New wardrobe?  Check.

New roommate?  Um, check.

New decor for your dorm room?  Let’s go shopping.

While your room will probably be furnished with the basics–bed, desk, chair, dresser–you still want to dress up your dorm in your own personal style.  Otherwise, your new abode will seem like it belongs in a subdivision filled with houses that look. like. every. other. house. on. the. block.  Snooze.

Some easy, affordable basics will set your room apart from the crowd.  (I should know; back in the day, my roommate and I plastered our walls floor to ceiling with photos, posters, and cutouts from magazines.  We also put our dresser smack in the center of the room, and hung beads from both our doorways.  People used to stop by just to see if the rumors about our room were true.)

lusy-kloss-ikea-bedding1.  Soft, colorful bedding.  A duvet with a bright cover is perfect; toss and shake the duvet, and voila!  Your bed’s instantly made.  Also think about buying an extra set of extra-long sheets, for those weeks when you just can’t make it to the laundry room.

2.  A comfy reading chair (ie, not the same lumpy wooden behemoth that sits at your desk), preferably with storage in its base.  This will make your back happy, especially when it’s movie or XBox night.

3.  A strong lamp, and its corollary, a clip-on book light.  The former will help you stay awake in cram-time situations; the latter will let your roommate sleep when you’re, well, still finishing up tomorrow’s reading at 4 am.

4.  Bins for organizing your Post-its, highlighters, socks, and shot glasses.  Keeping everything in its place will save time and sanity.

all-posters-drink-coffee-tin-sign5.  Something funny.  Could be a poster or a sign; could be a clock.  Think of it as an instant icebreaker.