Dorm Room Decorating – Creating a Balance Between Budget & Style

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Dorm Room Decorating

Dorm Room Decorating – Creating a Balance Between Budget & Style

Making the transition from your bedroom to your dorm room is a big deal. That’s why it’s important to pick out a style that you like at an affordable price. No one knows more about this topic than College Dorm Designer Stephanie McDade. Stephanie made an appearance on Lifetime TV’s The Balancing Act, where she shared helpful tips about shopping for dorm room necessities.

This video is also shared in the OCM Press Room, a new feature found on our websitere you’ll find the latest news, videos and press releases that help convey what our brand is all about.

Black Hampton Plaid

Bedding in Black Hampton Plaid with Silver Armored Trunk

Leilani Kiwi

Leilani Comforter with Kiwi Sheet Set and Shag Carpet

A Home Away from Home

An integral part of college life, residence halls are where students spend a great deal of their time studying, socializing, and relaxing. Dorms are like a second home for students and should be decorated as such. Whether you’re an incoming freshman or transfer student, it’s crucial that you pick the right bedding, trunk, accessories, and whatever else you may need to create a comfortable living environment.

Sheet Set

Assorted Sheet Sets

The Centerpiece

In every dorm you will find a plain mattress. With bedding from OCM, you can turn that plain mattress into a comfortable and stylish bed. Every year, Stephanie works with designers from New York to come up with the latest and greatest trends, such as the kaleidoscope pattern. Printed on soft, channel stitched comforters, these patterns will make the centerpiece of your room pop! Add in a few accent pillows and a throw blanket for extra comfort and style!

Trunks

Assorted Rhino, Armored and Cube Storage Trunks

Storage

As you know, staying organized is a constant battle. That’s why we offer a number of products to keep your dorm clutter-free. Stephanie mentions one of these products, but let’s take closer look. The storage chest, more commonly known as a storage trunk, is a great place to keep shoes and other items out of the way. Plus, it doubles as a table! A flat surface is a valuable piece of real-estate in the close quarters of a dorm.

The storage chest is just one of the many dorm room organization products we offer. Take for example our line of storage bins or our under the bed collection. We also have desk organizers and closet storage products. All of these products will keep you organized and allow you to make the most of your space!

Wardrobe Trunk

Armored Urban Wardrobe Storage Trunk

Décor

So you’ve made the big transition from your bedroom to your dorm room, but you still feel like something’s missing. Adding a personal touch to your dorm will make you feel right at home. At OCM, we have a huge collection of wall art that varies from original posters to beautifully designed tapestries. If you’re looking to add something functional, check out our accent rugs and pillows! As Stephanie pointed out, a soft rug on a wooden floor makes all the difference on those brisk mornings!

Value Pak

OCM Value Pak

Shopping Made Simple

With so many great products and designs, it may be hard to pick out each item individually. Stephanie has a quick fix for that: Value Paks. Simply put, a Value Pak is a product bundle that saves you money and time otherwise spent coordinating separates, while meeting your dorm room needs. These Paks range in size and price, but consistently provide students with quality bedding, towels, and other bath and personal supplies. With over 50 style combinations to choose from, you are sure to find a Value Pak that works for you!

ON_Campus_257411_01_2016_#17346 PROOF ONLY

Catalina Coral Sheet Set and Kaleidoscope Comforter

Find a Balance

Whether you’re looking to deck out your room or go with a basic look, it’s all about finding a balance between style and price. At OCM, you can mix and match products or keep things simple by choosing from one of our Value Paks.  With so many great styles and affordable products, you’ll be able to find what you need!

Four Common Roommate Problems & How to Deal with Them

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Common Roommate Problems (1)

Living with a complete stranger in a tiny dorm room isn’t exactly easy. After the honeymoon phase during the first few weeks of college, there’s almost always a guarantee that things won’t always be sunny and drama-free. If you’re in a tricky situation with a roommate, first know that you’re not alone. Roommate problems are far more common than you think. These 4 common roommate problems may seem like the worst now, but by following this list, you can learn to deal with them in a strong, constructive way.

The 4 Most Common Roommate Problems and How to Deal With Them

1.   Messy vs. Clean Freak

You love your space completely clean or maybe even minimalist. She, on the other hand, couldn’t care less about some trash on her desk or the spill in the fridge.

How to Deal: Cleaning expectations should be number one on your roommate agreement. Be honest with how you prefer (or don’t care) about your room’s appearance so they know off of the bat what to expect. If the agreement isn’t being enforced, consider a common ground. Designate a cleaning day or time in which both of you are around.

2.   Night Owl vs. Early Bird

Pulling all-nighters can be just part of the college experience, but if you’re living with someone who is devoted to their 5 AM sunrise jog or who is a fan of the 8 AM class, you may be doing more harm to them than good.

How to Deal: Standardize your bedtime and implement quiet hours. A good rule of thumb is that 10 PM to midnight on most weekdays should be wind down time. The night owl should turn down their TV or use their desk lamp while the early bird prepares for sleep. For surviving an early bird, request that she or he use a vibrating alarm, avoid using louder appliances such as a coffee maker and use headphones.

3.   Socialite vs. Homebody

There’s always one roommate who loves to be the life or the host of the party. But for every social butterfly, there is a couch potato introvert who just wants them to go home.

How to deal: Here’s another case where expectations should be set at the very beginning. And while compromise may work here, it’s important that the person who would rather keep their dorm off-limits to parties be heard first. They may have valid fears about theft and damage or be against party activities. All of this is understandable. If you’re the party thrower, seek out a new venue or find a few friends with a roommate who is more down with hosting.

4.   The Borrower vs. The Hands Off

Sticky fingers can create huge issues in a roommate situation. But beyond theft, over-sharing can also hurt feelings and lead to misunderstandings. Who is right in this situation?

How to deal: This one is pretty straight forward. If it belongs to you, it belongs to you alone. Stand up for yourself if your roommate is taking the liberty of borrowing without asking. Make it clear what is and isn’t off limits. If she/he still doesn’t listen and you’re not able to remedy the situation with other help, consider purchasing a safe or chest with locking abilities and keep all valuables out of harm’s way.

NACURH and OCM: Strong Together

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nacurh 60 We returned to the office covered in glitter and clothespins, with goodie-bags under our eyes and our feet sore from wobbling. Just another day at the office? Not at all. This weekend, OCM got NACURH’d!!

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire hosted NACURH 2014, and provided thousands of dedicated students a safe, sustainable, spirited and beautiful venue to express their love for college life and community. OCM got to reunite with friends from across the country, and meet hundreds of new ones! We had a blast at this magnificent event! Relive it with us here!

once upon a time

See you in North Dakota! @NACURH2015

It was a weekend full of cheering, hugging, tears of joy and most importantly, learning. As students and advisors return to their regions and campuses with new ideas and new networks of friends, so does OCM. There is not leadership without friendship, and we hope you can find both @OCMonCampus.

To all our friends, new and old, we L-O-V-E you and we L-O-V-E NACURH!

A sincere thank you to those who made this conference all that it could be! NACURH ’14 was an inspiring display of what individuals can achieve when they commit to community and embrace individuality. Thank you for all you shared with us, NACURH.

Let our friendship remain strong, and may it always wobble.

Summer Before College Series 33: Communal Mayhem

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Good morning, fellow bloggers and students!

Today, I want to address a common fear that most incoming freshmen have: using a communal restroom. For those of you who do not already know, communal bathrooms are public restrooms in school dormitories that are usually shared by an entire floor of students. There are multiple showers, bathroom stalls, sinks, and mirrors. Now, this probably seems extremely scary, sharing something so private with strangers, but I am here to give you a few tips to make this huge process much easier!

If you are anything like me, then you will agree that public restrooms are absolutely the worst things out there. If you follow these tips, however, you will be able to use the communal restroom at school with confidence and with no problems at all!

To make your experience easier and less stressful, remember:

  1. That everyone is in the same boat as you. You are not alone! This is every freshman’s first time in college, dealing with daily stresses. From experience, talking to other girls/boys on your floor will help make things less awkward and scary in the communal bathroom. You will soon realize that others feel the same way that you do!
  2. That everyone on your floor has a different schedule. Every freshman student on your floor has a different class, sleep, work, homework, and club schedule. You will most likely have the restroom to yourself most days. For example, I can count on one hand the number of times that the communal bathroom I used my freshman year was crowded. I usually only had one person in the restroom with me at a time.
  3. To create a schedule. If you still find it difficult to use a communal bathroom after remembering the first two tips above, then create a schedule of the least busy times during the day. After a week or two of living with your floor mates, you will know exactly when you will have the most privacy. Create a schedule of these times and follow it to ensure that you feel comfortable while at school.
  4. To utilize your RA if needed. Remember that your RA is there to help you to make the adjustment from living at home to living in a dormitory. The biggest adjustment, perhaps, is sharing a restroom with complete strangers. Your RA has been through the same experience and will definitely be able to give you some words of advice.
  5. To bring your shower caddy with you every time you use the communal restroom. Make sure that you fill your caddy with all of the things necessary to get ready in the morning or at night. Then, bring the caddy with you when you are ready to get primped for the day/night. That way you are sure to have everything that you need and can avoid leaving anything in your room, causing you to have to make a trip back and spend more time in the restroom than you intended to.

Well, there you have it-the five tips for making the transition of living at home to living in a dorm easier, particularly in the restroom.

Have any other tips? Share them with us!

3 Easy Tips for Living with a Roommate

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If you don’t already share a room with somebody, be ready for a major change when you head off to college. Living with somebody who may be a total stranger to you can be exciting and terrifying at the same time, especially if you’ve never lived with anybody before. At times it can be challenging to share a room and spend so much time with each other. However, living with a roommate can be a very rewarding experience if you can make it work out. Here are some ways to ensure that you make the best of what might seem like a tough situation:

  1. Try to talk/meet up before school starts– This may not work out for everybody since there may be geographic restrictions on meeting each other, but you can definitely call, text or e-mail to get to know each other. However, if you can find a time and place to meet each other beforehand, it would be extremely beneficial since you can talk face-to-face and not have to wait until move-in day. If your school allows you to request a roommate, you should try and find somebody to room with so it’s not completely random. You might be able to ask a friend if they know somebody going to your school that you could possibly room with. This way you can hear your friend’s opinion on them and see if you would be a good match. I personally found my roommate through the University of Rochester’s 2016 group, which allowed me to talk to him before we decided to room together. Even if this didn’t work out, it was still a good way to talk to people and meet your future classmates. Ultimately, getting to know your roommate before you get to school is a good way to start off your relationship and create a less awkward first encounter when you arrive.
  2. Communication is key– You’ve probably heard this many times before, but it’s very true. Once you get to school, it’s probably a good idea to set some rules so that you can get along. This might include setting a time you shut the lights off to go to sleep, when you can have people in the room, and when you plan on doing your work. Obviously nothing is going to be set in stone since plans may change last minute, but at least you have some guidelines to live by. Also, if you ever feel like something is wrong, don’t be afraid to talk to your roommate. You have to live with them for the whole year, so you might as well make the best of it. The more you talk to each other, the easier it will be to get along.
  3. Don’t think you have to be best friends– It might happen, but don’t think that you have to be BFFs with your roommate. I’ve seen many people make it work, but I’ve also seen a number of people get sick of it very quickly. My advice would be to stay friends, but keep your distance. If you go into this relationship thinking that this person is going to be your best man/maid of honor at your wedding, you might be let down or overwhelmed. Just go into this being yourself and see what happens. If you two click, then great, but if you don’t, it isn’t the end of the world. My roommate and I were good friends, but we didn’t spend every minute together. Basically, don’t try too hard to be best friends, but do try to put in some effort to be friends.

Following these three tips will definitely help make your college rooming experience a lot better. It may take a lot of effort and compromise, but in the end you’ll be happy that you made it work out. Also, remember that if it doesn’t work out even after trying your hardest to make it work, it’s only for a year.

Summer Before College Series 27: Things To Leave At Home

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Hello again, bloggers!

I am back with the twenty-seventh installment of my “Summer Before College Series”. Today I would like to talk about which items you should leave at home. All of my blogs thus far have described what to bring and what is necessary. Now, I would like to take the opportunity to tell you a few items that I wish I would have left at home my freshman year.

Do not get me wrong, you will need a lot of items for school since it will be your new home for the next eight to nine months. However, many items that you think you will need, you actually will not.

The number one rule that I stick to when packing is: only bring items that you use regularly. Do not bring things that you feel you may need only in certain situations. More often than not, you will not use them.

The list below will make following the rule above easier. This list contains several items that I have learned to leave at home after four semesters of college.

1. Clothes. Now I obviously do not mean all of your clothes! You will need clothes to wear, but you do not need to bring every single item from your closet. When packing my clothing up for college, I tend to follow two rules that I have given myself. The first requires me to go through my closet and pull out all of the pieces that I have not worn in the past one to two months. Whatever is left will go to school with me. Then, as I get further into the semester, the second rule comes into play. This rule requires me to switch out my wardrobe season to season. I only live four hours away, so my parents come to visit me every few weeks and it is easy for me to take the bus home. If it is harder for you to have visitors/go home, then you should use a combination of the first rule and the second rule. Sort your clothes into seasonal piles. Then, pull out your most frequently worn pieces. Make sure to be honest with yourself-that way you do not take up too much space!

2. Extra furniture. Unless your school has informed you differently, do not bring the furniture from your room at home. As I have said before, the typical dorm room will come with a Twin XL bed, dresser, and a desk. This is all that you will really need. Do not bring an extra dresser, bed, etc. This will just unnecessarily take up space.

3. Kitchen Supplies. Again, unless your school instructs otherwise, leave your kitchen supplies at home. Most dorms do not come with a kitchen, so, again, you will be wasting wanted space.

4. Important Documents. These include social security cards, birth certificates, bank account information, etc. Many people will come in and out of your dorm, so it is best to keep these documents secured at home. If your school/work needs them, then you can have your parents/guardians fax them out.

These are the four items that I leave at home each semester, and, boy, am I glad that I do! I save precious space and secure my most important documents!

 

Is there anything else that you think you will leave at home?

Summer Before College Series 25: Four Secrets To An Organized Room

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Hello again!

Over the past seven weeks, I have written plenty of organizational blogs. I have written about organizing your schedule, important documents, materials, and your life. Today, I would like to discuss organizing your room. Companies like The Container Store and Bed Bath & Beyond make a living off of people trying to organize various rooms in their houses. They have created many ways to perfectly and neatly store your necessities.

Organization is extremely important, especially for college students. Why else would I write about it so much? Students need to not only organize their busy lives, but also the space where they spend most of their time. If you keep your space organized, you will be better able to complete the task at hand and find things when you really need them.

As I said before, there are many different ways to organize your room. Numerous companies have invented great options that not only keep your things organized, but also go with the theme and vibe of your room.

Below, I will give you my secrets to organizing all of the different things in your room. Keep in mind, these things have worked for me for two years, but there are not the only ways to organize. There are plenty of options available; you just have to look around!

  1. Storage bins. These will save your life in college! These bins are great for holding all of your clothing that you may not want to wear every day or even in the current season. What makes storage bins so great is that they are able to be stored under the bed. This will save you a lot of space throughout your room! I also like to use these to store extra linens and extra toiletries.
  2. Rolling storage cart. I absolutely love this organizational tool! These are perfect for your accessories, toiletries, socks, etc. For example, I keep my smaller clothing items in one rolling cart and then my accessories and toiletries in another. If you have a big enough closet, you could even put one inside of it for extra storage and organization.
  3. Desk storage accessories. I love the selection of these organizational tools at Wal-Mart. They have wonderful color options for every piece. Also, Wal-Mart usually sells these in packs or sets so that everything matches. In these sets/packs you will most likely receive a pen/pencil holder, a paperclip holder, a small bin for post-its and index cards, and a larger bin to put folders in.
  4. CD case. This is my biggest secret! Before school started my freshman year, I bought a cd case that holds up to 100 CDs. Then, I placed all of my DVDs in alphabetical order within the case. That way, I can now leave the cases at home to save storage space at school every semester. This also allows for easy access to any DVD you may want to watch!

So there are my four secrets for a more organized room. If you follow these four tips, then you will have a fantastic, neat, and organized space.

What other tools do you use to organize?

Summer Before College Series 6: Adding Touches of “You”

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Good morning, blog community!

Starting in the fall, your dorm room will be your home away from home-your sanctuary when things get rough. You will be spending a ton of time in your room. It is important to make your room as comfortable and fun as it can be. The best way to do this is by bringing touches of “you” to your room. You want your room to scream “you” when you walk into it; it should be a reflection of your personality.

Below, I have listed five ways to bring more of “you” into your room.

  1. Pictures of family and friends. Nothing screams “you” more than the people who helped to make you who you are. Your friends and family are a part of your everyday life. If you cannot have them with you while away at college, why not have pictures of them hung on your wall? They not only add the most important touch of you, but also allow you to keep your friends and family on your mind. Curing homesickness and showing people where you came from are some added benefits of hanging pictures of family and friends.
  2. Accent with your favorite color. Colors are a great way to brighten up the room. Once you find the main theme in your room (typically sports, European, flowers, or animal print), add hints of your favorite color to make your room more like you. Adding the color will make your room better reflect your personality. You can accent a few different items. You can make your rug, hangers, laptop cover, bed pillows, sheets, or furniture decked out in your favorite color.
  3. Add posters of your favorite celebrities/musicians/movies/t.v. shows. You want to make sure that your room showcases your favorite things. This can include your favorite movies, celebrities, t.v. shows, musicians, etc. A really good way to do this is through posters. Posters are allowed in most dorm rooms as long as you do not use tape to secure them to the wall. Many companies make adhesive stickers that do not damage the wall, so try to use these if at all possible. These posters do not have to match your room, but they should include all of your favorite things that make you feel comfortable.
  4. Bring some home decor. The home decor can reflect your overall theme or just be pieces that remind you of home. I tend to gravitate towards the decor that reminds me of home. I buy pieces that match my mom and dad’s themes. My dad has an outdoor theme, while my mom has a home and garden theme. I bought a Native American dream catcher and a sign that reads “home is where the heart is” to represent both households. These pieces also remind me of home when I am homesick.
  5. Add a hint of your style. The last thing that I like to do with my room to make it more like me is to add hints of my style. I have a very floral style-if something has flowers on it, I love it! I have several floral items in my room at school, including floral picture frames and floral desk accessories. You could do the same with a different theme or add hints to other areas of your room, such as on decor items and decorative pillows.

Making your room reflect your personality is easier than you think! If you follow these tips, you will be a step closer to making your room into your own perfect paradise!

Make sure to check out the various decor items that OCM has to offer! You may find something that adds just the right touch to show off your personality!

Choosing a Living & Learning Community

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Living and Learning Communities give students the best opportunity to make friends and find a home at their new university. If you’re nervous about fitting in or adjusting to the college lifestyle a living community might be perfect to help you make the transition. And if you just want a close group of friends to do stuff with, it’s still perfect for you.

Floor Specific Communities:

In floor specific living communities you’re housed with a group of students who share the same major or interests as you. Every school has their own variety of living communities, and they often change from year to year. Some of the common communities include Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) and Students in Arts and Sciences. Aside from major specific communities there are also communities that focus on interests such as writing or exploring your new city.

Honors Dorms:

If you’ve been accepted into the honors program, the honors dorms are the best way to spend your freshmen year. Honors students often have access to a variety of programs and benefits that other undergrads don’t have the opportunity to participate in. Living with other students that share those opportunities makes it easier to take advantage of them. Plus honors students are often spoiled with the best dorms on campus. Don’t miss out on it!

Freshman Dorm:

Every college has at least one freshmen dorm. Overloaded with young freshmen, eager to make the most out of their college experience these dorms often become the party dorms. If you’re looking for the traditional college experience, you know, the one Mom and Dad always brag about and you’ve seen in every movie, than the freshmen dorm is the way to go. You will meet a lot of students in these dorms and you will have a lot of opportunities to get involved on campus.

Foreign/Transfer Students:

To help make the transition as smooth as possible, many universities have living communities for both foreign and transfer students. These dorms often have programs set up to help you get to know other students and to explore your new city. So if you’re nervous about the change or you just want some help adjusting this may be perfect for you.

Choosing a freshmen Dorm

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Right about now you may be facing a difficult decision. You know which school you’ll be attending in the fall, but now you need to figure out which dorm you’ll be living in.

It’s not an easy decision to make. You don’t know what it will be like to live in a residence hall until you’ve lived there, especially if you’ve never had a roommate or shared a bathroom. Your experience will be unique, but that’s half the fun.

Traditional Doubles, Triples, and Quadruples:

The dorms you’ve seen on TV and heard your parents talk about are probably all traditional doubles. These small, shared rooms have community bathrooms down the hall and bunkable beds (that’s why you can fit up to four people in each room).

When most people talk about the freshmen experience, they’re talking about traditional doubles. Meeting people is never a problem in these dorms, but finding a second alone may be. You will run into other students everywhere: while you’re waiting for the elevator, when you’re headed to the bathroom, and even while you’re chilling in your room with the door half open. That makes it easy to make friends and adjust to the new college environment.

Traditional Suite-style Dorms –

Suites are nice. You still have to share your bedroom with a roommate, but you and usually 1-5 other students have your own bathroom, kitchen, and common area. That’s way more space than you’ll ever get in a traditional double.

However, the extra space can become an issue. Since residents have their own kitchen and common area in their dorms they often will spend more time in their dorms than out. That’s why suite-style residence halls are often considered to be anti-social or just too quiet. But if you like a little privacy you can still make the best of your experience. You’ll get to know your suitemates really well, and if you put the effort into being social (and leave your door open) you’ll get to know the other students as well.

Private/Single Rooms

If you’re a freshman, I wouldn’t recommend a single room for your first year. Yes, you’ll have more privacy, but your freshmen year is supposed to be about meeting new people and learning new things. Living with a roommate will teach you a lot about yourself and the world.

However if you’re a sophomore (and up) single rooms are ideal. You’ll have privacy whenever you it, and all you’ll have to do is open your door to find friends when you feel like being social. You’re living in the center of campus, but you’ll feel like you have your own apartment to decorate and enjoy.