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How To Turn Your Dorm Bathroom Into a Spa

Dorm bathrooms are the bane of my existence. You may think that’s an extreme exaggeration, but you would be wrong in that assumption—I kid you not, I have nightmares about grimy bathtubs and tiny tiled spaces.

By no means did I grow up bathed in luxury (pun intended), but I do like a certain level of cleanliness to be upheld in the space I’m supposedly supposed to clean myself. Unfortunately, I can still clearly recall the bathroom in my freshman dorm, which was so small that I basically had to become an acrobat just to fit myself and my bath gear into it at the same time. Not only that, but the sink was outside of the bathroom itself (which coincidentally is one of my biggest pet peeves and also provided even less privacy than there already was with three girls in one room).

The short version of this story is that dorm (and small apartment) bathrooms are the worst. They’re gross, uncomfortable, and far from the relaxing space they’re supposed to be. If you’re in a shared bathroom with your floor, the only thing I can tell you is to put on your shower shoes and get out of there as fast as you can.

However, if you have a private-but-shared bathroom with one or two roommates, here are a few adjustments you can make to improve your dorm bathroom experience when your budget won’t allow for a trip to the spa:

Wear a robe—And not just a robe, but slippers, too! I’ve also found that wrapping my head in a huge towel makes me feel extremely clean, so that’s something you could try as well. The point is to feel as bundled and comfortable as possible, so basically the more terrycloth on your body, the better.

Put containers everywhere—The other day I put a tray with candle jars full of cotton balls on the back of my toilet and my life’s been better since. I have no idea why it’s so satisfying to put your stuff in other stuff, but it makes everything seem fancier.

Ditch the rug—Never in my life have a seen a clean bath rug. Get rid of that nasty thing and replace it wish a cool teak bath mat. You will feel like you stepped into a sauna every time you step out of the shower. Can’t give up the fluffy feeling? I’ve found that a shaggy gray bath mat is best for concealing that nastiness of the bathroom floor. Just do yourself a favor and throw it in the washing machine every once in a while.

Candles, candles everywhere—This part is important—you cannot have a spa-like feeling without beautifully scented candles surrounding you. Choose a few soothing scents—my favorites are light, natural ones that don’t weigh down the room (it’s probably stuffy enough already). If you just got paid and you’re feeling irresponsible, Diptyque candles will inevitably make you feel more luxurious than you ever imagined possible.

Invest in real storage—Containers are cute, but you need somewhere to put all of your junk, too! This shelf is amazing for storing extra odds and ends, and even makes your toilet paper look kind of cute.  If you have somewhere to put it, a basket or two is a great place to keep some extra towels just in case you happen to forget yours—you never know when guests are going to show up in your dorm, and we all know it’s best to be prepared in that kind of scenario.