Move-in do's and dont's

Photo Credit: Taylor Harton

Making your college living area feel like home can sometimes be trickier than your calculus midterm. Find out what works and what doesn't work before move-in day with these tips!

What TO Bring: 
We get it. You don’t have a lot of room for stuff in your dorm or apartment. Here are some easy ways to save on space and look great!

Apartments
1. A mini-fridge: Those apartment-provided fridges usually won’t be large enough to accommodate more than two people.
2. Curtains: Everyone needs privacy. Check the dimensions of your windows before purchasing, and buy curtain rods if necessary.
3. Splurge on the heavy-duty wall hangers and sticks. Nobody likes a painting that’s going to fall every time you close your bedroom door. 
4. Succulents are a great way to spruce up your room on the cheap and add a little greenery. 
5. If you have a balcony, make sure to bring an outdoor chair and small table. You never know when you’ll want to take your studying outside and bask in that Texas sunshine.

Dorms
1. Microwave & mini-fridge: For all of those last-minute mac and cheese meals 
2. Full-length mirror: When those communal bathroom mirrors just won’t cut it
3. Small TV
4. Body pillow: instant cuddle buddy for your Netflix binges
5. Laundry detergent

What NOT to Bring:
If tight on space (which most of us are), stray away from duplicate items. Plan ahead!
Coordinate with your roommates to only bring one coffee maker, utensil set, printer, TV and other items for the living area.
A great way to save some cash is to pass on a wooden bed frame. Buy a basic metal frame from any mattress store for way cheaper, and use bed-stoppers to help keep it from sliding around in your room. Of course, many apartments and almost all dorm rooms already come furnished (you lucky ducks!), so make sure to double-check before purchasing.
Comforters are better than duvet covers; they’re easier to wash.

Home Décor: 
IKEA is a great place to get all the basics. Start there, and if you can’t check off all the items on your list, head to other great stores, such as Target, Wal-Mart and Macy’s. To personalize your space, head over to art websites, such as Society6.com to decorate on the cheap.

Got a blank wall and don’t know what to do? Don’t sweat! Urban Outfitters has great tapestries to cover up that white space. Added bonus: endless compliments. 

Bring memories from home with pictures! Websites like http://printstagr.am/ are a cheap way to print out photos from your Instagram profile.

Helpful Tip: Mason jars make great, inexpensive pencil and makeup holders. Spruce them up by spray-painting the outside of the jar.