So Now That You’ve Graduated…

The art of reusing or decorating on a dorm room budget

It’s that time of the year again, Instagram and Facebook pictures of graduation, seniors weeks and senior balls are flooding your newsfeeds. If you’re anything like us, or have a heart, the sudden realization that the 4 most amazing, carefree and playful years of your life are over and now you have to be a real, functioning and contributing member of society. The duty of become that useful, real person can often involve relocating for job opportunities which means…FIRST APARTMENTS! Decorating can be expensive, and being someone with relocation expenses and paying good ‘ol Uncle Sam for those student loans in six months that continues to loom over your head like a dark cloud can put a damper on your decorating funds; those graduation checks from dearest Auntie Linda can only take you so far. Well, pretend real people/college graduates, we are here to help you reuse your dorm essentials in a more grown up way and help you decorate your first apartments, on that dorm room budget!

Bulletin Bejeweling

While combing through your dorm room graveyard that exists in your basement of your parent’s home, you have rediscovered your bulletin board that you just had to have to hang up all of the pictures of your friends when you went off to college freshman year to pretend that you were popular in high school. That old faithful bulletin board lasted you all four years, slowly transitioning from your high school friends to the even better friends you made in college along with all of the take-out menus of your favorite local spots. So now that you’re a responsible and mature individual because you graduated about 10 days ago, it’s time to use that bulletin board for your first apartment, but it needs some “grown up” flair. To make sure your bulletin board is first apartment-ready, you can drape it in burlap or a canvas drop cloth and post a few, but memorable moments on your bulletin board. Giving your bulletin board a clean, new backdrop will make it more sophisticated and less trashy. It still remains its youthful intention, but it now says, “Hey, I may be 22, but I have some self-respect.”

Dorm Decor and Cork-board Organization

3m Hooks, FTW

STOP RIGHT THERE, PUT DOWN THE HOOKS! While combing through your heap of miscellaneous items from your dorm desk, you are bound to come across an obscene amount of 3M hooks that you needed to hang your hipster tapestry or your self-righteous and angst-filled quotes on your walls. However, little do you know, these are now precious pieces of gold you have just discovered in your coal mine of junk. Not only are 3M hooks expensive, but you will need them for your first apartment, so do yourself a favor and keep them. Once the cash starts rolling in, don’t skimp on the hooks and hit up Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters for some fun, affordable hooks that can show off your personality!

Helpful in the Home - Command Strips!

Make Use of Marshalls

We know we said that you should take advantage of as much of your dorm room leftovers as possible, but there are just some things that you need to have that are new. In particular, bathroom essentials and decorations. Although that $9.99 nautical toothbrush holder from Bed, Bath & Beyond is still super cute, it was seen things that can never be unseen and it is too disgusting to even be let in to your new apartment. So, to decorate on that dorm room budget, hit up places like Marshalls and Home Goods! Utilize their clearance sections to give your bathroom your personal, eclectic touch! Mix and match glassware, have multiple mirrors clustered in there and use different decorative trays to hold your bathroom toiletries!

All Hail Home Goods

Mix & Match

Although your bathroom decor is less than up to new-apartment standards, there is no reason why you can’t reuse your bedroom dorm set! You might want to find a fun and affordable duvet cover to use with an old comforter, but mix and match your old pillows to give your bedroom a fun and fresh look! As a rule of thumb, use one type of print on a larger  scale (comforter) and then use another pattern on a smaller scale (shams only) and then finally, use a single solid such as an accent pillow to top off the look! Although we doubt that your new bed will be a twin XL, there is not reason why you cannot use your old comforter and pillows to mix with anything new that you buy for your bedroom!

Don't Be Afraid to Mix and Match