Friday, 18 September 2015

Dorm Room Decorating on a Budget

When you're a university student living at home, you can still comfort yourself at the end of a tough day with familiar items and surroundings. When you're a student living in 'res', you may be lucky enough to bring a few of your familiar things into an otherwise soulless room that you may or may not be sharing. Even worse, you're probably also completely broke. 

Don't despair! There are a ton of ways to jeuje up your dorm room, organize yourself for school on a tight budget, and still have plenty of money left over for ramen noodles and beer. Some projects can be done with items you might already have or could borrow, and others could be done for a $5 shopping spree at the Reuse Centre. 

I'd like to share a few of my favourite budget projects for personalizing your dorm space and staying on top of school projects.

 DIY Dry Erase
Papers and exams can overwhelm you if you don't stay organized from the start. I always made sure to grab a free agenda during the first week of school, but I also liked having a wall calendar handy to help me plan a month ahead of time. Calendars can be pricey, but if you can pick up free paint chips at a hardware store or the Reuse Centre, a frame from your parents/Reuse Centre/dollar store, and a whiteboard marker, you can make a dry erase calendar to get you through the semester. Bonus points for giving your drab dorm room a punch of colour.

Don't need a calendar? Instead of paint chips, fill the frame with a bit of gift wrap or scrapbook paper. Now you've got a super cheap dry erase board to leave reminders for yourself, or angry notes for your roommate.

Desk Organizers
When you only have so much space, it's really easy to clutter it up and make a big mess. Closets can quickly get out of hand, and course handouts can get lost in the ever-growing piles of paper. Help yourself stay organized with upcycled wicker baskets! Grab some old, outdated styles for cheap. They might be hideous under normal circumstances, but covered in a coat of metallic or bright-coloured paint, they will breathe life into your room and tame your mess. These beauties can become your new T-shirt baskets, paper trays, and pencil cups. If your grandmother doesn't have any, thrift stores and the Reuse Centre certainly will. 

Transform cereal boxes into attractive and useful organizers with a box cutter, your favourite fabric, gift wrap or magazine cutouts, and some tape. Use them for your paperwork, organizing your makeup, storing your hair appliances... Whatever you need! 

Closet Space Savers
This has to be about the easiest possible way to maximize your dorm room's non-existent closet space. Remove the tab from a pop can, loop one end over one hanger, and a second hanger through the other end. Voila! You've doubled your storage space and now you can keep outfits together. You can probably assemble enough pop can tabs for this in an afternoon if you recruit your friends. 

Another inexpensive space saver is to add shower curtain rings to a hanger, to keep all of your smaller items in one place. Belts, scarves, tank tops, you name it! If you're a purse junkie, you can also store them this way. Try your nearest dollar store or second hand shop for shower curtain rings, and make sure your hanger is sturdy. 

Of course, this is just a sampling of some of the easiest ways to personalize and organize your dorm space on a small budget. The Reuse Centre, your closest dollar store, and your parents' basement can hold a wealth of items to accessorize your student life, and a spot of paint can do wonders to turn something dated into something chic. Be creative! 

Best semester wishes from the Reuse Centre! 
Nichole (Volunteer)

1 comment:

  1. Those are some great ideas! Thanks for sharing!