how to decorate your dorm

Is move-in day on your mind? Colleges across the country are ready for students to arrive on campus this fall. To make sure that your new space is setup for studying (and socializing), save money and learn how to decorate your dorm with a Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

How to Decorate Your Dorm on a Budget

It can be an expensive time of year as you factor in tuition and books. So for budget-conscious students around Silicon Valley and the East Bay, your local ReStore sells dorm stuff for cheap. Our locations offer discounts anywhere from 25-75% off what you’ll find in retail stores, and we only accept donated items that are in good, working condition. Sometimes they’re even brand new!

If you’re ready to get packing, or if you’ve already moved in and are missing some essentials, we pulled together our top tips for shopping at a Restore for dorm room supplies.

Take Care of the Basics

Dorm rooms are notoriously small. To make the most of the space your have, focus on the must-have features first, like adding storage, improving your workspace, and making it easy to grab a quick meal.

ReStores are a great place to hunt for extra shelves, table and floor lamps and even microwaves. If your room has a bookshelf or dresser, you can always think vertically and stack more shelves on top without damaging your walls.

Pro Tip: If you discover during move-in that your roommate already has a microwave that you can both share, we have a two-week appliance return policy!

Make It Comfortable

Have a little space left over? Or maybe you plan to stack or loft the beds in your dorm room? Adding a couple small pieces of furniture can get you closer to a comfy lounge feel as well as boost the amount of seats available for your new friends.

Our locations are typically stocked with a wide range of chairs, accent and coffee tables, and loveseats or sofas. You might even find a bench or an ottoman with extra storage inside, which definitely comes in handy in a cramped room.

Pro Tip: Hotels undergoing remodels or updates sometimes donate their furniture, so be sure to check our listings to snag lightly-used pieces that are perfect for smaller spaces!

Add Some Personality

The ability to customize your dorm room is probably pretty limited, especially when it comes to adding color or hanging things on the wall. To help make your dorm feel a little more like your home, pick out a few simple touches that help fill up the room without actually taking up much valuable space.

You’ll find area rugs and wall art at all ReStores in the area, which can bring in colors, patterns and maybe even some vintage flair. Be on the lookout for a free-standing or framed mirror to make your room seem bigger — in addition to helping you pick out the perfect outfit for class.

Pro Tip: You won’t find bedding at a ReStore, but the ways you choose to make up your bed with blankets, a comforter and pillows also offer opportunities to showcase your style.

Lastly, ReStores carry a wide range of low-cost building materials, like painting supplies, hardware, wood pallets and basic lumber. If you’re wondering how to decorate your dorm in a way that’s a little more crafty or hands-on, get inspired with these DIY dorm decor projects:

Start your semester with a living space that you’re proud to call your own. By shopping at a ReStore for essential gear and special touches, you can feel good about furnishing your dorm room with pieces that don’t cost a fortune but will still be around by senior year.

Now through September 16th, ReStore is making decorating your dorm even more affordable through our Back to School sale! Just show your student ID at check out and receive 20% off regular priced appliances, furniture, and home decor! Sale does not apply to paint, paint supplies, and rugs.

Anything else you want to know about how to decorate your dorm using a ReStore? We’d love to hear from you in the comments. And if you have photos of your dorm room that feature a ReStore find, be sure to tag us using #HabitatEBSVReStore and #ShopReStoreFirst.