Getting my first apartment was one of the best times of my life. I started planning my decorations months before I moved, and I had at least 4 Pinterest boards dedicated solely to my apartment. Little did I know, filling up an entire apartment can get expensive and stressful. Luckily, I learned some tips along the way.

Pick a theme

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Find a few staple pieces and pick a theme centered around them. These could be necessities you already have or new things you fall in love with.

DIY

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Most, if not all, of those expensive wall pieces you see in Hobby Lobby can be made at home for half of the cost. Try making your own wall art, pillows and whatever you can think of with a little help from Pinterest and YouTube.

Get thrifty

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Thrift shopping is a perfect way to find furniture and other home decor. Most things can be transformed into beautiful decor pieces with just a little paint and time.

Less is more

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Don't go overboard buying new things for your apartment. Adding a lot of stuff to a tiny space can make it look and feel cramped and smaller than it already is. Instead, try a more minimalist route.

Add some green

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Plants like cacti and succulents are perfect for small apartments because they add character without taking up too much space. Plus, they are easy to care for and only need to be watered once or twice every few weeks.

Lighten up

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Adding lighting throughout your apartment can make your apartment seem bigger and brighter if you don't have much natural light.

Use mirrors as decor

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Like lights, mirrors can be used to make your apartment seem bigger than it actually is. Decorative mirrors are cheap and look great in any room.

Comfort is key

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Your apartment is your home during college, so make sure it's comfortable and relaxing. Make sure furniture like beds and couches are comfortable. Add pillows and blankets around your apartment for extra comfort. Try making a zen area just for you. Most importantly, decorate in a way that makes you happy and comfortable.