Living in a dorm room is similar to being at home in some ways, but it’s also different in that you have limited space and shared resources. You can make the most of your living situation with a few simple tips.

Pick your space

As a freshman, you are guaranteed to get either an old-style dorm room or a new-stylesuite” with multiple rooms. In either case, you will share the space with at least one roommate. If you have more than one room, then each room comes with its own sink and full-length mirror. It’s up to you if you want the doors open or closed, but it can be difficult to share one sink with multiple people.

If you are lucky enough to get a suite, then you have your own room and bathroom — which gives you more freedom in decoration and organization. However, suites also come with a lot of shared space. For example, there might be a communal lounge area or you have to share the bathroom with your suite-mates.

Depending on your living situation, here are some ways to make each room feel more like home:

An old-style dorm room is often 10’x12′, which can feel really cramped when you try to fill it with all of your furniture and clothes. You can make small changes like hanging up posters, but if you want something that will really stand out, consider getting a colorful rug or paint the walls in one of your favorite colors.

Create storage space

If you have a bed/desk combo, then most likely there will be a lot of empty space underneath. You could put your bed on top of the desk and hang storage from the wall or you could get yourself an under-the-bed storage container. Use it to store clothes, shoes, books, papers and other miscellaneous items.

Keep your belongings organized

Dorm rooms are often small enough that everything can just be set out in the open. Not only does this clutter up your space, but it also means that others will see things you don’t want them to see.

On a college campus, theft is not uncommon and people are careless with their belongings — especially when they think no one is looking. You should keep anything of value locked up and try to keep valuables in the same place every time you use them.