We’ve all seen the TikToks, the Instagram pictures, your friend’s Snapchat stories. Some people just have a knack for decorating! How do they afford all the nice wall hangings? What about the throw pillows? As college students, we don’t want to invest a ton of money into making our space aesthetically pleasing, but whether it’s COVID keeping you in or the bitter Wisconsin cold, we’ve all been spending more time in our rooms this year.

With there being tons of benefits with making your dorm feel more like home, here are some inexpensive ways you can make your small space your own.

  1. Change it up!

               The winter blues might have you restless inside. Try rearranging your room (with permission of your roommate of course). I did this at the beginning of the school year and it totally changed things for me. You might find out you even have more room than you originally thought once you put your dresser in the closet or stack your beds. Once you’ve moved things around, take a look at your new open space. If you have an open floor, you can find a decorative rug for $10 or under at Five Below, but I also recommend the Target sale section. One thing I will tell you is to never underestimate what you may find at Goodwill or other thrift stores. Wash things a couple of times before use, and you have a brand new decoration for your room at a fraction of the cost. You can also invest in a storage cube of a plain color or pattern that matches your room. Not only will this give you another place to sit, but you can store your textbooks, blankets, or whatever you’d like in it.

  • Get creative

               Once you have your furniture moved around, you can begin to take a look at open space on the walls. You can have a great time with your roommates and friends by getting together to make DIY paintings or wall decorations. You can buy materials from Walmart or Goodwill to save money while still creating the perfect aesthetic. One craft my friends and I have done was painting records, they turned out to be one of my favorite decorations in my room. If you’re wondering where you can get a record, Goodwill has an abundance of old records that are usually about a dollar each. You can use normal acrylic or matte paint from Walmart and make the record your own. If you’re not sure where to start, Google has tons of great ideas! You can also purchase frames from Goodwill to hang pictures, paintings, or posters in your room. Remember to follow the UW-W Housing policies about how to hang decorations in your room.

  • Get thrifty

               If you’re not feeling crafty, let me bring you back to Five Below. There is a whole section dedicated to room décor, and their prices are so low, you’ll end up with the cutest décor without breaking the bank at all. Target, HomeGoods, and TJ Maxx also have great options for discounted home décor. If you don’t want to go all the way to Janesville, keep it in Whitewater and support our local shops!

               Overall, you can really boost your mood by cleaning your space and making it your own. I hope you all find a way to use these ideas for some more self-care and a great living environment. If you are still not sure what to do and need some inspiration, make sure to check out our UC Craft Corner blog page, by Roberta’s Art Gallery at http://blogs.uww.edu/ucinfo/category/craft-corner/! There are tons of craft ideas, all of which can be done right in your dorm room!