The furniture provided in your dorm room has maybe two advantages: it’s already there, and it’s free. Unfortunately it’s usually ugly as hell. But do you have to deal with this ugliness? I say no way, José (or whatever your name is). Here are some tips on how to furnish on the cheap.
If you thought you were going to escape social hierarchies when you left high school to go to college, boy were you mistaken. There are many bonuses to befriending seniors – cool points among friends, no-fake-id-required alcohol source – not the least of which is access to sweet furniture when they leave school. Your senior friends no doubt have their share of beer-soaked couches, mismatched end tables, and marijuana leaf posters that they would be more than happy to get rid of on the cheap (maybe even free!)
Okay, so you haven’t made senior friends yet? It’s fine, I mean you’re a loser, but it’s cool. Just kidding… or am I? Anyway, for the senior-deprived, thrift stores can be a great alternative. An added bonus is that the furniture might not be beer-soaked and the end tables might actually match. Unfortunately marijuana leaf posters may be few and far between (depending on the thrift store). But there’s always AllPosters for your classic college poster needs. Furniture is bound to be cheap at these stores and if you shop at Goodwill or the Salvation Army you are supporting a good cause.
Grab and Go
It is an unspoken rule that anything left on the street is up for grabs. We still have an office chair from the last time we did a grab and go down the block. Sure, the seat falls through the bottom if it’s not padded with 4 or 5 yoga mats (also a grab and go find) but it was free, and isn’t that the most important part? In college, yes, it is.
Bed, Bath and Beyond
Maybe you’re not the second-hand type. Maybe you care less about your furniture having character and more about it having all its required parts. Either way, 3B, BB&B, Triple-B, B-Money-Mack, whatever you want to call it, has some good stuff at fairly reasonable prices. Word to the wise: Bed, Bath, and Beyond will package up anything you order online and have it waiting at a location close to your school. Pretty cool if you want to do some summer shopping and have it all ready for you when you get to school.
Ever the favorite of starving artists, hipster kids, and Swedes everywhere, IKEA puts the fun in furniture (like if you take out the “r”… and chop off the “iture.”) For the uninitiated, IKEA makes you to walk through their whole showroom writing down Aisle and Bin numbers. And then they graciously let you (read: save lots of money by forcing you) to haul it out of their warehouse and build it by yourself. In all honesty it’s not that hard to put their stuff together and in general you get great quality for very little money. Obviously it costs more than the couch that’s been sitting in the vacant lot across the street for 3 weeks, but the chances of STD transmission are decidedly lower. So get your screwdriver and hammer and get ready to assemble!
Did we miss something? Let us know where you got all the sweet furniture in your dorm by posting a comment below!