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Feb 21, 2020
College Life

Moving into a new off-campus apartment is exhilarating and exciting--you will no longer be cramped in a tiny dorm room.

6 Hacks to Make Your Off-Campus Apartment Feel More Grown-Up

Resident advisors are no longer monitoring you 24/7. You even have your own kitchen to cook food in! Of course, moving into a new place can also be intimidating. There are cleaning supplies to purchase, furniture to move in, and chores to organize. You also want to find a way to make the apartment your own. 

Need some help organizing your new apartment? We have you covered. Here are five hacks that will help make your off-campus feel more grown-up. 

1. Use a Dorm Mirror to Make Your Apartment Feel Larger

Create the illusion of a larger space with a dorm mirror

Using a mirror to create a more open space is the oldest trick in the book. 

Since you are still on a college budget, your apartment likely isn’t going to be completely open and expansive. To make your room feel bigger, you can use a dorm mirror to give the illusion of more open space. Here are a few tips and tricks to try out. 

  • For low-ceiling rooms, purchase a floor-length mirror. The vertical lines of the mirror will draw the eyes up and around the room. 
  • Purchase a long, horizontal mirror. This will help stretch the room out a little. You can also purchase a long, thin mirror and turn it on its side for the same effect.
  • Group multiple mirrors together. You can find smaller ones at discount and thrift stores for cheap. 
  • Mirrors can also adjust the lighting of a room. Place them near darker areas, like the stovetop in the kitchen or behind your dining table. Hallways also tend to be dimmed and narrow, so placing a mirror there can open it up a little. 
  • Speaking of lighting, you can also use a mirror to create a fake “window.” This will help the room feel brighter and more open. Try to find one that mimics the shape and appearance of an actual window. 

2. Keep the Area Well-Lighted

Good lighting can make a huge difference

Proper lighting can make a room feel more attractive and inviting. 

Poor lighting can make any apartment feel drab and boring. However, off-campus apartments don’t always provide a wide variety of windows. This makes it difficult for apartment dwellers to adjust the lighting in their apartment so that it is not too dim, but also not bright and uncomfortable. 
As we mentioned before, mirrors can make a huge difference in brightening a room and opening it up. By placing them directly across your windows, you can make the light from them bounce around the room. They also create the illusion of having more windows in the room that are actually there.
While you probably won’t be able to splurge on high-ceiling lights or vanity lighting for your mirrors, you can still make do with your budget. Light lamp shades for your desk or living room table will let more light into the room than shades made out of heavy material. Make sure you purchase incandescent light bulbs, as they emit a soft and calming light. If the lighting in your apartment is poor, then purchase a couple of floor lamps to place around the place. 

3. Maintain an Organized Closet and Storage Space

Unless you live in a large apartment on your own, you are going to need to keep your supplies organized

Prevent your space from being cluttered with the help of proper storage units. 

Strewn about shoes and cluttered books will make your apartment feel more kid-like and unorganized than grown-up. If you are going to splurge on anything, use it for storage units such as a proper desk or a bookcase. 
Even a few coat hooks and a small shelf near the front door can transform your apartment into a sophisticated living space fit for visitors. Don’t have enough space for a nightstand in your bedroom? Place a shelf above your bed to make more room for yourself. It also serves as a great place for decorations. Storage cubes are also perfect for organizing supplies. They can be placed anywhere in your bedroom or in your living room. Since they come in a variety of designs, you can easily pick one that complements your apartment best. 

4. Purchase a Proper Frame for Your Bed

Don’t even think about keeping your mattress on the floor

Bed frames are both fun and practical additions to any bedroom. 

Unless you want everyone to think that you are living in your apartment temporarily, you will need to get your bed off the floor and onto a proper frame. At the very least, you will need a box spring and a frame for your bed. However, you will probably also want to purchase a headboard to keep yourself comfortable. Headboards come in a variety of colors, making it easy to match with your bedding. 

Many bed frames also contain storage units underneath them. We recommend purchasing one if your room is on the smaller side. That way, you can clear up floor space and keep your most-needed supplies within easy reach of you at all times. 

5. Keep Your Bathroom Well-Stocked

A clean, organized bathroom can make a huge difference

A well-stocked bathroom is a true hallmark of adulthood. 

Off-campus apartments don’t always have the nicest bathrooms. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to spruce yours up. Even the smallest items, such as a refillable soap dispenser or matching towels can add a nice touch to your place. Try to keep your bathroom stocked and cleaned at all times. You never know when you will have a guest staying over. They will be more than impressed to find a clean bathroom filled with well-kept supplies and towels inside. 

Starting out in a new place is an exciting step into adulthood. You finally have a say in how your apartment looks and is organized. How do you like to decorate your apartment? Let us know in the comments!

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