Chic on a Shoestring Decorating: Budget-Friendly Guys Dorm Room Decor & Essentials

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Budget-Friendly Guys Dorm Room Decor & Essentials

Hey y'all! Today I'm sharing my budget-friendly recommendations for a boy's dorm room (or apartment bedroom or fraternity house bedroom). 

Not only am I going to share essentials but I'm also gonna share decor. Done for you decor! I usually charge for this service but since I love y'all so much I'm just going to give it to you! 

Man, I don't know about you but dorm rooms have come a looooooong way since I lived in one. I decorated my dorm room (because I've always loved decorating) and made my roommate go shopping with me to Wal-Mart (because we were poor college students and couldn't afford the fanciness of Target) so we could coordinate our bedding. We put some posters on the wall that matched our bedding and had an ugly cheap rug and that was about it. I mean, just having those matching comforters was more than most people did back then so I thought we were pretty fancy. Turns out, we weren't fancy. Dorms nowadays are fancy. Who would've thought this would be a thing??

Anyway, I know y'all are putting out like a million dollars for your kid's college education so you want to keep the dorm costs down, I get it! So I'm here to help you save money on the dorm purchases but also not have it look like you bought everything at K-mart. 

Do they still have K-Mart? 

They are long gone around here. But when I was a kid if someone told you you got your clothes (or anything you owned) at K-Mart it was the ultimate insult, like the worst of the worst. Do y'all remember this?? 

Dang, this post is making me feel old. But I digress...

We are NOT shopping at K-Mart thank-you-very-much! We are shopping at Amazon so you don't even have to leave the comfort of your home and still have the dorm room looking fancy-pants when you are finished with it. Your boy is gonna be so proud of you for making his dorm room look so cool!!! 

Ok, let's get down to business.  

I'm sure you have a list of EVERYTHING you need. Like deodorant and shampoo and stuff like that. That stuff is a given, this is for the other stuff that's more fun. At least it's more fun to me. Decor but also some other things that'll make your kid's life easier in the dorm.

First, here are links to everything listed in the design board above.

  1. World Map Hanging Tapestry hang it on the wall on the long side of the bed, this is the cheapest big wall art that you can get, seriously! 
  2. Lumbar Throw Pillow use it as seen in the pic above, looks pretty fancy for a dorm
  3. 5-Piece Gray Bedding set, includes comforter, 2 pillow cases, fitted sheet, flat sheet dark color to hide dirt
  4. Padded lap desk use for laptop and food because they're gonna be eating on their bed fo' sho'
  5. Desk Lamp with 3 USB ports and electrical plug-in  so they can see and charge things 
  6. Mini Fridge because a boys gotta eat
  7. Stackable Storage Drawers squeeze under the bed or the closet
  8. Area Rug choose a size that works best for your space, dark color to hide stains
  9. Bedside/Bedrail Caddy, great for bunk beds, holds phone, book, etc.
  10. We Want Beer vintage pic poster  funny art for a college kid, hang above headboard. 
  11. 12 Piece Towel Set in Gray, to hide stains and dingy-ness from not washing often enough
  12. HP Laptop decent price and runs quick (some cheaper laptops are too slow)
  13. High Speed iPhone/iPad Chargers because kids lose these all the time
Here are other items I recommend. Some you should definitely get (like extra sheets and bed risers) but some will be you and your kiddos personal preference. 

Organic Cotton Sheets Twin XL I know the comforter set comes with sheets but hear me out, those are microfiber which can sleep hot sometimes. Also, you need two sets of sheets, even if you think your boy will never wash them. What if there's a spill or someone gets sick etc. Put these on the bed and keep the microfiber ones as back up sheets! 

Padded Mattress Topper  because dorm mattresses suck

Bed Risers back in my day we used cinder blocks we found in random parking lots. HA! 

Small Extension Cord might need one or two of these as well as your power strip. Lots of electronics these days.

Viral WooZoo fan People swear by this little fan! Honestly, I don't have one but the reviews speak for themselves.

Cheaper Clip on Fan if you're thrifty

Shower Caddy if you have to carry your junk to the shower or keep it separate from your suite mates.

Shower Shoes because you don't want any funky stuff from the dorm shower

Dish & Utensil Set, microwavable and dishwasher safe as well as BPA free.  Or just get paper plates and plastic forks and spoons.

Can Opener if they eat canned stuff

Microwave, many dorms have a shared microwave in the common area but just in case they don't (or if your kid is too lazy to walk over there. lol)

Command Hooks, good for towels, hats, clothes, belts, etc.

Museum Putty so you don't pull the paint off the walls with your posters and light weight wall hanging stuff

TV for Netflix and football

TV Stand so you can set the TV on a small surface like a desk, the wide legs most TVs come with are awkward and take up too much space in a small dorm room. This allows the TV to sit on a much smaller surface.

First Aid Kit Safety first!

Super Small Sewing Kit  seems old-fashioned but you really need to teach your kid to sew on a button if they don't know how, this is an important life skill.

Pill Organizer if your kiddo takes medication this could be very helpful for them to remember.

Foldable/Fold Flat Hampers, set of 2 because Mama you know he ain't gonna do laundry enough.

50 Pack of Hangers he will have to hang up some of his clothes because there is not enough room on the floor of a small dorm room

Fireproof Lock Box if your kid will need to keep their passport, birth certificate, large amounts of cash or other important documents this is a good idea. 

Working on my Girl Dorm Room Decor next! 

I hope that this list will be very helpful for you as your baby heads off to college. I know it is not an easy time for your mama (or daddy) heart. I wish you and your kiddo all the best on this new chapter of life.

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