Cheap Dorm Room Furniture Ideas: Inexpensive, Casual Furnishings for Dormitory Life

College dorm rooms are boring and impersonal. They’re filled with mass produced dorm room furniture: two beds, two desks, two dressers, and not much else. So how do you decorate a dorm room on a student budget? College students can’t exactly afford an interior decorator and custom furniture, and there’s not enough space for a big comfy couch.

When furnishing a dormitory room, keep these criteria in mind:

  • Dorm room furniture should be cheap. Even if you have a big budget, a dorm isn’t a good place for expensive stuff that can be stolen or destroyed. Cheap used furniture is easy to find. Check the classified ads in your school newspaper and look around campus for fliers. Or search for bargains on Craigslist or eBay. And don’t forget to look in your parents’ attic.
  • Dorm room furniture should be compact. Space is at a premium, so less is more. Don’t be a space hog and annoy your roommate.
  • Dorm room furniture should be functional. With so little space, the things you bring in should serve a function.
  • Dorm room furniture should be cozy. A few cheap pieces of furniture can make your dorm room feel a lot more like home.
  • Dorm room furniture is a great college student gift. If you relatives or friends are looking for a great gift for a college student, tell them what you need for your dorm room.

Here are some ideas for cheap, cozy, compact dorm room furniture.

  • Area rugs. Most dorm room floors come with icy cold tile floors or grungy carpet. A colorful area rug instantly makes the room more cozy. And it doesn’t take up space. Be sure to buy a cheap area rug, because your rug is likely to be gross by the end of the school year.
  • Dorm sleeper chairs. Fold-up dorm chairs are comfortable and can be used as a bed for overnight guests.
  • Dorm fridge. A mini fridge makes the room more cozy. It’s always nice to be able to come home to a glass of juice or something from your refrigerator. And be smart: use your refrigerator to stack a few things to save space. Dorm fridges often can be rented on campus. (Here’s what to look for in a dorm fridge.)
  • Futon bed/futon chair combination. Here’s an idea: ditch that dorm bed! Replace it with a twin or full sized futon bed that can double as a futon chair during the day. Cover it with a colorful futon cover and you have a comfortable, cozy, and very functional piece of dorm room furniture.
  • Floor lamp. Lamp light can really improve your mood!
  • Reading pillow. A big cozy reading pillow is both functional and decorative. It also takes up no space, as you can keep it on your bed.
  • Bookshelves. When finding a dorm room bookshelf, think compact. A tall, thin bookcase will take up less room and add lots of storage space. Someone is always giving away an old bookcase, so they’re easy to find. You can always use milk crates, but a real bookcase makes your room feel more like a home.

/Collecting Baseball Cards: Cards From all Eras are Widely Available in Every Price Range

The Law of Supply & Batting Average

The highest price ever paid for a baseball card is the T206 Honus Wagner (previously owned by Wayne Gretzky) that sold recently for $2.3 million. Although it is unusual for a manufactured collectible to attain such a high price, clearly it is not impossible. While baseball cards values are influenced by the same rules as other collectibles-condition and availability, “the law of supply and batting average,” according to Frank Slocum, plays an even bigger part. The quantity of cards available and their condition is only part of the equation. Also considered is the popularity of the player, which is due in part to achievement and in equal part to the childhood memories of the collector. For example, though my brother spent his entire childhood deep in Yankee territory, his team was the Baltimore Orioles. To him, a 1966 Brooks Robinson would be worth considerably more than a 1962 Mickey Mantle.

Baseball Card Values Strike Out When Fans Cry Foul

Baseball card values rise and fall with the popularity of the game. Although prices for the oldest cards remain fairly steady, during scandals and strikes, contemporary cards take a hit. Then there’s the beanie Baby Syndrome, when the market demand for all too recently manufactured goods is artificially inflated by dealers who jump on trends, shrewdly obtaining enough quantity to drive up the prices to unsustainable and unreasonable levels. This happened in the 1990’s for a variety of reasons. In the 80’s and 90’s, cards became investments rather than the toys they were in earlier eras. Not only did kids not clothespin them to their bicycle spokes, many weren’t even taken out of their packages. The furious rate of manufacture combined with availability of mint condition cards helped erode the value of the cards associated with the steroid scandal ridden, strike plagued sport. On the other hand, some baseball heroes like Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson still embody what is best about the sport, and their cards have always been popular.

Condition

Along with player popularity, condition plays a crucial role in determining value. The best cards are not only in mint original condition, the original condition must be perfect as well. This means no printer errors, such as stray blobs of ink, or cards printed off-center. A card fresh out of the pack that’s never been touched will still be considered less than mint if the image isn’t centered on the cardboard. This means that all four white boarders are exactly the same width. In any random stack of cards, at least half of them will be off-center, especially in later cards when less attention was paid to printing quality. A mint card will have 4 sharp corners, and 50/50 centering. The colors will be bright, and the gloss will not be worn off the card.

To Grade or Not to Grade

It is the job of independent grading companies to set the standards for sports card condition. Grading companies DO NOT buy and sell cards. There are currently 4 companies that provide this service: Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) Beckett Grading Service (BGS) Sports Card Guarantee(SGC), and Global Authentication, Inc (GAI). PSA is probably the biggest and most well-known. They are the ones who graded the record breaking $2.3 Million Honus Wagner (PSA 8). They use a 1-10 point scale. Beckett and GAI also use a 1-10 point scale, and SCG uses a scale that goes from 10 (poor) to 100(pristine). It can cost anywhere from $6 to $200 to grade a card depending upon card age and value. The $200 fee is for cards valued over $10,000! Despite the fact that some diehard collectors believe grading is a scam, it is definitely worthwhile to have pricier cards professionally graded. The company providing the service puts pertinent information including the card manufacturer, number, and grade on an acid fee tag and places both the tag and the card in a sealed, tamper-proof plastic holder. On eBay, grading a high priced, desirable card is often the difference between selling & not selling, and selling well.