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Planning ahead can provide students
with a cohesive and welcoming study-and-live space. (Items above for illustrative purposes only. See Costco.com for
How to plan the perfect dorm room, apartment or other pad
By Erik J. Martin
IF SPRING WAS a bright golden sunset for
recent high school graduate Chloe Castleberry,
autumn looms on the horizon like an overcast dawn. That’s because, like countless other
college-bound kids, Castleberry is preparing
to say goodbye to the comforts of home (in her
case, in Atlanta) and hello to a compact dorm
room she’s never seen and a roommate she’s
never met in person.
“I’m anxious to move in, but I know I’ll
have to plan this out pretty well ahead of time,”
says Castleberry, an incoming freshman at the
University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri.
“My goal is to make our dorm room a fun,
friendly space like my room at home, with lots
of color and personality.”
Whether it’s a dorm, apartment or other
digs, moving into a space on or off campus
can be stressful. But with the right strategizing
and shopping, you can customize a college
residence to maximize spatial efficiency and
reflect your personality.
The Costco Connection
Members will find beds, desks, chairs, lighting
fixtures, cookware, storage containers, mini-fridges, microwaves, wall art, laptops, desktops, tablets, tables, chairs, couches, music
systems, TVs, game consoles and entertainment centers at Costco and on Costco.com.
accessories you’ll have a cluttered and claus-
trophobic look,” says Regan, who plans to
reuse last year’s storage containers and other
items but will likely spend $300 for a new
mini-fridge, egg chair and clothes hamper.
“You want it to be comfortable yet simple.”
Most pre-furnished dorms include a bed,
desk and chair set, lighting fixtures and a
closet/wardrobe area. Many students round
out these rooms with an entertainment center
to hold a TV, game console and music sys-
tem; a lounge chair; stackable/modular stor-
age containers; and various décor.
Unfurnished residences typically require all
these items plus extra furniture such as a
couch and a dining table and chairs.
Advanced scouting is essential to planning a well-arranged college dwelling. Aim to
visit the residence well ahead of moving day,
take measurements and pictures of the
room(s) or ask the college for checklists and
room layout configurations. Also, communicate with any roommates on how to divvy up
the space and coordinate colors and themes.
“Draw a floor plan so you can understand
the room’s natural flow, which will help you tremendously when purchasing furniture,” says
Shandra Ward, an interior designer with
Signature Designs Interiors and Events in
Houston and a Costco member. “Get items that
fit and don’t overcrowd your space or interfere
with the natural flow. [Many stores] have made