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Lately with Layne: How to decorate on a budget

For college students, August is a month of non-stop spending. Between new clothes, essentials for living away from home and a sad attempt to save up for the year ahead, only a few dollars are left to allocate toward making your living space a sanctuary. However, there are plenty of deals and hidden treasures in the market of dorm decorations.

One of my decorations that I’m most excited for this year is a DIY. On Canva, I arranged downloaded images of my favorite quotes and reminders from Pinterest on a large template. Then, I got it printed on high-quality paper to put in a cute frame. The aesthetic can be very easily adjusted and perfectly tailored to any frame with any budget, making this a super simple yet personal decoration.

Another big piece of advice I can offer for those on a budget is thrift stores and clearance sections. While obvious in nature, there are so many things that can be repurposed that are hiding in these aisles. Any large tote bag can be a laundry bag, any small or medium storage containers can be used for desk and drawer organization and any fun knick knack is always needed and will make your space feel like home. 

I was hesitant about this as a freshman, but don’t be afraid to take things from your bedroom at home. While it may feel empty when visiting on the weekends or holiday breaks, the place where you spend most of your time doing school work and getting ready needs to be a space you enjoy. Reusing old items is obviously the most budget-friendly option and it definitely does more good than harm. 

Some of my favorite decorations were from unexpected stores like Hobby Lobby and Five Below. Five Below carries the cutest disco balls in different colors – they are so fun in front of a window sill. Hobby Lobby has practical desk storage that isn’t basic and boring. While I love a trip to Target or a large Amazon package at my door, mainstream stores know that they can rack up prices in the name of college essentials. Try a store that you don’t go to as often or wouldn’t think to check for decor; you’ll be pleasantly surprised. 

A low effort but high reward decoration is string lights. They’re super cheap, last forever and take up so much space that the need for other decorations shrinks. There’s all different shapes and colors – even ones that you can hang pictures from – to fit the vibe of your room. I highly recommend getting a set, especially if you don’t like the big light.

Decorating is such a personal task and I’m not here to tell you what to do or how to do it. However, I do know how expensive it can get and I hope these tips can make decorating a little more fun for you and your bank account. 

Layne Rey is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnist do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Let Layne know by tweeting her @laynerey12.

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