Sunday, June 5, 2016

Tips for Dorm Shopping

Hi everyone!  So, if you've learned anything from my gift guides or Youtube videos, you know that I love a good bargain and that is no different when it comes to shopping for a dorm room or a new apartment! Once you graduate from high school or college, you start thinking about what items you will need to bring with you into your new residence, so I thought I would share my tried and true tips for dorm shopping!

You can find some of the coolest things at flea markets and garage sales during the summer months. From tables and chairs to televisions and printers, you are sure to find something that fits your needs when you're out looking at garage sales. Check out your local paper to see when your neighborhood's Community Days are for the best chance of finding some great garage and estate sales! A great thing about flea markets and garage sales is that prices are usually negotiable, so if you aren't happy with a price, ask if they'd be willing to go lower. 

Did you know that some colleges and universities sell old televisions, computers, and dorm furniture to the public? Yeah ... it's pretty great! Again, you will want to search your local newspaper to see if this is the case, but you can get your hands on a great desk for your new apartment or a desktop computer for a small price! 

At the end of the school year a lot of college students are trying to sell the things that they don't want or won't be able to bring back home, so walk through some local college towns around the time of Move-Out and Graduation to find some great deals. Also, college students can be lazy, so if you're not opposed to dumpster diving, you can find some great furniture (think: futons, computer chairs, cabinets and shelves) that they just threw away so they don't need to bring it home. I've gotten a lamp, storage containers, and a coworker found a $300 office chair with no damage! Talk about a great freebie!!

Do not discredit stores like TJ Maax, Marshalls, HomeGoods, Big Lots, or any other 'Discount' Stores. You can find high end, designer items at lower prices. Think coordinating towels, awesome bedspreads, and even a side table for your living room. If you start looking at these stores now, you can find some really great pieces by the time you move into your new dorm room or apartment in the fall! 

When you're looking for furniture for your first apartment, don't be afraid to talk to your family and friends about pieces they may be able to help you with! You never know who is planning to down-size, move, or just redecorate, so plant the seed early! My fiance and I are planning to move into our first apartment together in a few months, so for the past year we have been on the lookout for family members who are redecorating and getting new furniture, luckily we have already scored a dining room table and a lounge chair for almost no cost! When sofas and couches can cost you easily $400, you want to get as many nice things as possible at a cheaper price!!

Something you want to keep in mind, though, is the space that you have available. In dorm rooms, you are already given your furniture (bed, desk, dresser, closet/armoire), so the only things you will want to think about our any extra lamps or storage pieces that will be compact and fit in small spaces! If you have a studio apartment or one with less square footage, you will also want to find pieces that can do double-duty. Storage ottomans are great and so are storage chests that can act as a coffee table! 

No matter what, make sure you are finding pieces that you love and are going to last you a while! If you only think you want it for a year or two, then go ahead and buy the pressed-cardboard put-together items from Walmart or Kmart, but if you truly want something that is going to last you, then search it out and don't be afraid to spend a little bit more for quality! 

Shopping for my dorm room and my apartment have truly been my favorite over these past years and I hope they bring you some exciting bargain hunting as well!!!

enjoy the chase,

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