Spring Cleaning: Five Ways to Spruce Up Your Dorm Room on a College Budget

Dorm decorations. Photo credit to Madelyn Walthall.

By: Madelyn Walthall

It’s the start of the new year and the new semester, and one way to start anew is to revamp your living space. As college students, where we live impacts us more than most considering we’re often confined to one small, shared room. That being said, your dorm should be a safe haven for you to return to after a long day, and what better way to feel at home than to make it your own? 

While PLNU does have some restrictions to what is and is not allowed in the dorms, there are still a lot of creative and cheap ways to spruce up your dorm. 

  1. Plants

Plants are an easy way to add some life and color to any space. Whether you choose to buy a small succulent or a bigger, potted plant, this is one sure-fire way to create a space you’ll love. In Ocean Beach, there is a small plant shop called Botanica Home and Garden. They have dozens of easy-to-care-for plants that are suitable for rooms that get direct sunlight and rooms that are mostly shaded. Pigment at Liberty Station also has some options for plants and cute pots to keep them in. You can even build your own terrarium there! If you’re looking for a bigger plant nursery, check out Terra Bella Nursery for the widest selection of indoor plants.

  1. Flowers

No, this is different from plants. Beautiful flower arrangements can be bought just about anywhere, but some good spots to check out are Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, along with any other locally owned flower shops such as Little House of Flowers. Flowers can add a variety of colors to an otherwise drab dorm room. Although their lifespan may be short, they can be extremely affordable and truly brighten up the space.

  1. Diffusers

While I’d love to recommend a candle or two, diffusers are the next best option. Diffusers can be bought from most department stores like Target, but are also available online. What makes diffusers so great is that you can swap out the scent whenever you’d like. Peppermint and lavender are great to help you destress after a long day of classes or choose something citrusy to awaken your senses. 

  1. Lamps

There are so many different options for this category – from floor lamps to reading lamps and more. Two of my favorites are a salt lamp and a sunset lamp, both of which can be purchased online. A salt lamp is a great addition to any space, even when the light is not on. It can act as a reading light on your desk or be placed on a shelf for more of an aesthetic purpose. A sunset lamp generally comes with a separate remote that controls the brightness and the colors. Some come in a variety of colors and can create the perfect nighttime ambiance. 

  1. Local Decor

Last but not least is decor. We all have different styles, so I won’t get into the specifics here, but there are plenty of affordable options all around us. Try checking out the local art at farmers markets in Ocean Beach, Point Loma and Little Italy. Ranging from posters to macrame to sculptures, get to know and support the amazing artists in our community.