Decorating with Caution: Sprucing up your dorm without disobeying the rules

These genius tricks will beautify your dorm without landing you in the RA’s office

JULIA MESSEGEE, Evergreen reporter

Are you frustrated with dorm décor rules? Have you stabbed a thumbtack into the wall and then nonchalantly remembered, “Oh, crap! This isn’t allowed!”? Fortunately, you can discover some sneaky ways to decorate your dorm here!

First up, tape! Considerably the biggest necessity, tape can fix almost anything. Make sure your room décor is lightweight! This will eliminate the need for thumbtacks and other wall destroyers. If you purchase, for example, the faux vines from Amazon, you can effortlessly tape them to the wall! Trust me, I’ve tried. I promise they won’t fall!

Command hooks, command hooks and more command hooks! I can’t stress how amazing these are. Obviously, don’t try to hang your gigantic 100 lb. air plant from one; maybe Command Hooks can withstand this, but the Command Hook adhesive will likely fail while stuck to the inconvenient material most dorm walls consist of.

In my experience, the heavier a decoration is, the longer you want to let the Command Hook sit and dry. Detailed instructions are provided in the Command Hook packaging. Some awesome choices for small decorations are the mini clips. For heavier decorations, try the utility hooks.

Of course, there are many options between these, and based on the size and shape of your decoration, you will need to adjust the category of Command Hooks you use! Make sure you analyze what your decoration will be hung from. For example, try to match the shape of your lightweight painting clip with the shape of the Command Hook.

LED light strips are, of course, something you already thought of but something I decided to mention anyway. Strips with strong adhesive backing are unlikely to come barreling off the ceiling in the middle of the night while you’re sleeping.

Besides LED light strips, there are other practical dorm lighting options that give you the most bang for your buck without a (BANG!) fine in the mail informing you of your forbidden decorating practices. Try a search for light projectors on Amazon! No, I’m not promoting companies!

If you opt for string lights, guarantee they are equipped with a lengthy cord so you can access any outlet (I prefer the word receptacle) in the room.

Purchasing string lights that don’t require batteries will make your life much easier. However, if you want your room to be brighter than most futures, buy an extensive power strip so you can connect multiple sources!

Ignore the first paragraph for a minute, or how long it normally takes you to read a paragraph. Thumbtacks are perfect if, like my dorm, some walls consist of carpet-like material. Don’t call me a hypocrite; I know I used a negative thumbtack scenario in the first paragraph but ignore it while you study this paragraph.

Are you in tears because your dorm walls are overflowing with décor and you feel hopeless about adding more? Well, don’t fear! I have two tips that may save you!

Scour your room for any crevices and ledges. Once these beauties are located, start piling up the décor! To provide a thoughtful example, there are two dog plushies stuffed behind the window curtain rod in my dorm which gaze down at me while I sleep. Not creepy whatsoever!

Speaking of plushies, you can add blankets and even more plushies to your bed! These probably won’t get in your way, unless your bed starts looking like a mountain and less like a…bed.

On the topic of décor which doesn’t get in your way, rugs are a perfect option to spruce up your room without taking up space! You can conveniently shove them under bed legs and such.

My final and best tip for you is to utilize the Dollar Store (they are now the Dollar Tree, I guess, but I don’t like it). Dollar Tree décor is usually lightweight and cheap! However, there are many décor options that don’t look cheap… you just have to search the store and find what fits your style!

Disclaimer: do not sue me if you acknowledge my suggestions without acknowledging the rules your dorm has established! These are all tips, but ensure you check the requirements your dorm building mandates before attempting my genius ideas.

Get renovating, my aspiring interior designers!