Dorm decor

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Two or more people living in close quarters is a guaranteed formula for stinkiness, so invest in a fan to air out the room a bit. As a bonus, running the fan at night can help drown out your roommate's snoring. A good pick is the Lakewood Air 360 Series Air Circulator ($14) from Lowe's. The lightweight plastic fan can rotate both vertically and horizontally, and it's only a foot tall, so it won't take up too much valuable square footage.

Trust us, you're quickly going to run out of storage space in your dorm room. Make the most of what you do have with this six-shelf Hanging Closet Organizer ($25) from Target. It hangs from a closet rod just like a regular hanger, giving you lots of vertical storage space for stuff like sweaters and pants. Compartments along the back give you a place to store six pairs of shoes, and the 12 mesh pockets lining the sides can be filled with accessories. Plus, the entire organizer swivels to give you easy access to each side.

Most dorm rooms come equipped with desk chairs and maybe a small love seat, but you'll want to have extra seating available for when friends stop by. A Faux Leather Storage Ottoman ($40) from Wal-Mart won't take up much space and offers a place to stash books, magazines and DVDs. When you're not sitting on it, you can use it as a foot rest or a tiny coffee table.

Let's say you and your roommate aren't on speaking terms. You might still need to communicate with him, though, so consider passing along messages using this Luns magnetic chalkboard ($15) from Ikea. It's lots more attractive than the dry-erase boards everyone and their brother use. Plus, there are little slots on the bottom for leaving mail, keys or other random stuff.