my dorm room: a guided tour - my dorm room: a guided tour

Welcome! My name is Sandra and I’ll be your tour guide today.

As this is my last week living at the dorm, I thought I would show you around.

Maybe you’re on your way to college or plan on spending a summer at a residence or hotel like I have.

Either way, hopefully you can get some inspiration from my little tour.


It’s a bed! It’s a couch! It has storage underneath! But mostly, it’s lumpy in the middle. - my dorm room: a guided tour


You know how I wrote about living without a refrigerator? Well, I also don’t have an oven or stove top. I’ve mainly been using a rice cooker and kettle to cook up my meals all summer. - my dorm room: a guided tour

My pantry-only kitchen storage. - my dorm room: a guided tour

Some of the meals I’ve prepared exclusively in my dorm room. - my dorm room: a guided tour

Having a sink in my room is a godsend. It’s where I get ready in the mornings and wash all of my dishes. I’ve set-up a drying area on the desk. - my dorm room: a guided tour

dorm gardening

So I didn’t have success growing herbs on my windowsill as I lack a green thumb. But keeping herbs in a jar with water and growing my own broccoli sprouts worked really well! I highly, highly recommend growing your own sprouts – it’s cheap and easy! - my dorm room: a guided tour


I’ve spared you a photo of the bathroom. There’s really nothing to see – just a shower stall and a toilet. It’s meant to be shared with the room on the other side of mine, but I’ve only had to share it a few times this whole summer. Score!

closet space

There’s a closet with open hanging space, shelves and drawers. Here’s most of my clothes (I have a dress and two coats in the suitcase underneath the bed) and shoes. - my dorm room: a guided tour

And some shelves. (Note the mason jars and reusable containers.) - my dorm room: a guided tour

cleaning and laundry

I have to clean my own room (boo!). I’ve switched to natural cleaners to get the job done. There’s a laundry room downstairs where I wash my clothes and then hang them to dry in my room. - my dorm room: a guided tour


Many of these hooks were already here when I moved in (as well as that cute little mirror by the front door). They’ve come in handy! - my dorm room: a guided tour

art and décor

I’ve added a few little touches to personalize the space. - my dorm room: a guided tour

at-dorm entertainment

A little bedside reading and DVDs borrowed from the library! - my dorm room: a guided tour


When not in use for food prep, the desk gets used as . . . an actual desk! I wrote part of the first draft of my novella at this very spot. - my dorm room: a guided tour

please exit through the front door

And that concludes our tour. Everything I own in approximately 100 square feet. I hope you’ve enjoyed it! (Tips, while optional, are greatly appreciated.) - my dorm room: a guided tour

19 thoughts on “my dorm room: a guided tour

  1. Sky

    We think we can’t live in a small space because we’ve been programmed to have more, more, more! Consume to keep our economy going. It’s such a crock of sh##!!
    Looks like you have everything you need. Good for you.

  2. Jean

    That’s a surprising amount of space. I was expecting it to be like my old dorm, with a bunkbed opposite a single bed and a shared lavatory down the hall (or down a floor). I wonder if Western or its federated colleges have similar lay-out.

    I’m curious about the logistics of moving. Do you box everything up an ship it to a new location? Fill your plastic boxes and hook them to a dolly?

  3. Marcy

    Absolutely Charming! I esp love the kitchen. Your meals looked tasty and your setup looks so hassle free. I love the refrigerator-free experiment, looking forward to hearing more about it( hint, hint!) Take care!!

  4. living lagom Post author

    I remember when I lived in a bachelor that was about 400 square feet. I’d tell people I thought it was too big. And of course, they’d look at me funny. It WAS too big…though I did like the walk-in closet. However, I wouldn’t be able to fill it now. I’d turn it into a writing space! :)

  5. living lagom Post author

    This is a newer residence. It wasn’t here when I was going to school. The older ones have that set-up you described. Some of the newer student housing I’ve seen have double beds and private ensuites – like mini-condos! Very grand indeed!

    My sister helps me move. Everything fits in one carload. In exchange, I help her when she moves. I may move around more than see does, but her moves are very, very painful. I’m not entirely sure it’s a fair trade. :D

  6. living lagom Post author

    Thanks Marcy! I was going to write another post about the refrigerator-free experiment, but there’s nothing really more to say. Every day I take down the rice cooker and put a grain in it. When it’s done, I add veggies and some seeds or fruit and some raisins. It’s not really exciting. But I guess that just goes to show that it isn’t such a hardship either.

    The only thing I wish I had a fridge for would be to store non-dairy milk, so I could make coffee at home (dorm). I’ve been drinking coffee with cow’s milk at coffee shops and we don’t always get along. I’m sure there was an alternative, but alas, not in this go around.

  7. Jean

    After reading this post, I talked to one of my former roomies and we had a laugh. We agreed it depends on layout. She grew up in a ’70s ranch-style house, and I grew up in a house that started as a one-room lumberjack shack. We lived together in dorms and in apartments, including one in a converted root cellar (which was a highly-functional 250 sq ft). Some places waste their space on foyers, big bathrooms, etc. Others seem bigger because the space is used so efficiently.

    When I went looking for a small house, I had trouble finding one that I could live in for 30+ years. I looked at MANY fishing and hunting cabins retrofitted with plumbing etc. The “new” wiring included 2-prong outlets and bare bulbs hanging from the ceiling. The realtor and I often played a game of “Where did they put the toilet?” (Surprisingly common answer: in a kitchen pantry, so the kitchen sink is also the washroom sink.) Newer small houses were designed for “summer people” who don’t cook, launder or garden. So it was a challenge to find a place that suited me, as well as within walking distance of my work.

  8. Fran

    This brings back so many memories for me! I lived in dorms for 6 straight years during undergrad and grad school (never in the same room twice, but once right next door to my old room!). I had way more stuff than you, so I never achieved that glorious sense of spaciousness your photos show. I started to thin stuff out by the final year, though, so my small room felt quite comfortable in the end.

    I’ve been living at my Dad’s house to save money since I graduated, and now I’ll be moving into my first studio apartment next month! I must admit that I have a lot more stuff than you; I aspire to your example. Your small room looks so spacious and comfortable, and I hope that I can make my apartment feel the same way!

  9. living lagom Post author

    Thanks Fran!!! I always try to remember this quote when it comes to the things I own:

    “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris

  10. Megan

    I’d love to hear more about cooking with just a rice cooker and a kettle – a specific “how-to” would be nice! I’ve never used my rice cooker for anything other than rice so some tips/a guide on how to use it for other things would be awesome.

  11. Emily

    Thanks for the tour! Always really interesting to see other people’s spaces. When I went to London last summer, I stayed in a dorm for about 10 days. At the beginning, I felt intense deja vu that made me really uncomfortable, but I started to feel better by the end. I think I could live in a dorm if there were plenty of places to spend time outside my room, like there were when I was at college.

  12. living lagom Post author

    I’ll add a little about this to Monday’s post. But I mostly just played around with the grains and veggies I used to cook in a pot on the stove. I never tried pasta, though it’s possible. The key is to think of the rice cooker as just a cooker – rice is optional. The kettle was for tea, oatmeal and the occasional ramen noodle dinner. :)

  13. living lagom Post author

    I did feel a little claustrophobic at times. But in a way that was good. It made be get out daily to enjoy some fresh air and take a lovely walk!

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