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Decorating Dorm Rooms

By Jodie Lynn


My daughter will be a freshman in college beginning in mid-September. We'd like to get her a few items that are unique enough for her dorm that will show off her personality, but yet not cost us an arm and a leg. However, we would rather spend a little more on higher quality things as long as they will last a few years. What have other parents had the best luck with when it comes to purchases such as these?


We were planning on giving my niece a dorm party where family and friends bring in various things kids need or would like to have inside their rooms. Although the family moved away earlier than expected, we ended up having one at my house and pooling together to mail the items. However, while she provided us with a wish list, no one checked with the college on what could and what could not be brought into the dorm room. Some of the things we purchased were not acceptable. She ended up having to send those back to us and we had to replace or return several things. My point being, check with the college first and get an updated list of their rules about acceptable items before you purchase them. - T. Reynolds in Seattle, WA


One of the most important things to remember is to try to use every inch of space to help her get organized without a lot of too many bulky items. For example, put her bed on risers and utilize the extra area underneath for storage. Instead of buying carpet for her room, find a large rug that can easily be transferred at the end of the year. Use low boxes and organizational bins to set inside her desk and chest of drawers to keep contents organized and easily accessible. Use a shoe holder to fit over the inside of the closet door to hold shoes, belts, hats, gloves, scarves, etc. Use a cloth bag instead of a plastic basket for clothes that need to be washed. There's a ton of things you can get to make your daughter's dorm room her own. Dorm-In-A-Box has just about everything you could possibly want. It comes with beautiful Egyptian cotton bed sheets; durable, fluffy, large bath towels; super soft throws to cuddle up in; amazing flexible lamps; pretty mesh organizational baskets of all sizes; various kinds of electronics and much more. One of the things I am really impressed with is a lightweight portable safe that a cell phone, keys, credit cards, MP3 player and other valuables, can be placed inside and protected by a combination lock. Created by Master Lock, it has a cable that can easily be secured to whatever your daughter chooses to keep things safe and can double as a handle when she's transporting it. It also has an ear bud/charging cable access port. See for all of the wonderful items that you can choose to bundle in a box for her.

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To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040. Email direct2contact, or go to which provides a secure and easy way to submit tips or questions. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.

© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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