Moving Out and Moving On

Photo by Kelsa Katzfey ’21

The beginning of June brings with it the start of new leases in Winona! This time brings change for many upperclassmen and sparks dorm room thoughts for incoming freshmen and those planning on living in the residence halls again.

Whether you are moving to an apartment now or a dorm room in August, it can be difficult to make the place feel homey. This is especially true when you are on a budget, because we all know decorations and furniture are not cheap.

Here are a few sites, stores and ideas that have helped me make myself at home in all of my living situations in my years at Winona State:

1. Pinterest 

I get most of my decorating ideas from Pinterest. Typically, you cannot buy directly from the site but they usually have some sort of link for you to track down the product. It’s also a great way to find cheap DIY projects! Keep track of sites and ideas you like by creating a specific board for your dorm, apartment, etc. to pin to. Winona State has its own Pinterest account with a range of creative and helpful boards, one being the Res Hall Decor board.

2. Dormify

Not only does this website carry some awesome decorations, but it now has a new Design Plan Generator. All you have to do is answer some questions about your style and personality and it generates themes that fit your answers.

3. Target

Target is pretty good at having reasonably priced products, give or take a rug. Plus, if you go at the right time you can get some good discounts. Last year I went in the middle of fall semester and bought lamps for 60% off! Try to avoid shopping in the summer because that’s when the prices are the highest.

4. Etsy

Honestly, I had doubts about this site at first. It is all online and products are made and sold by people you probably do not know. Like other stores, it can be pricey too. However, they have some great stuff that can be cheap and if you are willing to splurge a little there are some amazing things available.


I have this weird obsession with storage containers and organizations so IKEA is pretty much heaven for me. They have so many options, you can make it unique to you and they are pretty cheap! They also have “inspiration rooms” that workers have designed where you can see how things are set up and decorated for ideas. The only downfall is that the nearest IKEA is in the Twin Cities, but if you’re from that area you’re in luck! If not, a road trip is in order.

6. TJ Maxx

This is easily one of my favorite stores. You can find designer brands at a fraction of the price. I mean, who in college can afford to drop $400+ on just one chair? They have everything from clothes to photo albums to bedding.

7. Rummage sales/garage sales and thrift stores

I will admit, a lot of things you find at these places are either not in the best shape or are just junk, but sometimes you can find a treasure. Some things may require a little TLC and redesigning, but that just gives you an excuse to be crafty. Also, it’s a good idea to utilize Pinterest and other sites to get ideas for DIY projects with garage sale or thrift store items!

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Kayla Severson

Kayla graduated in 2017 with a BA in Public Relations major and Communications minor. She is from Mindoro, WI and her hobbies include traveling, hanging out with friends, PRSSA and writing for the Odyssey.