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Everyone knows that college isn’t usually the time in your life when you have lots of extra cash to spend. Between paying tuition and learning to manage your own bills, wall paint and bedroom sheets don’t exactly take precedent. This means it can be hard to decorate your dorm room!

It can be tough to justify spending money on home décor when you’re pinching pennies, but decorating your dorm room can be very beneficial. A happy living space can improve your mood, encourage good study habits, and even promote more restful sleep. So here are some tips to help you unleash your inner Joanna Gaines and decorate your dorm room on a ramen-noodle-for-dinner budget.

Make sure to check out our ultimate college shopping list before you embark on this new adventure.

5 Tips To Decorate Your Dorm Room On A Budget

Between paying tuition and your own bills, wall paint and bedroom sheets don’t exactly take precedent. This means it can be hard to decorate your dorm room!

Go Green

One of my favorite and easiest ways to decorate any space is with plants. Adding something green always makes a room feel more alive and pulled together. You can find good deals at big stores like Lowe’s and IKEA. Plain clay pots are surprisingly inexpensive and very on trend right now. Once you have a few green friends in your dorm room, you’ll be feeling even more at home.

Post It

You can actually find some pretty cool posters if you dig around those campus poster sales. Keep it simple. Dorm rooms are so small, and more clutter will make it feel even more cramped. You can find big poster-size frames for around $20 at IKEA, and the frames without glass at Hobby Lobby are usually a lot cheaper than the full frame options. You can also use washi tape to create a faux frame feel, or just skip the frame altogether!

5 Genius Tips To Decorate Your Dorm Room On A Budget Click To Tweet

Get Creative

One incredibly cheap way to decorate your dorm room and get art on your walls is just to buy fun, colorful paper at a craft store. You can find pieces for $1 or less, and then throw them in a frame that you already have or find at a thrift store. For only a few bucks you can have cute, unique art on the walls!

You can also put your own creative skills to the test and paint, draw, or hand letter your own masterpiece! Don’t have the artistic gene? Simply type up your favorite quote, download a free font that you love, and print it out and frame it.

Light It Up

A big part of ambience is lighting, and the fluorescent lights that hover over most dorm rooms don’t exactly create a peaceful and welcoming environment. However, lamps can be expensive! A cute and affordable alternative is to use white or yellow Christmas lights.

5 Genius Tips To Decorate Your Dorm Room On A Budget

You can borrow them from your parents’ basement stash or find your own at Target, Home Depot, or sometimes even a dollar store. Hang them under your high rise bed or across the ceiling, and you’ve got instant chill vibes that will make studying a breeze.

Stay Simple

Minimalism in interior design is “in” right now, and there’s no better place to practice that than in your compact dorm room. Bring only a few things from home to use in your space, or buy one or two pieces that you love, and let those things make the statement. There’s no need to buy a ton of extra décor and fancy knick knacks when you can keep things simple (and cheap!) and practical and still totally cool.

It’s easy to let the semester fly by without taking the time to cozy up your “home” away from home, but use a study break or two to add just a little pizazz and you’ll be glad you did!

Jenna Lombardi
Jenna Lombardi
Jenna Lombardi currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, Andrew, and their two children, Aaron and Clare. She loves to travel (even with kids!), find a good bargain, and enjoys an iced chai latte with soy milk every now and then. When she’s not wrangling the kids at the playground or the zoo, she can be found practicing hand lettering, reading about pregnancy and natural childbirth, or testing out a new recipe in the kitchen.