It can be very exciting to leave home and go to college. Though it might seem like a tightly packed space with not much room between two people, your first dorm will become host to plenty of great memories. In order for your dorm to feel as much like home as possible, you'll need to decorate it properly. If you're worried about the cost, don't be! There are plenty of ways to decorate and furnish your dorm without breaking the bank.
1. Make a List (and check it twice!)
Think about everything you'll need when you move into your dorm and write it down. It shouldn't be too hard; just think of everything essential that could reasonably fit into a modestly-sized room. Most colleges offer beds, desks and dressers in their dorms, so that takes care of some major items.
2. Talk to your roommate
If you know your roommate but haven't met them formally yet, reach out on social media to discuss plans for your shared dorm. This doesn't need to be too in-depth; just consult with them about what they plan on bringing. This can help you save a good deal of money; for instance, you might be thinking about buying a brand-new TV for the room, but you could find out that your new roommate already has one they're bringing.
No, we don't mean you should root through garbage cans or at the dump for furniture or other dorm room essentials. However, it never hurts to ask around. Check out your house or the homes of relatives and see if there's anything taking up space that you could take off their hands to decorate your dorm on a budget. Additionally, you should also visit thrift shops in your area for possible hidden treasures.
4. Determine what tech gadgets you buy
Are you someone who lives off of ramen noodles and other microwave meals? If so, you should invest in a microwave. Or if you need a caffeine fix in the morning, a simple coffee maker too. While both these items range in price depending on the model, your best bet is to get one that is cheap but reliable.
There is a good chance you'll be writing a lot of papers in college, so a printer is a great investment. Check out the list of the top 10 most economical printers for students to find a printer that's right for you. You should also keep your eye out for discounts on gadgets such as tablets and laptops.
5. Buy multipurpose furniture
If you can't decide between buying a coffee table or a bookshelf when you come to decorate your dorm, compromise. Maybe you can store your books on the coffee table without much intrusion and find that everything works out better that way. You'll end up saving money as well as space.
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6. Talk to experienced dorm decorators
If you have a sibling or older friend in college (or know anyone who recently graduated), talk them about your plans for decorating your dorm and see what they think. They should be able to offer some good advice based on experience. It is very likely that they made some mistakes in decorating they want to help you avoid.
We hope this has been helpful for you as you prepare your journey into dorm life. There's no absolutely right or wrong way to decorate, which means you can do it however you want (provided your roommate is okay with it!). It might seem strange, exciting and scary all at once. But if you can find some great decorations and furnishings, you'll be thinking "dorm, sweet dorm" before too long.
Do you have any ideas on how to decorate your dorm on a budget? Let College News know!