Moving into your new dorm room can be exciting. It’s the signal of a new semester, new classes, new friends, and for the truly nerdy, new textbooks. After a while though, that dorm room will probably lose it’s initial appeal.

Photo Credit: Naomi Lugo

Instead of surrendering to a bland dorm room for the rest of the school year, make an effort to make that space your own. It’s known that most college students aren’t made of money, so it’s important to find inexpensive ways to decorate dorm rooms or college apartments. Here are some easy tips to spruce up your living space without losing your grocery budget.

A big part of your room is obviously the bed. So covering it with a good set of attractive bedding is worth the time.

Since bedding can run on the expensive side, check out stores like Ross and TJ Maxx. Since places like these vary in their inventory, so there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find something unique.

Pillows can also be a part of your decorating scheme, and some comforter sets even come with a couple.

P.S. There was a rumor before I headed off to my freshman year that dorm beds are irregularly sized, and the only sheets that will fit are sold by the college. This isn’t true, I bought my twin sheets from Wal-Mart and they fit fine. So go out and get your own.

Your looming beige walls can easily be spruced up quickly and cheaply with some lovely Christmas lights. If you’re not into the standard Christmas colors there are other lights. I had a set of purple Halloween lights for a while that complimented the other items in my room.

Just make sure you secure your lights in a way that complies with your dorm’s rules, and won’t get you a fine at the end of the school year.

Plants or a Fish, or both
Having something living in your space, will actually, help liven it up. Due to dorm rules you may be limited to having a fish as a pet live with you, but your fish bowl can be a decoration in itself.

Get some plants too. Not only will they add color to your space they also have been said to improve air quality.

Go on Pinterest and find some inspiration to DIY your own room. There are many simple things that you can do to spruce up your space. Visit here for an example.

Old photos or the free paint swatches you can get at the store can all be transformed into some decorating device. Also making your own stuff can be an affective way to save money.

Creating your space will help you appreciate it more, and allow you to express yourself in a way that will make your room unique.


Naomi N. Lugo is studying journalism at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. She is the editor for an ocean-oriented newsletter on campus. She also writes for the UHM student newspaper as well as other magazines and websites. To stay inspired, she listens to NPR, discovers independent media and obscure pop culture. Her portfolio blog can be found here and she explores journalism and her thoughts @NaomiLugo.