Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries
Serving Greater Cincinnati

5 Budget-Friendly Ideas for Decorating a College Dorm Room

Dorm move-in day is almost here for college students across the country! Moving to your first college dorm room is exciting; it’s like a blank canvas just waiting for your décor and creativity. But adding those final touches to make your dorm room feel like a smaller home away from home can be a challenge. Luckily, you don’t have to break the bank to decorate your dorm room in style!

Check out these budget-friendly tips to dress up your dorm room with thrift store finds from Goodwill:

Graphic with text: Goodwill College Essentials. Collegiate kitchen: stay simple and thrifty. Be ready! Add professional basics to your wardrobe. Keep your college furniture cheap but chic!

College Essentials from Goodwill

Rearrange the room

You may be thinking that no matter how you rearrange a dorm room it will end up looking the same in the end. However, little did you know that this simple task can do wonders! For example, did you know most dorm room beds can be raised up in a ” loft” position or even turned into bunk beds? Raising your bed gives you more room to put a dresser or storage bins underneath. Together with your roommate, play around with different arrangements until you find the one that produces the greatest amount of open space. When you find it, your room will automatically look bigger and less cramped. This will allow you to be even more creative with decorations and extra furniture so you can enjoy your ” dorm sweet dorm.”

Tapestries and flags

The first thing you will notice when you walk into your new space is the amount of blank wall space. With all this extra space, one way to express your personality is by hanging a decorative tapestry or flag. Tapestries more recently became popular and there are endless options to choose from that include nature, art, quotes, images from TV shows and movies, and other designs. Shop at Goodwill for a variety of tapestries and other wall décor to give your dorm room a unique flair.

String lights

If you walk into almost any dorm room, one thing that you will probably see are string lights hanging from the ceilings, as a backdrop, or outlining decorations on the wall. Adding either white or colored lights to your room creates an entirely new atmosphere for your cozy dorm room. Along with string lights, look for extension cords and power outlets for all your electronic devices at your local Goodwill store or on our online auction site, shopgoodwill.com.

Two Picture frames displayed on a shelf

Picture frames from Ohio Valley Goodwill

Picture Display

Leaving friends and family is never easy. Before heading off to college, print some of your favorite photos and display them in frames or create a DIY display using clothespins to attach them to ribbon or string lights. Ohio Valley Goodwill always has a variety of frames in different shapes and sizes, allowing you to bring memories with you and display them with style.

Indoor Plants

Another budget-friendly way to decorate your dorm room is to create your own indoor garden with faux flowers or low-maintenance plants. Pick your favorite plants and display them on the windowsill, your desk, or an end-table. Along with making your room feel more like home, you will also be improving the air quality in your room at the same time! Succulents are a great option for dorm rooms because they are very easy to care for; many varieties only need to be watered about once a month! Another tip: get creative with how you display your plant. Some fun ideas include thrifted teacups or teapots, glass jars, or even repurposed lanterns or bird cages. Shop at Goodwill to get ideas for repurposed containers and planters.

Outside shot of Ohio Valley Goodwill store

Ohio Valley Goodwill store

Shop at Goodwill for all your college essentials

Decorating your dorm room doesn’t need to be an added expense on top of your college education. Plus, because your style will likely change over the next few years, it just doesn’t make sense to overspend on decorations you may never use again.

Stay on budget and on style by shopping for dorm room essentials, décor, and of course, back-to-school clothing at Ohio Valley Goodwill! With 18 retail stores in and around Cincinnati, Ohio Valley Goodwill is the Cincinnati thrift store that has everything you need to make your new home away from home reflect your unique personality and style.

Remember, when you shop at Goodwill, you’re not the only one who’s getting a great deal! The dollars you spend at Goodwill help to support our mission to change lives through the power of work and make a positive and long-term difference within the Greater Cincinnati community.

Get out to Goodwill to find your newest dorm room accessories before move-in day! Locate your nearest Ohio Valley Goodwill retail store and register for special offers to save even more on your next shopping trip.