At the kickoff of 2013, we wrote a post about five dorm room resolutions to strive for during the new year. I have a habit of wondering where I will be exactly one year from the current day, and now that it's arrived, there are always more resolutions to help guarantee that 2014 will be even better.
To all of the lucky people graduating this spring, I'm happy to count myself among you, and have therefore structured these resolutions to work just as well for apartment living, too! Whatever your post-grad plans are, I bet most of us will be relinquishing dorm life, so getting things off to a clean and organized start is my number one goal for this year.
Without further ado, let's get started on making (and keeping) those resolutions!
1. Decorate without inhibitions.
Sure, there are color trends and items that you see in nearly every photoshoot of model homes, but 2014 is your year to decorate just how you want to. Own your opinion, no matter how popular or unpopular it may be, and embrace this time in your life when you have a blank canvas (or three or four) and energy to spare.
If you want to cover an entire wall in chevron, so be it. If you hate everything about IKEA and want to outfit your whole bedroom in unique thrift-store finds, don't let anyone stop you! Of course, conversations with roommates about living agreements are always courteous and necessary, but you'd be surprised at how design tastes that might seem to clash actually look chic and complementary when laid out.
2. Make your own art.
Have a blank wall above your bed that you don't want to fill with 4" x 6" photographs from high school? Need to fill a space above a sofa in a living room and can't afford a pricey painting from a gallery? Take an afternoon for therapeutic creativity and make your own art.
Grab some friends and throw paint at an unbleached canvas à la The Princess Diaries, hang up a cheap road map labeled with the places you've traveled (or want to go to!), or print out a giant poster in 8.5" x 11" sheets with tiling tool, like this one here. Save money and have decorations that are truly your own.
3. Keep your bathroom organized.
I'm the first to admit that when I get lazy, bathroom organization seems to go out the window. Not so this year, as I'm determined to keep the medicine cabinet and counters as spotless as possible!
Invest in some clear plastic jars with swing tops to corral tools and cotton balls, get some magnet strips to store runaway bobby pins, purge your drawers and shelves of discarded makeup and old mascaras, and make it a rule that as soon as you're done using something, put it away.
4. Don't forget the color.
Remember that your dorm, room, or apartment is meant to recharge you just as much as it's supposed to be a haven of relaxation. Sometimes, even moving two differently colored pieces together can rejuvenate a space and make it look wholly new.
Experiment with patterns and textures, removable wallpaper, and the remarkable power of a brightly colored accent pillow to liven up a neutral bed. Bonus points if you combine resolutions #2 and #4 and make your own!
5. Turn your clothes into art (and save time in the morning!)
One of my favorite movie quotes of all time is something that Nigel (played by the great Stanley Tucci) says about fashion in The Devil Wears Prada: "What they did, what they created, was greater than art, because you live your life in it."
Why not put your wearable art on display by resolving to lay out your outfit the night before? A simple over-the-door expandable valet hook will turn tomorrow's outfit into art that you put on the next day, saving you time in the morning and helping you look your best -- since, of course, when you dress well, you test well.
What do you think?
Do you have any dorm room or apartment resolutions for the new year? What do you think of our tips? Did you manage to keep any of your organizational or fashion-related resolutions during 2013? Let us know with a comment!