a spare/to change out when you wash your other ones. I had three sets of sheets, just because I liked to change it up a bit. Changing out your sheets is the easiest and usually cheapest way to change up your bedding if you're looking for something new!

3. Bedding
A comforter or duvet is going to be the best way to express yourself in your dorm room. This is usually the first thing people will notice when they come in your room, and it ultimately needs to be something that you absolutely love. You're going to be seeing a lot of your bedspread, so make sure it is something that you're not going to get tired of. My favorite color is blue, but when shopping for bed spreads I stayed away from bright, loud colors and patterns because I knew I wanted something calm and simple. Another great idea is to get a reversible bedspread! Mine is blue/white chevron on one side, and another chevron pattern with different colors on the other side. So, whenever I get tired of one side, I can easily change it to the other side for something different. 

4. Pillows 
Your pillow should follow the same rule as your mattress pad. Make sure you get something comfortable that you will be able to get a good night's sleep with! You'll also need another pillow for your sham, and decorative pillows if you want! I hate sleeping with a lot of pillows and stuff on my bed, so I kept my pillows to a minimum. I had one pillow in a sham, the pillow that I slept on, a giant floor pillow (that I used as a backrest when I wasn't sleeping), and two decorative pillows. Just keep in mind that you have to keep the pillows somewhere if you don't keep them on your bed. 

5. Storage
Your bed is one of the most underestimated places to store all of your stuff. I was able to store most of my stuff that would not fit in my closet under my bed. At my school we have adjustable bed frames, so I raised it to the highest setting, which was the perfect height to put white plastic pullout drawers underneath my bed. I had two wide ones, and one narrow one. Because my bed was all the way against a wall, I kept these right at the front for easier access. I put things that I didn't necessarily need often (like the box to my printer and duffel bags) behind these bins. In one bin I kept towels, washcloths, and sheets. In another I kept food, tumbler cups, tupperware bowls, utensils, etc. You can use drawers like this store anything and everything!

6. Bedskirt
If you want to hide what all you store under your bed, a bedskirt is the best solution! Instead of specially ordering a bedskirt or making my own, I used the one that came with my bedding set. Since you could only see one side of my bed, I folded the bedskirt in half and staggered it to create a "ruffle". To keep the bedskirt from falling down, I safety pinned it to the bed frame. By creatively using my bedskirt this way, I saved myself time and money by not having to make my own!

7. Headboard
A headboard isn't essential, but definitely makes your dorm room feel a little more homey. My roommate and I didn't use actual headboards, but hung up wall decor to give the visual effect of a headboard. You can also make your own by following one of the DIYs on Pinterest! This year I'm getting an actual headboard made from Artist Tree! Be sure to check back in August for pictures!

8. Bedside table
This is something that I didn't even think about until I moved in! Luckily, my roommate moved in before me and had bought a set of small tables, so she let me use one as my night stand. This isn't something I would qualify as a necessity, but it is great to keep an alarm clock and bottle of water on. If you don't want to buy a bedside table, or even if you're on the top bunk, check out this Bedside Storage Caddy!

All of the pictures posted are from my dorm my freshman year. I'll be living in the dorms again my sophomore year, and I can't wait to post pictures of my new room! Check back in August to see it…you're not going to want to miss it! ;) Like my dorm room? Have any other storage ideas? Headed to college soon? Leave me a comment and tell me!

Love my monogram and my owl? Find the monogram here and the owl here or here!


  1. Your room is so cute! This series is so helpful. It would have been really useful for my college days!


  2. These are great tips!!!!!!! I'll definitely use them because I'm starting college in the fall!!!!!!!!!!


    1. Thanks Itunu! Good luck this fall! Be on the lookout for more How To Survive Your Dorm Room posts and I'd love to see some pictures of your dorm/apt once you move in!

  3. Where did you get your comforter?! It is so cute!

    1. Thanks Missy! I got it at Kohl's last year. It's actually reversible so the online picture shows a different chevron pattern, but in stores they had this side showing!

  4. I love this blog! I literally look at it all the time because I'm starting college next month (: thanks for all the tips (:

    1. Thanks so much for reading Serena! It means the world to me! I hope all of the tips help, and I'd love to hear any tips that you learn once you start school! Good luck this fall!

  5. Thank you for sharing those helpful tips! It can be hard to sleep comfortably after having a stressful day, especially if your bed is quite bumpy and rough to begin with. I would suggest that you get a comfortable mattress pad, so that you'll sleep more soundly, and your back won't get hurt in the process. You will be using it for long while, so it would be great if you could invest in one.

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  9. The bedding I got for this school year is almost the exact same as yours. It's a teal chevron on one side, and the other side is a gray chevron. The gray has a thinner design with more lines of chevron. I'm absolutely in love with it. I can't wait to get it on my bed! Thank you for all of your wonderful posts! They're so helpful. I'm always over prepared so seeing these definitely helps me a lot.

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