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What's permissible and not for dorm room decorating

lfn2019momlfn2019mom 2 replies2 postsRegistered User New Member
Hope everyone is having a great summer. My kiddo is an entering freshman and hopes to really really decorate the dorm room. Could you shed some light on the following:
1. Bunking or lofting beds
2. Hanging shelving with nails (too heavy for commando strips)
3. Swapping out wooden desk chair for cushioned desk chair
4. Bringing freestanding bookshelf (is there room for this?)
Thank you for all insights!
14 replies
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Replies to: What's permissible and not for dorm room decorating

  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 2812 replies36 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Varies by college and by dorm
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  • bjkmombjkmom 7942 replies158 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Take a look at the school website, under Residence LIfe. I found this on the University of Chicago site: https://cpb-us-w2.wpmucdn.com/voices.uchicago.edu/dist/e/505/files/2019/07/What-to-Bring-to-Campus-2019.pdf
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  • NorthLeftCoastNorthLeftCoast 73 replies5 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    @lfn2019mom
    1. My D's bed can be lofted to about hip height. (I'm 5'9", so YMMV) The ones I have dealt with for the past three years could not be bunked.
    2. No nails in the walls. We have bought enough command strips to keep 3M in business for a while :smile:
    3. I know of a couple of kids in my D's house who bring their own desk chairs, but they leave the wooden chair in the room. However they live in a dorm with good sized single rooms so there is space to tuck the unwanted wooden chair out of the way.
    4. It's going to depend on the dorm. There is a free standing bookcase in each room in my D's dorm, but I don't know this to be the case for all of the dorms. If nothing else, there will be shelves hung on the walls for them. For my D, she quickly filled hers and ended up adding a corner bookshelf in her second year. She has had good sized singles so she's had room to add extra furniture.

    Room assignments for First Years should be out soon-ish, and once your student gets theirs, you'll have a better idea of how much space you'll be working with. UChicago's housing page used to have some decent photos of rooms as well floorplans, but they changed it last year, I believe, so now there are only a few posted per dorm. The sample room layout link has been under construction for easily over a year. Still, here is the page https://housing.uchicago.edu/residence-halls/
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  • browniesundaebrowniesundae 211 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Congratulations to your incoming student!!

    You will definitely NOT be allowed to hang shelves with nails in any dorm.

    I would think extra free-standing shelving would be tight in a lot of dorms (plus, need to be respectful of what roommates would be okay with).

    The UChicago website says no "lofting kits" -- I don't know if there is University approved lofting in any of the dorms.

    In terms of the chair - there would need to be an authorized storage area in the dorm to put the other chair. Most dorms allow kids to store some boxes over the summer, but I don't know about storing things during the school year.

    General advice - less is more. Once you see the room in the fall and talk to roommates, you can always order whatever is needed from Amazon. Once your students finds out their dorm, there are some helpful images of various rooms here: https://housing.uchicago.edu/residence-halls/
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  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 6554 replies22 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^ What the above are saying. Best to wait till you actually move in and can get a better grasp on what else is needed and where it will fit. And then just order from Amazon and similar. Stick with the essentials at first.
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  • lfn2019momlfn2019mom 2 replies2 postsRegistered User New Member
    Thank you everyone for your insights. The information you provided is very on point and takes much of stress out of the process. Your idea to just wait and see the room is very well taken.
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  • browniesundaebrowniesundae 211 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited July 21
    @lfn2019mom I once heard that sending your kid off to college induces a second "nesting" phenomenon. When you have a baby, you have a need to make a "nest" with all the perfect accoutrements. When your child is getting ready to go to college, you also have the maternal urge to make sure they have a comfortable, homey environment.

    I don't know if this is happening to you, but I definitely felt the nesting instinct kick in when I was sending off my twins to their first year of college last year. All summer I was thinking of things they might need. We had a "staging area" in our house, and I was constantly buying things and putting them in the kids' boxes (umbrella, first aid kit, dishes, mirror, boots, wall hangings, laundry basket, fairy lights, and on and on.) My daughter and I spent hours online and in stores looking for the perfect rug for her room. It was my little way of having some control over their college experience, because the hardest thing is knowing that you can't always be there to make sure they are okay. Problem is, most dorm rooms are short on space!

    It's such an exciting time. Good luck! It will be a great experience for your student, comfy desk chair or not. Also, there is a UChicago parent Facebook page that sometimes yields some good info and tips -- search 'UChicago Parents Page' on fb.
    edited July 21
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  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 6554 replies22 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @browniesundae - Thank you for mentioning laundry basket! Had forgotten to add that to the list for my son.
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  • caymusjordancaymusjordan 145 replies9 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    lfn: I guess it depends on what dorm you are in - my son, in North, had a nice desk chair (not wooden). Have you kid talk to his/her roommate once assigned, look at layouts and get an idea of what you'll need. There are great storage drawers that can fit under the bed once lofted (only goes up around 34" in North, but provides some great space under the bed.)

    brownie: ha! I was the same with the nesting...fortunately my son was good about letting me just go with it - and I seem to be doing the same with him moving into an apartment this fall. I thought he/we packed too much as far as storage drawers and "things", but it all fit well in his side of the room, looked great, and he was even able to move it out on his own at the end of the school-year.
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  • browniesundaebrowniesundae 211 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    @caymusjordan Problem was, my son didn't even know half the stuff I tucked in his storage bins. At the end of the year as we were moving him out, I said "You can put XYZ in your Tupperware." He said "I don't have any Tupperware." I said, "Yes, you do - I packed it for you 9 months ago!" He had never even noticed it! Same for cold medicine and probably a lot of other stuff. 😂
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  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 6554 replies22 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^ Ugh. This has happened to us! But I think my rising first year might be a tad different. I can see him not wanting to purchase anything he doesn't see a need for (even if I happen to know he'll need it . . . ). And that's what Amazon is for.
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  • Kthor626Kthor626 89 replies3 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    LLBean or Land’s End Canvas XL totes are great for this. Buy the ones with zippers. They stand upright (yet are still malleable to shove into tight spots), have handles to carry large loads to the laundry room, and are sturdy enough to serve as luggage to get your kid’s stuff to and from college.
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  • Kthor626Kthor626 89 replies3 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited August 1
    Hah. Unpacked/repacked kid’s stuff from boarding school and debating whether to leave 1/2 of it at home or force kid to sit with me and go through everything so there is a basic awareness. Fun to find all the missing water bottle lids, though!
    edited August 1
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  • uocparentuocparent 326 replies8 postsRegistered User Member
    edited August 2
    Great idea to buy a good chair. For the amount of time my son sits on that dorm room chair, you'd think he would agree to buying a quality chair, but he didn't want it last year. Maybe I can convince him this year.

    Facebook has 2 groups for parents from what I can see. There is a 'UChicago Parents Page' and a 'UChicago Class of '2023' (or whatever year your child is in), and there are some good exchanges there as well. The UChicago Parents Page might be a good place for inquiries too, since there may be more 'seasoned' parents on it. The 'UChicago Class of 2023' page is fun too because you can feel the excitement of all the new parents. (I'm in the '2022' page.)

    Good luck to all with the move and and enjoy the summer with your kids. See you on campus in September!
    edited August 2
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