At this time of year you’ll see lots of blogs, articles, YouTube videos and TV show segments about great ways for college freshmen to decorate their new dorm rooms. Which is brilliant, as what is usually a tiny space can present more of a decor and organizational challenge than you might imagine until you are faced with it.

The problem with all of this advice however is that most of it is aimed at young women’s’ dorm rooms. What about the young men? Should they live in a characterless box littered with clutter for four years just because they are not interested in strings of fairy lights?

The obvious answer is no. While thinking about decorating his dorm might not be on the top of his summer to-do list, that doesn’t mean that your high school grad doesn’t want a cool room. When he’s away at school, he’ll want his space to feel as homey as possible too, as whether they admit it or not, guys get just as homesick as girls when they go off to college.

With all of this in mind – and in the interests of design equality – here are some great dorm decorating tips for guys.

Choose a Versatile Bedding Theme That Will Last

Your child will be spending at least half of his time for the next four years living in a dorm room. That may not be the same room for all four years (in fact it rarely is) and he will obviously change a lot himself over the course of his college career as well.

In the interests of practicality and longevity, when shopping for bedding keep color palettes neutral and patterns simple. Opt for bedding that meets that cozy quota and has a classic style or color that will stand the test of time. Reversible bedding is perfect for versatility – when he gets bored of one side, it’s easy to flip it over.

Think Practical Decor

Little decorative knick-knacks can make a big visual impact, but in a boy’s dorm, they tend to get broken or shoved to the side to make room for things like homework or dirty laundry. Shop for decorative display items so everything has a place. That way you don’t waste money on something that won’t make it to his second semester.

Shop for a set of hooks so he can display things he uses every day. Maybe he has an awesome collection of hats or he likes to change his backpack based on his mood. Command Hooks are great for this as they hold a lot but won’t damage the walls (nails and screws are banned from most dorm walls) and can be purchased in a number of different styles and colors.

You should also add a sturdy tray somewhere in the room – on top of a dresser is a great spot – to act a well-appointed surface to display a collection of shower, hair or beard accessories. Using everyday items to decorate not only keeps them off the floor, but also makes use of what he already has and likes.

Help Him Create a Hangout Space

When visitors hit the average male student’s dorm room often anything that can be used as a chair will be, and that can be messy AND uncomfortable.

To make things better, help your child make his dorm a cozy space by adding simple seating options like bean bag chairs and floor cushions. Since space is an issue, these are perfect, as they can be tucked away when not in use and easily arranged in different ways according to just how many people he is entertaining.

Help Him Stay Organized

Is the average dorm room – whether it belongs to a guy or a girl – going to stay neat and tidy all the time? It’s doubtful. But you can help keep the clutter at bay with good organizational options. He’ll need drawer and closet organizers to make the most of his space and keep clothes and personal items in order.

Storage containers that easily slide under his bed are perfect for miscellaneous belongings that don’t fit anywhere else. A desktop organizer is another great piece of functional decor for a dorm and as he can choose one that matches his organizational style as well as his personal aesthetic.

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Taya Wright, Owner and Principal at Just Organized by Taya
Just Organized by Taya, led by RESA Certified Home Stager and Professional Organizer Taya Wright, offers home staging and home and life organization services, in addition to interior styling services to residents across the Greater Houston area.
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