(WARNING: some mild DIY ahead)
Coordinate with your roommate
If you already know who your roommate is prior to move-in day, coordinate with them on your room decor to create a cohesively decorated room and only pay half the price. Also, buying in bulk is often cheaper than just buying one item for yourself so it’s good to do the shopping together all the way through.
Print out your posters
Don’t buy posters, print them! There are hundreds of free, not illegal, images online that you can easily print off and stick to your wall for some low-budget room decor. Even if you wanna go the extra mile and print them on shiny paper, which I totally understand, it is still pretty cheap to print all your pictures at the nearest office supply store. I got all of these and more for $0.69 a piece at Office Max and they did all of the work for me.
Paint your own wall art
Why spend money on wall art when you can paint your own masterpiece? It’s easy to find painting supplies on sale at a craft store or you can even use the art building on your college campus as a resource. Painting is a great way to relieve stress in college, I would even make it a wine night with your gal pals. You’ll get to enjoy the process, have a one-of-a-kind piece to hang in your room, and now you have a memory to look back on every time you see it. Also, don’t discount yourself from this if you are doubtful of your artistic abilities. There are so many fun ways to cover a canvas that require no skill at all, just make it your own!
DIY coasters: a revelation
Adding coasters to your countertops is a great way to make your dorm room seem more homey and grown-up at the same time. Anyone who walks into your room and sees a gorgeous set of coasters will think “Wow, they really have their life together.” The best part is, you don’t need to spend a pretty penny on some couture coasters. There are lots of easy to follow tutorials online on how to make your own coasters with just some oven-bake clay! These are so fun to make and I promise you they can be addicting.
A reusable calendar is a must
Personally, I don’t know what I would do without my reusable calendar. I shudder at the thought of buying one of those packaged paper calendars that only lasts you one year and then you throw it away and buy a new one. Chalkboard or dry-erase calendars you buy one time, that’s it, endless supply of months. Plus, these look super cute in a dorm room or office space setting and with colorful markers and magnets you can make this calendar completely your own. Yes you have to fill it in yourself and yes you can only look at one month at a time, but think about how much better this is for the environment!!! And your bank account!!!
Jazz up cheap storage containers
You should never throw away a perfectly good shoebox. Shoe boxes are good for countless things, including a perfect-sized storage bin in your tiny dorm room. My last new pair of shoes came in this super cute purple box that I lazily added some paint strokes to to cover up the brand name and a couple of scuffs. I put in about 5 minutes of work and my shoebox went from 0 to 100.