This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure here.
So, your child is moving into a college dorm this year? If they’re anything like I was, they already have their comforter set, pillows, posters and picture frames picked out. And you’re looking at it and only seeing dollar signs. I’m bringing you some of my tips to save on college dorm decor.
Check with your dorm for decorating restrictions and for what furniture and appliances are provided.
Before you go on a shopping spree, first thing you need to do is find out from your child’s university what is already provided in the dorm room and any decorating restrictions. Many dorms don’t allow nails in the walls, so you’ll want to stock up the next time you see a sale on Command Strips. Also, the university may already provide all furniture your student will need, so you won’t need to worry about those big-ticket items.
“Shop” your own home first.
Another option before heading to the store is to grab things from around your home for your child’s dorm room. Search the attic, hand over that lamp that you never liked. This is a dorm room, they don’t need to have the nicest, most expensive accessories.
Search Craigslist, thrift stores and yard sales for something to rehab.
Give your kids a project to do over these next few weeks before they head off to college. You can find some great, inexpensive pieces and a lot of times all they need is a coat of paint, to be re-covered or even just to be dusted off.
Save on bedding and make your own with iron-on appliques.
This is a fun way to customize bedding at a pretty reasonable cost. You can get this twin-sized white duvet set for only $17.99 right now at Target. You could even do matching curtains with this $10 pair of curtains from IKEA.
IKEA is your friend.
Speaking of IKEA, make sure you take advantage of it! IKEA is cheap, but it definitely won’t last forever. It’s a good decision for some items going into college since your kids are going to wear them out anyway. I wouldn’t go as far as taking a Uhaul to IKEA for your freshman’s dorm room, but it’s definitely worth a stop.
Coordinate with roommates on big purchases.
If you have any big purchases to make for the dorm room, make sure your student coordinates with their roommate so they don’t both end up buying the mini fridge and the microwave.
Don’t buy picture frames. Display photos on the wall with removable washi tape.
Your student most likely won’t be able to put any holes in the wall. Attaching them with washi tape and putting decorative borders around them make a fun alternative.
Check Back to School sales.
I’m always posting deals for school supplies at this time of year. Check all of the Back to School deals going on right now.