Feng Shui for Dorm Rooms

By Erica Sofrina, Speaker, Teacher and Author and Founder of the West Coast Academy of Feng Shui

Feng Shui for Dorm Rooms and Back to College Check List

Going away to college is often an exciting and scary prospect. Often it is the first time we are launching out on our own as adults. We are forging our destiny with an entirely new group of people and possibly in an entirely different state. It may be the first time we have lived with a roommate we don’t know much about, if anything. It is a time of both excitement and anxiety. If you have a young adult who is going away to college, here are some Feng Shui tips to help them set up and organize their dorm room in a way that supports their best college experience and gives them a sanctuary space to rest, rejuvenate, play, and study all in one space.

One of the challenges of having a one-room-fits-all is to insure that we have a space that inspires us but is still conducive to good sleep. If the space is too active, it will serve the purpose of fun, but not rest. For more on this please see my article on Feng Shui for Small Spaces along with my article on Feng Shui for Teen’s Bedrooms, for much of the same principles will apply.

An important thing to remember about dorm rooms is that you need one space that serves three purposes: sleep, study, and play. If you create a space that accommodates all three, you will have a multi-functional space that supports you in every way.

Sleep Musts

Getting enough rest is always a challenge for college students, and not often a priority. However, we all know we are more balanced, study better, and can better manage all of the stresses — albeit exciting ones — when we have had enough sleep.

Black Out Eye Masks and Ear Plugs:

Bring several pairs of blackout eye masks and extra packets of earplugs. If your roomy is a night owl or a party animal you will just need to deal with it, so come prepared for this possibility. Always put eye shades and ear plugs on before going to sleep and you won’t be jolted awake by late night comings and goings.

Bed in Empowered Position:

In order to feel the most comfortable, sleep soundly, and feel safe, the bed should be placed in the empowered position. This is where you can see the door when you are in bed, but are not in direct alignment with it. Dorm rooms tend to be small and there are few places to put beds. If your bed has to be placed in direct alignment with a door create a faux wall by positioning some sort of divider between you and the door. This can be a large banner that hangs down above the foot of the bed, a large plant, or a room divider. Choose neutral patterns and/or designs for a more calming space. If you can’t, and your bed has to be placed in such a way that your back is to the door, place a small mirror in a position that allows you to see who is coming in.

Choose Calming Colors for Sheets and Bedding That Inspire You But Are Not Too Active:

Your bed should feel like a big comfy stuffed animal you can curl up in and escape from the world. Make sure the area around the bed is also calming, placing more active pictures and posters out of your sight-line if possible. For this I will refer you to my article on Feng Shui for Bedrooms.

Make sure the things you see just before you go to sleep and right as you wake up are inspiring. Feng Shui teaches that everything in our living space is alive and interacting with us, moving our lives in that direction.Your moods and emotions will be affected by the messages of your art, so make sure they are empowering and moving your life forward in a way that is positive.

Next: Your study area

Your Study Area

Desk in Empowered Position:

The arrangement of your study area is crucial for any student who needs to spend a lot of time at their desk. The desk should ideally also be in the empowered position, where you can see the door but are not directly facing the open door. If there is nothing you can do about it, make sure to place a mirror in such a way that you can see the activity that is happening behind you.

You want to have a good strong reading light, and a big enough desk to hold your laptop, the immediate books you are using, and anything else you need to use for each project. Everything else should be stored in file cabinets and/or bookshelves. If you have to throw off mountains of stuff every time you go to study, you won’t want to work there and your grades may suffer. If you don’t plan on studying there, stake out the library and make sure to sit in the empowered position when you study.

Your Vision Board:

Have a bulletin board over your desk and make it a vision board, using inspiring pictures and affirmations that lift your spirits and affirm the positive visions you have for your life. Attach pictures of someone scaling a mountain or performing awe-inspiring feats, or places in nature that you love. This is a place for the positive things you want to manifest in your life.Avoid negative pictures with messages that don’t serve who you truly are or want to invite into your life. Feng Shui teaches that everything in our environment is interacting with us and is moving our lives forward in this direction. Be conscious of what you put up on your walls and ask the question “Is this serving my highest vision for me and my life?” The vision board will also keep you from taping scraps of things to the walls, providing a place for everything to “live.”

Dry Erase Board:

Use this also for tasks and projects you need to complete with the deadlines dates next to them. Use positive phrases after each project like “rocked it!” – and you will!

Clearly Delineate Your Space from Your Roomie’s:

Although dorm rooms are often tiny, try to make a clear delineation between your part of the room and your roommates. Sometimes the boundaries between who owns what stuff can become blurry over time. If you set up who owns which part of the room, closet, etc. you won’t have to deal with friction later. It is always good to anticipate challenges upfront and head them off at the pass. Living in a small space is challenging and acknowledging and dealing with it early will save hurt feelings later. So separate which areas are exclusively theirs, yours, and what is shared space.

Spaces for Fun

The spaces for fun can be the shared spaces. If you can fit a separate futon couch, loveseat or a few chairs, add a little coffee table or get an inexpensive crate and decorate it yourselves and use this as a place for candles and fun relaxation objects. Make sure to have floor lamps where you can dim the lighting for down time. String twinkly white Christmas tree lights around the room, plug them in, light the candles (battery operated kind for safety), put on the music, and create a magical ambiance. Lighting is a way to completely change the mood in a room, so make sure you have the right kind so you can change it up!

Keep it Organized and De-Cluttered:

I know this is a huge one and nearly impossible for dorm rooms, but if you anticipate what you need and get the necessary organizer bins beforehand, you will have a space to put everything. This is often the problem with clutter — too much stuff with nowhere to put it. Get shoe caddies and double hanging rods for closets to double the hanging space, and under-bed storage for things you don’t need as often. This is not something we like in Feng Shui, but is a must for small spaces. The fact is you will be spending a lot of time there and won’t want to if it looks like a big disorganized junk heap. Make this your magical space and keep it organized and it will greatly enhance your college experience.

Finding your Romance Corner:

For those interested in finding out which part of the room represents romance and how to enhance it, you are invited to read my article here.

Next: Packing list

Your College Packing List:

Here’s a packing list of the most important things you should remember to take with you, arranged by category. Should you be moving into a shared living space with other friends, this list will also include things you will need for the bathroom and kitchen.


  • Sheet set
  • Comforter/quilt
  • Bedside caddy
  • Bed pillows
  • Duvet cover
  • Comforter/duvet grip
  • Bedside table
  • Throw/blanket
  • Alarm clock

Worried about bed bugs?

  • Mattress protector
  • Mattress topper
  • Mattress pad


  • Desk
  • Bookcase
  • Desk accessories
  • Laptop sleeve
  • Wastebasket
  • Desk lamp
  • Computer chair
  • Bulletin board, pushpins
  • Light bulbs
  • Surge protector
  • Laptop accessories
  • Dry erase board and markers
  • Book light
  • USB flash drive
  • Digital audio recorder (optional)


  • iPod or CD player
  • iPod or CD speakers
  • iPod accessories
  • Headphones/ear buds
  • Floor cushions/backrest
  • Area rug
  • Fan
  • Frames and wall art
  • Blackout window panels
  • Floor lamp
  • Room fragrances (such as aromatherapy)
  • Door mirror
  • Little white Christmas tree lights
  • Candles – get the battery operated kind for safety purposes
  • Comfy chairs and/or love seat
  • Crate or small table for coffee table

No closet doors?

Closet doors or coverings are always recommended. Clothes carry a lot of energy and it can be disturbing to your sleep to be looking at them, so cover them up when ever possible

  • Curtains (choose a more muted pattern; too wild = too active a space)
  • Click rings
  • Closet curtain rod


  • Under-bed storage (not normally recommended; only if necessary)
  • Shoe storage
  • Stacking drawers
  • Closet organizers
  • Luggage
  • Batteries
  • Safe/laptop lock
  • Small iron/ironing board if necessary
  • Purse organizer
  • Hangers
  • Emergency first aid kit
  • Small tool kit
  • Hooks for hanging bathrobes, jackets
  • Drawer organizers


  • Towels
  • Washcloths
  • Mesh bath sponge
  • Laundry basket
  • Bath storage
  • Laundry hamper
  • Shower tote/caddie
  • Hairdryer
  • Shower curtains/liner
  • Hand vacuum
  • Robe
  • Slippers
  • Toothbrush and holder
  • Drying rack
  • Toilet brush
  • Over the door towel rack
  • Soap holder and soap
  • Shower/bath rug
  • Air purifier


  • Plates and bowls
  • Glasses
  • Coffee/tea makers
  • Cutlery and utensils
  • Cups and mugs
  • Can/bottle opener
  • On the go travel mug
  • Water bottle
  • Bag/chip clips
  • Water pitcher and filters
  • Food storage
  • Lunch bag

Here is to a wonderful college experience!

5 Tips for Making Small Spaces Look Larger
8 Steps to Feng Shui Your Bathroom
15 Tips for Downsizing Your Living Space


Debbie Miller
Debbie Miller5 years ago


Nils Lunde
PlsNoMessage se5 years ago


Graham McCrossan
graham McCrossan5 years ago


Cheryl I.
Past Member 5 years ago


Marie W.
Marie W5 years ago

I had a bed, a desk, a chair and a lamp. I survived.

Erica Sofrina
Erica Sofrina5 years ago

Excellent Advice Michael C, yes, lets do solar, I will look into it, does anyone know if there are solar powered candles?

Gloria H.
Gloria H5 years ago

times have changed since I was in college..so many cool things for storage..faux fur throws, etc. I looked up the advice setting up the love feng shui which has hints we single older gals can still use! Great ideas!

Winn Adams
Winn A5 years ago


Erica Sofrina
Erica Sofrina5 years ago

Thank you all for your comments and tips. Sarah A you are so right about the candles, I will add to the article to get the battery operated kind of candles, much safer and still you have the ambiance . Thank you!

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal5 years ago

This reminded me to clear my work space and use my dry eraser board to post my upcoming projects and exams with "You rocked it!" Thanks!