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Aug 16, 2020
Dorm Decor

We get it, we’ve all been there before where we were silently studying in our dorm room and suddenly, there is a bunch of noise that collides at once. Between your neighbor and those walking in the hallway, or outside, there doesn’t seem to be a solution to block out the noise and enjoy the radio silence a little longer while studying for a Math test.

How to Soundproof your Dorm Room

We get it, we’ve all been there before where we were silently studying in our dorm room and suddenly, there is a bunch of noise that collides at once. Between your neighbor and those walking in the hallway, or outside, there doesn’t seem to be a solution to block out the noise and enjoy the radio silence a little longer while studying for a Math test. The tips and tricks we recommend will not require you to spend a lot, as these will all be inexpensive fixes, and will make the process more fun. Before we jump into solutions, we will also be listing the types of noise that travel and the solutions to fixing the noise problem without having to bother your RA about a noisy neighbor.

Types of Noise

The types of noise vary, and each person may not react the same way or consider either of these noises to be a bother. The first type is airborne, which can travel through the air, collide with solid objects, and pass into the adjoining space. This is what causes pieces of furniture or objects to vibrate or bounce around a room.

The second is structure-borne noise. If you have heard a ball bouncing above you or heard knocking on the wall, this noise you are hearing is structure-borne. When an object makes an impact with the floor, it causes soundwaves. However, these soundwaves can travel through walls, ceilings, a floor, or a door. In your dorm, you are most likely to experience both of these types of noises.

How to Soundproof

Before we can fully dive in and give you advice, it’s highly recommended to contact your school’s residency office and ask about ways you can soundproof a room, and if there are any types of decorations that can be used to prevent too much noise from seeping into your room. The things that you would need, and we strongly recommend investing in these, are things to hang on walls, such as pictures and posters, or a tapestry to hang on your ceiling, and small items to have in your room to help cancel out noise completely.

Now, here is a list of nice, affordable ways to not only help decorate your room, but to also cancel out any unnecessary noise that is being created by others or even yourself.

Wall Decorations

If you have any corkboards lying around, they will certainly help with vibrations. If you don’t want dull looking boards, feel free to decorate them as you please. We recommend designing them with the theme of your dorm room. Something like the corkboard at OCM, most of them fun shapes, would be a great buy.

Posters will help block most noise out. And, they make a great decorative piece.  Inspiration found on Pinterest. 

If you are obsessed with posters and pictures just as much as we are, we recommend framing them before placing them on your dorms walls. This will also work with mirrors and any other thick pieces that can fit on your wall. When hanging frames, be sure to find out what can be used to hang frames and keep them secure on the walls. Make sure to check out these awesome posters on OCM.

Aside from noise coming through the walls, it’s recommended to think about the ceiling and the floor, and how you can prevent noise from others, and even your own noise that you might make.

Ceiling and Floor Decorations

Regarding noise that can occur through the ceiling, we recommend getting a tapestry or two to spread around the ceiling to help combat the noise.

Using any type of decoration you have will help, but tapestries are not just decorative, but they also will block out some of that noise that travels through the dorm. A Quiet Refuge, a blog that promotes soundproofing, has many more ideas here that will help you make your special quiet space feel more comfortable to be in. If you are itching to find that perfect tapestry to place above your bed, check out this selection on OCM.

Aside from the ceiling, your floor should be the next target on your radar for combating noise.

Floors are another indicator of determining how much noise you might create for others below you. Image courtesy of Pinterest.

Even though rugs are a nice touch, they also prevent noise from being generated around you, and it will also cause less noise to others below you in the case you were to drop something on the floor. Don’t buy any ordinary decorative rug, be sure that the rug is thick enough to add enough mass to the floor that’ll cause less soundwaves, especially when you are walking around. Check out this fantastic selection over at OCM, trust us, they will inspire you.

If these things are already checked off your list, consider discussing with your roommate about getting noise cancelling curtains. The thickness doesn’t only help with blocking out the sun, but it also serves as a way to block out noise from outside, especially morning traffic.

Curtains are not only perfect for blocking out the sun, but they can also block out noise from outside. Image courtesy of Pinterest.

If you are not able to afford nice curtains, consider using a sheet, or even a shower curtain. Also, using removable window inserts will help leave all noise outside. Purchasing black out adhesive window film will help keep all noise and light out. If interested, you can purchase a shower curtain to use as a shade on OCM.

Rearranging Dorm Furniture

The way you set up your dorm furniture will determine how much noise is avoided between the walls.. Image courtesy of Snoring Source.

Did you know that you can rearrange your furniture anyway you’d like, and also that these heavy items will help block out the most affected areas for noise issues? The only tip we recommend is to avoid using your bed as a soundproofing element. If you don’t avoid it, you may be greeted by unwanted noise. We do recommend using the dresser and desk onto the wall where you know there is a noisy neighbor. Be sure to contact your residency office for further information on how furniture can be arranged, and how it should go back upon moving out.

Now that a good majority of this is covered, if you don’t have a whole lot of stuff that will help soundproof your room up to eighty-percent, we recommend some of these smaller things to help you out.

White Noise Machine and Noise Cancelling Headphones

Noise blocking headphones are a must have for any dormer.  Image courtesy of Skull Candy.

In the case that you are not able to soundproof your room completely, consider buying noise cancelling headphones. This pair is considered a top seller, and is reasonably priced. Retailing at two-hundred on Skull Candy’s website, you are able to take these anywhere you go to help you focus more and avoid distractions around you. Another positive with these noise canceling headphones, you’re able to pick your own color and it has bluetooth. The only downside would be having to charge the headphones every few hours to continue using them.

If you are still having trouble studying, or if you need to go to bed early for a test or an event happening early, and there is still too much noise, you should consider purchasing a white noise machine.

A white noise machine helps block out the noise you don’t want to hear; it also is helpful if you are a light-sleeper.  Image courtesy of Snooz.

This machine might look like it costs an arm and a leg, but it is actually reasonably priced, especially since it is a portable machine. Retailing at eighty dollars on Snooz, you are able to finally sleep in peace with this white noise machine. All around you, you’ll be able to hear less noise and will have a chance to concentrate better and sleep soundly.

Soundproofing Your Door

A door draft stopper may stop the cold from getting in, but it can help prevent noise as well. Image courtesy of Ace Hardware.

We understand that doors are the number one area that can cause the most noise problems. However, there is a way to fight this. Consider purchasing a door draft stopper. This will help cancel out any noise to the point where it doesn’t sound like anyone is in the hallway. Also, before purchasing, make sure to measure your door to get the right size. You can purchase this one, by MAXTID, through Ace Hardware for only $9.99.

For additional tips on furniture or other ways to make your dorm room soundproof, be sure to check out Dorm Room Movers for fast and easy tips and tricks to make your dorm not as loud during the school year. As far as furniture and other things go, we understand the difficulty of soundproofing a room, and how much it can cost. Another blog to check out for other ways to soundproof your dorm room, but also still remain stylish or to keep with the theme of your room, is OCM, where you’ll find other ways to make your dorm room feel like your home away from home.

With these cost-effective ways and budget friendly tips, you’ll be able to tackle any problem that may occur on head first. No matter what, dorms will always be noisy, but the one thing we will always have to remember is that there is no such thing as the perfect amount of soundproofing, as there will be moments where we hear muffled noise coming from either upstairs, next door, in the hall, or downstairs. For purchases, we recommend checking out the shop on OCM’s website, where they sell many dorm essentials to help you get started in decorating.

Also, when considering decorations, keep in mind how they can prevent too much noise from entering your room and disturbing you. OCM will make purchasing stress-free and will truly help make your dorm not only your home away from home, but also your own personal getaway from homework and other stressful times during your college years.


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