How to Decorate a Dorm Room on a Budget

Decorating your dorm room on a budget lends itself to creativity, uniqueness and self expression. There is no need to spend a lot of money when decorating your dorm room. Bring things from home, check out local thrift stores and yard sales, and make some of your own!

Bring home to your dorm

Homesickness is common among college students, many of whom are away from home for the very first time. When packing for college, keep in mind ideas about decorating your dorm room to be sure you bring favorite pillows, art, photographs, plants and other decor items. The nicest thing about bringing decor items from home is that they are free!

Hit thrift stores & yard sales

Thrift stores and yard sales are excellent places to shop for those truly unique and affordable decor items. There’s just no telling what you may find! A giant purple panda, a wagon train bedside lamp or blackout curtains may be just what your dorm room needs. Decorating your dorm room from yard sale items hardly costs anything and most sellers are willing to dicker over price, especially when you deliver your “starving student” speech.

Make your own decor

There’s nothing like independence and a lack of cash to spark creativity. Swaths of fabric, a curbside score of colorful toys or a little time spent transforming unwanted textbooks into an art form can make your dorm room the envy of all your neighbors. Most dorm rooms are small, so you will not need much in the way of decor items.

Talk with your roommate

Most college dorms require that you have a roommate. To keep the peace and make the most of your dorm experience, be sure to talk with your roommate about their decor likes and dislikes (among other things). One of the benefits of having a college roommate is that you end up meeting someone with a very different history and personality. Finding common ground is half the fun!

Simple decor ideas

With space and money at a premium, it helps to find decor items that serve a dual purpose. Some ideas include:

   • Dry erase board with plenty of colorful markers

   • Giant calendar with art you enjoy

   • Personalized over-the-door coat or shoe rack

   • Extra pillows to transform your bed into a couch

   • Small fridge or nightstand with doors or drawers to serve as a mini kitchen

   • Boston ivy or spider plant to clean the air while adding a natural touch

Create the perfect dorm room by bringing items from home, hitting thrift stores and yard sales and creating something all your own. You may be surprised at what you can do for yourself when decorating a dorm room on a budget.