Maybe living on campus at Winona State will be the first time you’ve really been away from home. Although that’s an amazing opportunity, it’s understandable if you’re a little worried about being a little homesick.

That’s why we’ve got a few tricks of the trade for making your new WSU room your own by adding some cozy and homey elements.


1.  Room Layout is Key


Work with your roommate(s) to figure out a functional layout for the big furniture in your room. Winona State residence halls come equipped with a bed, desk, chair, dresser, closet and an optional loft for each student. Arrange your furniture in a way that leaves some open space for you to move around.

Some students like to bring futons and ottomans for extra comfy seating. All WSU rooms also include cable TV and ethernet plug-in access, so you can use your new lounge space to host a movie night with friends.


2.  Don’t Forget About Storage


There are so many storage containment gadgets on the market—a lot of them are made specifically for on-campus, college living. Not only will this help give you some extra space, but also it will make your room more organized and appear bigger.

Home is where everything has a place, so make sure you can find all your stuff when you need it. A label maker never hurt, either.


3.  Decorations


The best way to personalize a space is to add some artwork, posters or other wall décor to your room. Pro tip: check with your residence hall before hanging anything up with Command Strips and Hooks or tacks and nails. Some specific which you can and can’t use.

Most rooms here at Winona State are carpeted, but don’t overlook the benefits of having a cute, fuzzy rug. Not only do they make a fun statement piece, but also they make the ground super soft—which is great for laying down with a book or a quick catnap.


4.  Photos and Personal Items


This may go without saying, but bringing photos of family members and friends will lift the atmosphere of your space. You can use string and clothespins to make a cute photo-wall. Just leave some space on it for the new photos you’ll take during your college adventure.

Personal items can be helpful in making you feel more at home in a new space, too. It might be a stuffed animal, a blanket or a journal. Almost all WSU students bring some personal object from their childhoods to college–there’s no shame!


5.  Blankets, Blankets & Blankets!


WSU rooms come with a twin extra-long mattress per student, so that gives you the freedom to choose some super-plush pillows, sheets and comforters. Bedding sets come in a multitude of colors and patterns. Choose the set that best suits your personality to make your room up however you like.

Decorative pillows also bring warmth to a room. They come in all shapes and sizes with cool prints or motivational phrases on them.

Throw blankets are always good, too—have one on hand in case you get chilly. Minnesota winters are notorious for being cold, but your heated on-campus rooms will keep you nice and toasty.


6.  Lighting


Lighting can really brighten up your life—literally. You’ll see a lot of WSU students choose to have decorative lamps and reading lights around their rooms. String lights are especially popular because of their affordability and general aesthetic. They come in a rainbow of colors, so you can pick whatever scheme you want.


7.  Going Green


Having a small plant in your room can bring even more life to the space. Now for those of you without a green-thumb, have no fear! Fake plants can have the same visual affect (we won’t tell!). There are plenty of low-light plant options as well that require very little maintenance.

For example, succulents are durable and cute. Devil’s Ivy can grow in almost any condition (including drought and low-lighting). Bamboo can be completely housed in a vase with water and left by the window—just change the water every three months.


8.  Small-Space Scents


Your room’s atmosphere can be made or broken depending on how it smells. Although candles are not allowed to be burned in residence halls, plug-in or wallflower scents are. If there’s a particular scent you like, or one that reminds you of home, bring it with you!

Bath and Body Work’s wallflowers work great, and essential oil diffusers double as humidifiers for the dry winter months.


9.  Snacks & Drinks


While the dining services at WSU have many delicious options, it’s not a bad idea to keep your favorite snacks stocked up in your room. Mini-fridges, microwaves and coffee machines are all popular options to have a mini-kitchen at your disposal.

Like in the picture above, these items can be stacked to save on space and make a snack-nook or a drink station. Nothing feels cozier than heating up a mug of hot-chocolate, tea or coffee.


10.  Music


Bring a few speakers or a sound system to set some mood music for studying! It can be great for setting a welcoming atmosphere. Plus, having your favorite artists playing will always put you in a good mood. Make sure you keep the volume acceptable, though—your neighbors might prefer not to be disrupted.


All in all, seize the opportunity to create a space you’re happy to live in. You certainly don’t have to break the bank in order to make your room a little slice of home. The world of interior decorating is your oyster!


Updated by Hailey Seipel (09/16/2019)