Living the Life: Holiday decor simple with planning, recycling, begging

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Let’s face it, college apartments are not always decorated to the nines, and it seems like the holidays are no exception.

Walk into any college student’s apartment and, usually, there you find a mish-mash of random stained furniture, strange wall art, and make-shift decorations. It’s a bit disheartening around the holidays coming from mom and dad’s comfy-cozy festive house you’ve been accustomed to growing up.

But have no fear college student; it is possible to make your tiny apartment festive and cozy without dipping into your student loan or going without bread and milk for a month.

Ask Santa (Mom and Dad)

No, don’t ask them to pay for your decorations or for your mom with a decorator’s eye to come over and decorate for you. I asked my parents if they had any holiday decorations going unused this year that I could take off their hands.

They were more than willing to load my car with unneeded decorations due to their recently obtained status of empty nesters. That day, I adopted a few strands of Christmas lights, some holiday dish towels, and an old tree skirt to take back to my naked apartment.

Spend a Dollar

If mom and dad aren’t willing to part with their decorations just yet, you are not out of luck. A few days ago when I was picking up a few items from Dollar Tree, I noticed some halfway decent Christmas decorations that would be perfect in any college apartment.

They had a few red bows and garlands that could easily be thrown on the mantle, some supplies to throw together a quick Christmas wreath, and even a Christmas welcome rug. You can’t get cheaper than one dollar. You just can’t. Sure, they probably won’t last past the New Year, but what more do you need to doll up a grinchy apartment for a month?

Take interest in Pinterest

If you are a lady, you are well aware of the trend of the Pinterest DIY section. Love it. If you find yourself wandering aimlessly around the decoration aisle and not seeing much of anything that tickles your fancy, then why not make a stellar decoration yourself?

My roommate, and Pinterest extraordinaire, has been collecting juice bottles and tin cans for the greater part of the semester. When I recently asked why our kitchen was looking more like a recycling center then an actual kitchen, she informed me of the holiday plans she had for our recycled goods, which included can lights and knick-knack wall containers. Pinterest is full of great ideas to make a quick holiday decoration—or four.

The holidays away from home can be tough but making a home away from home doesn’t have to be. Maybe get your roommate together, make some hot chocolate, and have a crafting night to decorate your little place. How about a girls night out to a few of the local shops? If you each pick up even one decoration, you are well on your way to a cozy apartment to live out the rest of the semester.