Dorm Tours

This Vermont Sophomore Embraces Organized Cluttercore in Her Dorm Room

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Home Type
Dorm (suite)
University of Vermont
Burlington, Vermont
Square feet
Sq ft
Corner view of dorm room shows bed and art filled wall.
Credit: Katie O'Driscoll

For University of Vermont sophomore Katie O’Driscoll, comfort is key in her dorm room. That means surrounding herself with all of her favorite things while still maintaining an organized space. Here’s how she pulls it all together.

Credit: Katie O'Driscoll
Task Table Lamp, $8, at Target

Katie’s Space

Tell us about your space: I chose this dorm room because it’s within a suite. My roommate and I share our room, and we share our suite space with four other girls. The suite has two full bathrooms and a common room, which creates much more of a homey feeling. 

Credit: Katie O'Driscoll

What do you love about your dorm room? One thing I love about my space is how much I have personalized it to be my own. I’m someone who prioritizes making my room a safe and cozy place to wind down at the end of the day. Creating a space where I can feel calm and focus on my schoolwork, while also taking time to take care of myself, is essential to me.

Credit: Katie O'Driscoll

What’s your space best known for? My dorm is a place where I can wind down and be comfy. I love being able to use this space to do schoolwork, watch movies, call friends and family, and relax. I also love having friends over, whether it is to play board games, dance, have little holiday celebrations, or just to be in each other’s company.

Credit: Katie O'Driscoll

Katie’s Style

What’s your favorite element of this space? My wall decor. I’m someone who pays attention to the little details, so creating collages made up of my favorite quotes, song lyrics, places, and people not only personalizes my dorm, but also surrounds me with all the things I love. I enjoy finding new things to add to my walls, whether it’s by attending farmers markets to find vintage postcards, or even just adding a fortune cookie fortune from my numerous Chinese food orders!

Credit: Katie O'Driscoll

What’s your favorite decor hack? One decorating hack I have for wall decor is to use items from your everyday life. I love to find little pieces to add to my wall — they can be as little as a bubblegum comic strip or a doily paper. Finding items to make your space your own doesn’t have to be costly, and you can be as creative with it as you want!

Credit: Katie O'Driscoll

Katie’s Budget

In an effort to remove the stigma associated with talking about money in college, we’re asking students to share how they plan and budget for their space.

How much does your housing cost per semester? $4,584.

Do you have anyone helping to fund your housing? My parents.

Credit: Katie O'Driscoll

How much did it cost to decorate your space? $300.

What was your biggest splurge for this space? My mattress topper, which was $50.

Best budget find? My posters, which are actually sheets of wrapping paper sold at Barnes and Noble for $5.

Credit: Katie O'Driscoll

Katie’s Advice

What was your biggest challenge in this space? My biggest challenge was being able to make my space not look cluttered while fitting all my things into such a small area. One of my best tips is to raise your bed and utilize under-the-bed storage so you can fit some of your extra miscellaneous items underneath. My room only came with three small drawers, so I got under-the-bed drawers from Target for $16 each and have used them both years of college so far. I was also able to fill these drawers while packing for school, so they were already organized when I got here.

Another tip is to get storage items that can have multiple uses. For instance, I keep items in my ottoman, but also use it as a step stool to get onto my bed.

Credit: Isabel Petrou

This submission’s responses were edited for length and clarity.

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