Bringing Zen Elements into a Cramped Dorm Room

A dorm room.

Dorm rooms are small, cramped spaces that are devoid of personality and style. Every year they are transformed by college residents who bring with them their own decorating ideas in the form of truckloads of items from home. Understandably, each roommate wants to have his or her own space and display things that hold personal significance. The danger to this is that the room can quickly become cluttered and feel out of control. By bringing Zen elements into a cramped dorm room, it is easier to stem the flow of chaos and create a room that is a peaceful escape from college life.

Banish the Clutter

The first step to using Zen principles is to get rid of the clutter. Make use of all available closet, dresser, and desk storage. Invest in bed risers to raise the bed up and then place under the bed storage drawers or tubs. The less visual clutter that is in the room, the more peaceful and less cramped the space will feel. If there is not enough room to put everything away properly, decide what can go back home and what needs to remain. It is okay to send things home if they are not needed.

Neutral Color Bliss

Soft, neutral colors will have the most calming effect of all color choices in a room. A palette of light, calming colors will make the room appear larger and create a feeling of rest and relaxation. Opt for warm beige or cream to make the most of the effects of the optical illusions of light paint colors. Choose light, neutral colors for the curtains and carpeting, as well. The warmer and larger the space appears, the more comfortable the cramped dorm room will feel.

Bringing Nature Indoors

The elements of the outdoors play a large part in the art of Zen. In a door room it may be difficult to decide how to incorporate this into the space, but a few simple tricks will make it easy. Although space may be at a premium, the addition of a green plant or a pot of twisting Bamboo will draw aspects of the Zen lifestyle into the room. Be sure to keep the plant healthy, as a wilting or brown plant will throw off more bad energy than good.

Another way to bring nature into the dorm room is to set up a desktop Zen garden. These can be purchased already made, or they can be made relatively inexpensively. Get a rectangular container that is about 1 to 2 inches high. Place sand in the container, filling it about halfway. Choose a neutral-colored fish tank sand to save money. Gather small rocks and pebbles from outside and place them in the container. Most pre-made Zen gardens come with small rakes, but a small, wooden fork will work just as well. The visually pleasing rock and sand Zen garden will create a feeling of tranquility and harmony in an otherwise crowded space.

Bringing Zen elements into a cramped dorm room requires a bit of creativity and clutter control. It can be easily done and the benefits of a peaceful escape will be well worth the effort involved. With Zen elements included, even the most cramped of dorm rooms can be a welcome retreat.