Be your own designer
If you are anything like my suitemates from this past year, you will obsess over what your room next year is going to look like. Hannah and Rachel took measurements of all the furniture in the room and created a graph paper model that was to scale. They would spend hours upon hours rearranging the 2 inch rectangles to create the ideal room. I got tired watching them sometimes. But, they finally came up with a plan they liked and are really excited for their room next year.
I realize that their plan of attack is a bit much for some of you and that they had quite the advantage, having access to furniture measurements and the room itself. But if you are someone who really loves to plan ahead, don’t worry. There are plenty of resources online that can help you out. Each community page has floor plans so that you can find your room and look at measurements. There are pictures of rooms on the Housing Facebook page so you can get decorating ideas.
There are things in residence hall rooms that you should remember to plan for that might not show up on the packing list that you pick up while you’re out shopping. First, you have to be very careful not to damage the walls; therefore hanging things on them should be done only with Magic Mounts or similar brands. You can get charged at the end of the year for paint chips or holes in the wall. That’s just a pain you can avoid.
Second, if you are living on South Campus, bring an extra shower curtain for your closet, unless you want to be able to look at all your clothes day and night. Third, never underestimate the power of storage bins and shelving. If you are living with a roommate or two, remember that you are going to be sharing space that might be smaller than you are used to. Stacking these bins under your bed or behind dressers is a really good idea. Anything that can go against a wall and not stick out too far into the room is great for saving floor space.
Another thing to consider is borrowing lots of things. The best, most comfortable rooms I’ve seen on campus tend to be the ones that are more like a hodge-podge collection of Aunt Christie’s couch and Meemaw’s blanket than ones that look like they’ve come directly from the pages of an interior design magazine. This probably isn’t the pinnacle of your future living arrangements, so don’t feel like you have to be Martha Stewart. Borrow things and save some money.
If you are really concerned with what your room is going to be like, don’t forget to visit the model room when you come for Summer Orientation. It’s true that not all the rooms on campus are going to look just like the model room, but since you won’t be able to tour your building over the summer (residence halls are either closed or full of summer campers) it’s not a bad idea to get a look at what residence hall furniture looks like.
But, nothing will truly compare to move-in day when you and your roommate are rearranging the furniture, just the way you like it, and set up your first room at UNC!