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Spartan Cribs: The Do’s and Don’ts of Dorm Decor

March 13, 2023
Abby's bed in her dorm room

You’ve been admitted into your college of choice, you’ve made the Pinterest board, and your shopping list is written. Your vision for your room is finally coming together! But, how do you know if what you have on your shopping list is ACTUALLY what you should bring? Some of our current students are ready to share their best decorating tips. Keep reading to hear what they have to say!

The Do’s of Dorm Decor

Lighting is key!

Khushi Iyer ‘24 says that “soft lighting is key” and suggests students “add some fun lamps because it’ll make the space more inviting.” Lots of York College students will hang up string lights, or bring in floor lamps instead of using the overhead light in their room.

Patrick Keogh ’23 says that “LED lights are a must” when creating the perfect “vibe” in your room. Grab a strand that you can stick up around the perimeter of your room and look for lights that you can change colors depending on the mood.

the white couch in Abby's dorm room Command hooks FTW - but this isn’t an ad!

Command hooks and strips are essential. Period. Our students recommend bringing a supply to help hang decorations or other items like jackets and hats! Isabel Cox ‘23 suggests reusing the strips year-to-year and says to “leave the Command strips on your picture frames, for example, and only throw away the strip that was attached to the wall.” This hack will save you money in the long run since you’re only using half the number of strips each year!

Add some YCP green-ery!

Connor Reichert ‘23 suggests bringing plants to decorate your room because “it gives you something to do and brings some life into a dorm.” Plants will brighten up the room, provide some decoration, and just make it feel like home! Connor thinks these kinds of decorations “make the transition so much easier” moving from home to college.

The Don’ts of Dorm Decor

Be careful about clutter!

Kaitlin King ‘26 warns against bringing too many pillows. “Yes, it’s cute, but half of them don’t get used and end up in your way.” Kaylee Vermette ‘23 agrees, and says that “they’ll just get thrown on the floor while you sleep.” It’s good practice to have your pillow(s) you sleep with and then one other throw pillow for decoration Anything else will be too much!

Rules and Regs

Patrick Keogh ‘23 tells it how it is: “Don’t bring anything you aren’t allowed to have.” Things like an extra microwave or mini fridge, candles, or personal mattresses are all things that should be kept at home and not brought to school. For a complete list of approved and not approved items at YCP, you can visit the Residence Life webpage!

Daley Brown ‘25 stresses that you should NOT “block the door or cause a fire hazard.” Make sure that you can get out of the room quickly in case of an emergency…or in case someone accidentally burns their ramen in the microwave!

Some “Pro Tips”

Low-cost can still be cute!

Abigail Wurzbach ‘23 says students should “look for decorations at thrift stores! Not only is it environmentally friendly, but you can find some pretty cool pieces for your room for super cheap!” There are some great local thrift stores in York to check out as well after you’ve moved in to add to your dorm room decor. 

Let your work be seen!Abby's Dorm and the two beds

Kaylee Vermette ‘23 encourages students to keep their door open! She says, “Don’t be afraid to talk to people and make friends with the people in your hall.” Keeping your door open allows for people to not just connect with you, but it also allows them to see the wonderful space you’ve created in your dorm.

To Close the Door on Dorm Decor…

With all that being said, you want to create a space that is meaningful and relaxing for you! This is the place where you are going to wake up in the morning and rest your head at night. Take the advice from our pros, and create a space in your residence hall that makes York College feel like home!