Tips for College Students Decorating a New Apartment

By Liam Wirsansky on July 12, 2020

Moving into a new apartment or living space has  long been an event most people dread and do not look forward to. Considering all of the variables and hoops that tenants have to jump through just to sign a lease and secure a living space for the school year, decorating can often be pushed to the back of the mind when planning and thinking about an apartment or moving. With high prices and a competitive selection of choices for apartment décor and furniture, it is important to plan ahead for all of your apartment needs by following these tips.

Prepare Ahead of Time

This point can’t be overstated because it acts as the foundation for the rest of the tips in this article. Knowing that you have a plan in place for all of the furniture that you’ll need, especially if you’re living  a roommate or multiple roommates is essential to avoiding any stressful situations of having to figure out a plan for decorating on the fly and ending up with something you may not be as happy with and had to pay a much higher price than was necessary to do. While online market places and sometimes thrift stores can be inexpensive options for certain pieces, smart sellers will know that the beginning of the school season means that they can charge higher prices.

Having an idea of what the apartment looks like is always helpful as well. Visit your apartment complex’s website, or contact your landlord to see if a floor plan of the unit you’ll be staying at is available to better plan exactly where things will go and how big the furniture pieces can be.


Join Social Media Groups and Pages for University’s Graduating Class and Other Years Currently Enrolled

So this goes back a little to the previous point, but joining groups and pages on social media platforms like Facebook, can be extremely beneficial in finding some great deals on furniture and décor outside of the mainstream Marketplace feature of the app, which may have some great finds, but which also filters the content to their desires. Joining groups can be instrumental in not only finding people nearby who are selling their items at below market value, but within a system that loosely monitors and screens the sellers to ensure a layer of protection for prospective and potential buyers on those pages.

Groups and pages that would be particularly smart to join would be your university’s graduating class and other years currently enrolled if they have pages that exist. The graduating class is the most preferable to be a part of because they are typically the most likely be moving out of their current living quarters and selling things that they do not want to have to take with them. You can never be too careful with online buying and meeting up, so always make sure to proceed with caution when arranging to meet up and buy something from someone you don’t know.

Local online market places are another great place to find a wide array of different furniture pieces. Some groups can get very specific, so it never hurts to look and see if one exists if you are looking for a very specific item.

Join Local University Pages and other Market Places

If your University is not local to where you live over the summer and you have any sort of room left in the vehicle that will be transporting you to your move in, then investigating local online market places and university pages would be another good option for good priced furniture and décor for the same reasons mentioned above, giving you a wider range of search options to utilize.

Knowing what you have ahead of time can be a great in terms of planning as long you have the storage capabilities to do so. Clutter accumulating in your parent’s house from furniture that’s not being used until the fall can always be a nuisance, but if you have already got furniture in your university’s town, a storage unit may be something worth looking into for families of students just switching apartments locally.

Renting a Storage Unit

With roommates coming and going and apartment’s not always being the best deal that they are advertise to be, it is not uncommon for students to switch apartments during their time in college. Packing and moving can be a hassle, especially if you’re lugging an entire apartment’s worth of furniture and decorations back to your parents house like I mentioned above. With most leases ending July 30th and not beginning until the middle of August at the earliest for a lot of student housing, there is a grace period of about half a month where your belongings exist in limbo, unless you renew your lease with your current landlord.

With some planning you can find storage units local to your apartment and arrange a month-long rental for a fraction of the price of a normal rent payment to store all of your items and pick them back up to move into your new apartment when the fall semester begins. There are different unit sizes and types to fit all needs, but reserving one ahead of time is paramount in ensuring you have one that meets all of the specifications of your needs. If you find furniture at the end of the school year, finding a storage unit for the whole summer may also be a cheap alternative to having to transport and store furniture in your own home.

Watch Tik Tok

You may think this one is silly, but the popular social media platform Tik Tok has an entire repository of short video tutorials that detail and feature thousands of very inexpensive home decorating projects, examples and tips to help decorate any type or style of room imaginable. There are also several videos featuring useful house items and gadgets, as well as other low-priced décor finds on popular online shops and in person stores.

Even if you do not know exactly what you want your decoration theme or style to be, these Tik Tok videos can serve as inspiration for new ideas, with a save option that let’s you easily access videos that you’ve liked and wanted to archive. In this way, Tik Tok can be a more live and visceral vision board for decorating than a platform like Pinterest, which also has its merit and value in projects like these.


If you’ve gotten anything from this article, it is that planning ahead when it comes to moving and decorating is the key to a stress-free time with furniture that you and your possible roommate(s) can afford and be happy with. Just because an idea may feel or look to expensive doesn’t mean a cheaper or more creative alternative is not out there or has not been thought out. Let loose and make your new apartment space your own, especially for the new school year, which looks to be one that will include a heavy amount of social distancing taking place in your very apartment.

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