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Use tape or white Sticky-Tack (white, because it always leaves residue) as much as possible; most dormitories penalize you if you leave holes in the walls when you move out. If you find it necessary to put holes in the walls, they can be patched with putty, or even toothpaste in a pinch.

Posters are always good. If you don't know your roommate before you move in, try to avoid potentially offensive ones until you know the person better. Don't forget you're going to have to put up with each other for a while, so don't start off in a negative way.

If you need more shelving, the cheapest and easiest way is the old plywood-and-cinder-blocks method. If you get a pre-finished board, it'll look better. Get cinderblocks with big holes: it'll be easier to carry them, and you can store small stuff in the holes.

Inflatable furniture is good because it can be stored when not needed, but it's not quite as comfortable. Bringing an extra pillow to sit on or lean against may be a better idea.

Be creative with what you put up. Cartoon strips or pictures from magazines make good collages, or can be taped up individually and then changed once you get tired of them. Hanging up unusable CD's, expecially the colored burnables, will make good reflective decorations. Pictures of old friends, or your pets and family at home, can ease homesickness or help remind you to e-mail people you don't see anymore. If you can hang up a crystal, you'll get some nice rainbow effects. Mardi Gras masks make a stunning wall decoration, too. Don't forget the possibilities of blacklite-responsive and glow-in-the-dark decorations.

See if you have anything that could go on the ceiling. If it's going over your bed, make sure it's something you want to see first thing in the morning! An abstract piece of art that isn't inherently this-side-up will be the best.

If the lighting available isn't quite satisfactory, bring an extra little lamp. I found one with three little drawers in its base - two for one, lighting and storage! Any item that does double duty will be helpful in a cramped dorm room.

I don't normally like the idea of living things as decoration, but a little plant on a windowsill, or a fish in a small bowl, can make a dorm room seem less like a prison cell. Get something easy to take care of. A mint plant might be a good idea, since they smell good and can be added to drinks. A Siamese fighting fish (betta) or a goldfish will do well in small bowls, and are pretty easy to maintain. Add a pretty shell to the bowl.

If the architecture of the room allows it, consider putting a plank or hammock up high, to store things you need seasonally or only occasionally. Hanging a chain from the ceiling opens up other storage possibilities: you can clip or hang items vertically, perhaps in a corner.

Remember: your room (or rather, your half of the room) will become a reflection of you. You'll be staring at those walls for quite a few months, so make them interesting!