Here’s What You Can Do to Make Your Apartment Different than Your Dorm

Whether you graduated college this past year and are living on your own or are still a student who is moving from the dorms to an apartment this year, having your own space is a huge step that’s also a lot of fun.

Living in an apartment is also a lot different than dorm life. There’s no resident advisor to go to with roommate issues or noise complaints. You have to remember to pay your utility bills and rent on time. And in most cases, you’re also responsible for furnishing your space.

There’s no better way to make you feel like an adult than living in your first apartment. To avoid feeling like you’re back in the dorms, there are a few ways you can make your apartment stand out to visiting family, friends and, most importantly, yourself.

You’re not a kid anymore and the place you call home should reflect that.

Here are some ways to make sure your apartment looks and feels different than your dorm:

  1. Make sure your living room is well adorned. While your dorm room likely came with a small stiff and uncomfortable couch, it’s up to you to make your living area comfy and guest worthy. Start by picking the color scheme you want for your living room and go from there. Since you’re just starting out, you might not have much money to splurge on seating but you also don’t want to thrift shop for sofas since you don’t know what’s happened to them. Look for places that offer well made items for less money and shop there. Pick out a sofa that will fit your space and style in your price range. From there you can look for the perfect coffee table and T.V. stand. You can also add in some fun seating, like a papasan chair with a decorative pillow, that matches your sofa for a youthful but coordinated touch.


  1. Have a weekly cleaning day. It’s up to you to make sure your new home is clean and in order. With so much going on in your life, things will start to slip. Don’t let your cleanliness become the thing that suffers. Whether you do a little bit once a day after work, or you dedicate an entire evening to tackling your messes. To get you on track start by making use of printable cleaning checklists that are available online. These will lay out everything you need to do in every area of your place. If you have a roommate, split the list and assign tasks to each of you by simply writing your name next to your task. This way things are fair and organized.


  1. Actually make use of your kitchen. One of the hardest parts of dorm life is not having a kitchen and having to rely on cafeteria food, a microwave or pricey takeout for all of your meals. Now that you have an apartment, you finally have a kitchen again. Don’t be too lazy to make use of it. Whether you spend your Sunday’s meal prepping for the week or you take the time in the kitchen to unwind after work, learning how to make your favorite foods, and make them well, is an important step in adulting. So is accumulating all of the necessary kitchen gadgets. Plus you’ll know you’ve reached peak adult when you get a Kitchenaid mixer as a gift and feel an immense amount of joy.


  1. Decorate the space accordingly. Your dorm was likely decorated with a variety of posters, wall art, school banners and maybe even Greek life relics. As you move into a new phase of your life, your decor should too. Picking a theme is of utmost importance here since you’ll want everything to coordinate and flow. Remember that color scheme you chose for your living room furniture? Make sure it continues in various hues and shades through what you hang on your walls. The same goes for your bedroom. Once you’ve chosen a bedspread you can choose your decor to match. One item you can transfer over from your dorm room days is use of string lights; these add an element of soft lighting while also adding whimsical personality to your space.

These few simple tips will make your new apartment feel fresh and truly like your home, instead of a temporary dorm room. 

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