Creating Privacy in Your Dorm Room

Privacy is at a premium when it comes to dorm life. Carving out some alone time might seem like an impossible task, but with a little creative maneuvering you can find some peace and quiet. Consider these tips for defining your space.

Divide and conquer

Decorative screen and room dividers add a touch of class to your room and give you precious dorm room privacy. Such products come in a wide variety of sizes, from three to four or more panels, creating what is essentially a moveable wall. Choose from many different screen materials, including metal, bamboo and wood. Styles also vary, or you can create your own by painting the divider to match your room’s décor or with the school’s mascot.

Curtains offer another effective way of creating privacy. Use a spring-loaded tension rod so you don't have to drill holes in the walls. Hang drapery or even a fabric shower curtain on the rod. This is an effective way to cover your bed for privacy.

Bookcases and shelving units also create some separation between you and your roommate. While you might not want a wall of bookcases across the center of the room, placing one alongside the head of your bed gives you some privacy, with the added benefit of extra storage space.

Add window coverings

Privacy also means keeping the outside from looking in. If your dorm room doesn’t have adequate window coverings, install privacy shades easily, which also keep out the sun’s rays when it’s time to take a nap after a late night of studying. Choose temporary or semi-permanent window coverings.

Adjust lighting

Using overhead lighting that illuminates the entire room exposes every inch of the space and creates less privacy than task lighting. Suggest to your roommate that you both use your own lighting at night for studying and reading. When the rest of the room is dark and you each have your spaces lit up, you’ll feel like you’re in your own private world. It also makes it easy for you to turn off the light and sleep when your roommate is still awake.

Try sound conditioning

The soothing sounds of nature created by sound spa or conditioning machines can mask outside sounds, creating a more peaceful environment. Sound conditioning also helps to cover your conversations so you don't have to leave the room every time you want to make a personal phone call. Studies, such as one conducted by the National Institutes of Health, have also found that white noise helps with sleep.

Use headphones

Listening to your own music or just enjoying silence on noise-cancelling headphones masks ambient sounds, such as your roommate watching television or talking with friends, and can almost make you forget you’re sharing a room.

With all of these privacy tricks in your arsenal, you can concentrate on bigger issues — like studying.