Dorm Room Decor for Cheap

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Frugal college students, heads up. What with books and munchies and nights out, your budget only stretches so far. But that doesn't mean you have to live in a drab dump. We've got some tips on cheap dorm room decor that will help you create the kind of student cave fit for fun and those dastardly all-nighters.

The Basics.

Cheap dorm room decor needs a solid foundation, so start with the fundamentals.

  • Because dorm rooms can get very hot at the beginning and end of the school year, a good cheap fan is a top priority.
  • Most dorm rooms come stocked with a small desk and bureau, but you'll probably need more ways to store and organize your belongings. A lightweight set of storage drawers ($30 at Walmart) is just the thing for socks and tees, scarves and hats, and anything else you want to stash away.
  • Dining hall food loses its appeal after the fourth round of grilled cheese and tomato soup. A mini fridge (starting at $80) lets you skip the lines and eat whatever, whenever.
  • Yes, TV is a distraction but watching a show or two is also a chance to zone out when you need a break. Right now Target is offering good deals on HDTVs, starting at $100.

Simple Crafts.

Lesson two in the cheap dorm room decor course of study involves hands-on effort.

  • Add life to the bare shell-colored walls.

    Recycle the colorful and stylish shopping bags you find at home by prepping them for school. Flatten each bag along the creases and set in a frame. (IKEA sells inexpensive frames for less than $5.) When you get to the dorm, hang the framed bags in close proximity to each other to highlight their contrasts and show off your cheap dorm room decor smarts.
  • Organize your life.

    Clear plastic stacking drawers and tubs of the kind you'll find at the Container Store cost as little as $8 and provide a home for a variety of loose items -- chargers for your electronic devices, file folders with important papers, little bags of snacks, and the like. You can spice things up with wrapping paper or durable construction paper printed with lively designs. Line the inside and base of the container and tape the edges to secure in place. Then wrap the outside as you would a gift box and again, tape the pieces together. The no-clutter look is a truly cheap dorm room decor requirement.

This is a participatory exercise, friends, and we're calling on you for lesson three. What cheap dorm room decor tips can you share?