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Heading off to college is a major milestone. For those who have the opportunity to live on campus, the school year can mean leaving family and friends in your hometown and heading off into the world of the unknown. Especially for freshman, the first few weeks of the school year can be an exciting and nerve-wracking time. You might feel homesick as you try to figure out who in your class you might be able to form a friendship with. You might feel out of sorts without friendly reminders from home. Preparing for a new school year and setting yourself up for success are the best things you can do to start the semester on the right foot.

This goes for all types of back-to-school shopping, especially putting thought into the place where you’ll sleep, study, and hang out with friends. Fortunately, you won’t need to lug all your furniture and décor from across the country to your new dorm, with the help of the home goods section in a local Goodwill that can make your dorm room feel like home from day one.

Shopping at Goodwill for dorm room décor is a cost-effective way to get your back-to-school shopping done. It’s also an amazing way to pick up unique and eclectic finds that can really make a dorm room feel like home. Whether you buy something new with the tags still on it, or something that’s been donated and has been pre-loved, shopping at Goodwill is an amazing way to express your taste and interests as you display the items as décor in your new room. In fact, not only can it create a more artistic feel to your décor, but it also supports those in the local community as well, with job training and courses that can help them excel in their lives and careers.

Keep reading for inspiration from real Goodwill shoppers around the country, who used thrifted home goods treasures to create the atmosphere of their dreams.

Photo: @kariealleninteriors

1. Bright Pops of Color

Starting the school year with confidence can make the semester an experience full of new opportunities. Incorporating bright pops of color into your dorm décor can be a reminder to shine bright throughout the year. You can find everything from curtains to throw pillows to jewelry boxes at Goodwill. Be sure to check them out on your next trip to see what speaks to you!

Photo: @aliciamcastro

2. Thrifty, Useable Décor

Space is likely going to be limited if you’re living in a dorm, which makes the case for décor that serves a purpose while making the place your own. I love the idea of this reverse bookstack topped with a plant and set next to a candle as a fun way to spice up desk or dresser space. Plus, you can swap new books or textbooks as you read them.