Making a dorm a home––Part 4

Read parts one through three of “Making a Dorm a Home” here, here, and here.

The Suite Life

jft4As with living with a roommate, living with several suitemates can be an adjustment. Probably more so. The more people living together, the more personalities there may be to clash. But the more friends you will also make and good memories you will share. Just as we discussed with having a roommate, there will be several things you’ll want to consider when sharing with suitemates.


Although you will still probably only have one or two roommates within the suite you are sharing, there will be some common areas for all the girls to share. You may have to wait until you all arrive to school for the year to talk about what to do with the shared space. That’s fine. Sit down and discuss how to decorate the space and what each person can contribute to the room. Someone may have a couch or chair that could be used. Someone else may have a TV that can be set up. While considering everyone’s tastes, enjoy decorating this new “mini-home” you all are sharing.

House rules

One important thing to consider when living with anyone else, but especially several very different people, is privacy and respect. You will likely have a shared bathroom. And you will likely have different friends to invite over. It’s important to establish some basic house rules when you first arrive, while everyone is on good terms. Don’t wait until you’re irritated with a suitemate to bring up certain issues you have with her. This will only make things worse, and may harm a great friendship. Things to discuss: visitors and guests, quiet hours, snacks and food––each girl for herself, or everything shared? What if you break something that belongs to someone else? Who takes showers when? Does someone have priority on a certain day?


extra1While discussing the house rules, you need to come up with a cleaning plan. This is a great idea for the organized, tidy person, but not so fun for the one who doesn’t mind clutter. Decide if each girl should just clean up after herself (sometimes not so great, since some people can leave a mess for weeks and it not bother them). Should there be a rotation for cleaning places like the bathroom, living space, etc.? Is there one time a week designated for all the girls to get together and pitch in for a cleaning spree? (Suggest ending it with a chick flick and popcorn, and you may have some positive reactions!) Although you may have certain neat-freaks in the group, it’s important that everyone helps out in order to make things work.

Get started!

Now it’s time for you to get started! I’ve given you some helpful tips on the new and exciting experience of living with a roommate (or 4) and making your dorm into a home you can settle into and love. It may not have your mother’s kitchen, but hopefully you can make it feel just as warm.

By Lisa Grimenstein

Speak Your Mind