August means move-in time at colleges across Minnesota. And if you're getting ready to move into a college dorm or trying to figure out how to furnish your apartment – especially near the University of Minnesota – we can help. You can find affordable furniture only a couple of miles from the U of M campus! Look no further than Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
ReStore sells new and gently used bed frames, dressers, desks, end tables, lighting, and much more – for much less than the prices you'd find at a big box store.
If you’re like most college students, you have a limited budget when it comes to furnishing and decorating your dorm or apartment. Plus, you might move each year, which means frequently having new furniture needs. So, how do you stretch your budget? Focus on the “must-haves” first. Things like a bed, desk, kitchen table, and couch are most important in an apartment. And no matter the size, from rented house to tiny dorm, you can add some personality with the little extras like a rug, picture frames, throw pillows – things that’ll make your place feel like home.
5 Easy Decorating Tips for College Students
1. Stay Focused
Moving out of your parent’s house for the first time, or even moving from the dorms to an apartment, can be a big change. Remember to keep a dedicated space for studying. Carve out a spot in your bedroom for a desk, bookshelf, and school supplies. This will provide you with a quiet area to do homework even if your roommates are home. Can’t find a desk? Pair a small table (or even a flat door!) with some storage bins, shelves, or filing cabinets that fit underneath.
2. Create a Comfy Space for Guests
Many students find that a futon makes a lot of sense instead of a couch. This makes it easy for friends and family to spend the weekend. If futons aren’t your style, consider a space-saving item like an air mattress that you can bring out as needed and store in a closet or under your bed when not in use.
You could also get a set of folding chairs to bring out when more seating is needed in the kitchen or living room.
3. Collaborate with Your Roommate(s)
If you have roommates, you’ll benefit from sharing the cost of the furniture and decor in the community spaces.
Pro Tip: Instead of splitting the cost of each piece, take turns buying items so it is easy to split them up when you move in the future.
4. Make It Feel Like Home
Many dorms and apartments have strict rules against painting or changing any type of fixtures. But there are plenty of fun ways to spruce up a place that won’t require a permanent change. Use your own artwork or photographs to make framed wall art. Cover up old carpet, scratched floors, or even a faded couch with a colorful throw rug. You'll be amazed at how much small touches can make your space feel like home.
5. Reuse Furniture Creatively
A little creativity can go a long way in affordable home furnishing. Here are a few more ideas to help you think outside of the box on your shopping trips.
- Turn a sturdy wastebasket upside down to make a side table next to your bed.
- Use a fun patterned sheet, blanket, or rug as a wall hanging to cover up a paint color you don’t like.
- Transform a bookshelf into a dresser by adding storage bins.
- Repurpose a crate or storage bin to double as a coffee or end table.
- Use a hanging travel organizer on your closet door to keep your accessories organized. This could also work for hanging items from a lofted bed at night like your phone, water bottle, etc.
- A standing bookshelf unit can double as a room divider.
See also: "How to make the best of a small space"
ReStore has two convenient Twin Cities locations. The Minneapolis store is only a seven-minute drive from the U of M's Minneapolis campus, and the New Brighton store is just a few minutes further away. Each store has its own unique inventory based on the donations received, so visit both for an expanded selection!
If you don’t find what you need right away, have no fear! Just come back again as new inventory is frequently added.