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Your Back-to-School Decorating Guide

Innovative (and inexpensive) ideas to make a dorm feel like home.

Decorating Inspiration for Small Spaces

The Best Desk Supplies
Back-to-school season inspired Real Simple to put grown-up office tools through their paces. These staples made the cut.

11 Inspiring Quotes About School
Getting back into the swing of things is difficult for teacher and student. Here's a round-up that'll ease the back-to-school transition.

Two rooms divided by columns

Creative Decorating Ideas for Small Spaces

If you’re short on square inches, a shot of color can go a long way.
Photo: Mark Luscombe Whyte/Homes & Gardens/IPC+ Syndications

6 Items the College Freshman Won't Really Need

To pack or not to pack?  We asked real college kids to set the record straight.
Photo:  Burcu Avsar

5 Cleaning Supplies Every Dorm Room Needs

Send your college kid to campus with the essential cleaning products.
Photo: Stephen Lewis

Décor Ideas for a Kid’s Room

Inspired ways to keep spaces cheerful, distinctive, and organized.
Photo:  James Baigrie
Two rooms divided by columns
College pennants
Cleaning spray with flowers, sponge, and cloth
Two girls on bunk beds in an organized clean children's room

More Back-to-School

Girl holding present wearing birthday hat

31 Unique Birthday Gifts for Kids
Surprising picks you can wrap up for the next party.

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College pennants

Dorm Room Essentials Checklist

Whether you're heading to college or sending a child off, pick up these essentials for dorm living.

  • Alarm clock. So you can make that 8 a.m. biology class.

    Related: The Best Alarm Clocks

  • Bed linens. Bring your own comforter, sheets, and pillow(s). You may want to have two sets of linens—laundry tends to pile up! Note: Check whether the dorms have regular twin or extra-long twin beds.
  • Clothes hangers. Bring just one type of hanger, and your closet will look more orderly.

View The Entire Checklist

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