Saturday, June 9, 2012

Budget Dorm Decorating

Even if you have the money to throw away on college supplies or your kid’s first apartment, don’t. You’ll only be peeved when you find broken chairs, and bottle rings on the wood. The best way is to go with the bare minimum. Since it is currently yard sale season you got it made.

Think out of the box—Need a table, consider a camping table, not only it is rugged, but it folds up well. Consider patio furniture, because of it toughness, waterproofness, and cheapness. The plastic parson cube tables you can pick up at thrift shops still work well.

Double Duty Items- these are items than can be used for more than one purpose. A sturdy mini-filing cabinet can store homework, books, or even toiletries while balancing a television or microwave. The fan is must have for an occasional breeze, but mainly white noise so students can sleep is its best function.  The plastic shower caddy is wonderful for carrying your toiletries to the bathroom, carrying art supplies to group project meetups, or even refreshments.

Refurbish-got old furniture in the attic? A simple chest of drawers can be updated with new handles, two colors of paint, and a sea sponge for fewer than sixteen dollars. Feeling especially adventurous-tackle other items headed for the dorm like bookshelves. Be forewarned do not paint the shelves the books actually sit on because paint does come off.

Sheet decorating- find a favorite patterned or solid sheet and get several flats to make curtains, tablecloths, even a body pillow to match the bed. Can’t sew? Just run the rod through the top fold and hang them. You can double the sheet for tablecloths or other coverings.

When picking up free or cheap items do not purchase any cloth items. You can buy new pillows, upholstery or stuffing later. Bed bugs are sneaking into several states via cloth items.  You want to be able to clean everything to get rid of unknown contaminants.
Rentals that are not a good deal- Many colleges often offer to rent a microwave fridge combo, but you can buy the two cheaper separately. They will also rent loft beds, but most parents and students can loft a bed, or assemble one from a kit.
College is expensive enough without laying down money for coordinating accessories. Allow your student to mix it up some. Maybe she’ll get busy and develop a theme to tie the varied items together. As a parent, you don’t want to know what happens when it is time to go home. Many of the must have items are sticking out of the dumpster…not because they are broken either. Your student has grown tired of it or better yet doesn’t want to bother dragging it home. He may give it way to a friend. Or you might successfully get it home for the summer, but he refuses to use it next year. Aren’t you glad you didn’t drop a wad of money on this stuff?

Happy Decorating

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