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Black Friday 2018

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College Dorm Room Haul 2018 (CHEAP Decor, Bedding, Storage, Furniture & More!)

Hip2Save may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. Read our full disclosure policy here.

big lots dorm apartment shopping finds — pom pom blanket

School may be out but dorm decor is IN!

It’s back to school season, and we’re a little envious of all the latest college dorm room and apartment products. We’re especially blown away by Big Lots and their huge selection of campus and apartment decor — not to mention the super budget-friendly prices!

Check out our favorite finds and be sure to print out these dorm room and apartment shopping checklists.

Hip Tip: Want a little cushioning in your back to school budget? Enter to win a $250 Big Lots gift card (just scroll to the middle of the Big Lots’ Back-to-School page for more details)!


Wall decor and accents

Dorm rooms can be so BLAH. The best part about the selection at Big Lots is that you’ll find wall accents that are both visually appealing AND functional, like decor with hooks for keys, lanyards, or bags or organizers for mail, books, or planners. From fun bright designs to rustic chic, there’s something for every aesthetic! And you’ll stay well within your budget. 🦄

back-to-school college dorm shopping with big lots — decorative wall hooks for keys and organizers

“Keys” 3-Hook Plaque $8 | Rustic Heart Hook Plaque $12 | Galvanized Mail Holder $20 | Floral Ornament Wall Hooks $8.40 | Gold Arrow Jewelry Hook $12 | Blue Double Basket Wall File $22 | “Bracelets, Earrings, Necklaces” Jewelry Holder $15


back-to-school college dorm shopping with big lots — wall decor with quotes

“Believe” Script Plaque $8 | “Inspire” Word Plaque $5.40 | “Gather” Word Plaque $8


back-to-school college dorm shopping with big lots — command hooks

Don’t forget to pick up Command Hooks so you can hang your new decor without damaging the walls! Available for purchase in-store only.

Bedding and coordinating decor

Another way to spruce up a dorm room is through the bedding. Start with a base layer of printed sheets, layer on a comforter (reversible styles let you switch up the look with a simple flip), and add throw pillows with designs and quotes that are like art pieces on their own. Big Lots even has coordinating wall signs and decor pieces that seamlessly match the bedspreads!

back-to-school college dorm shopping with big lots — bedding set and dorm room decor coordinates

Floral Gray 6-Piece Sheet Set $20-$23 | Tasha Purple & Gray Medallion 6-Piece Sheet Set $20-$23 | Rose & Blue Feathers 12-Piece Comforter Set $50-$60 | Feather Print Throw Pillow $10 | “The Snuggle is Real” Throw Pillow $10

“Be the Exception” Wall Plaque $5 | “Let’s get Cozy” Wall Plaque $7 | “Keep Life Simple” Wall Plaque $6 | Metal Jewelry Holder $10 | Metal Pillar Candle Holder $10 | Geometric Metal Tealight Candle Holder $12 | “Keep Life Simple” Candle $6


back-to-school college dorm shopping with big lots — mix and match bedding sets

Blue & White Sketched Dot Sheet Set $9-$16 | Black & Green Triangles Sheet Set $9-$16 | Geometric Reversible Comforter Set $30 | Blue & Gray Reversible Quilt Set $25 | “The Future is Golden” Throw Pillow $10 | Color Changing LED Light Box $12


back-to-school college dorm shopping with big lots — mix and match bedding sets

Coral & White Lines Reversible Comforter Set $30 | Coral & Blue Reversible Comforter Set $30 | Coral Pinstripe Sheet Set $9-$16 | Coral & Gray Reversible Quilt Set $25 | “She Believed She Could” Wall Plaque $6 | “You Are Like, Really Pretty” Wall Plaque $6


big lots dorm room apartment finds — pom pom cushion throw blankets

Pom Pom Sherpa Throw Blanket $15

Storage drawers and bins

Transporting their stuff to college is a lot of work. But since they’ll also need storage for their clothes, snacks, and other personal belongings, why not pack their gear in their storage for the trip? Big Lots offers a variety of sizes, colors, and textures from tote bins to drawer sets and organizational baskets. Pick up some up while you’re out shopping!

back-to-school college dorm shopping with big lots — large plastic storage and moving bins

Clear Storage Container $4 | Blue 18-Gallon Storage Container $5 | Gray 20-Gallon Storage Container $8.50 | Gray 35-Gallon Storage Container $12.50


back-to-school college dorm shopping with big lots — tiered faux wicker drawers and bins

Woven 3-Drawer Organizer in Espresso $14.50 | Woven 3-Drawer Organizer Wide in Espresso $23 | 3-Drawer Woven Organizers in Titanium $5.25-$23 | 3-Drawer Woven Organizers in Blue $5.25-$23 | Woven Baskets in Titanium $4-$5.50 | Woven Basket in Espresso $4


back-to-school college dorm shopping with big lots — faux wicker bins and woven colorful baskets

Gray Zig Zag Bin in Small $6, Large $8, and Floor $10 |Black Zig Zag Bin in Small $6, Large $8, and Floor $10 | Pink Zig Zag Bin in Small $6 and Large $8 | Blue Zig Zag Bin in Small $6 and Large $8

Gray Paper Rope Bins $12-$16 | Gray Water Hyacinth Bins $8-$12 | Espresso Paper Rope Bins $12-$16 | Natural Paper Rope Bins $12-$16 | Natural Water Hyacinth Bins $8-$12 | Gray Woven Strap Bins $5-$10 | Gray Canvas Bins $7-$15 | Natural Canvas Bins $7-$15

Desk furniture and accessories

Most dorm rooms usually include workspace furnishings, like desks and task chairs. That said, if your student is moving into an off-campus apartment or wants to customize their room, check out these stylish offerings from Big Lots. If a new eye-catching workstation will get them to study a little harder, we think it’s well worth the investment!

back-to-school college dorm shopping with big lots — desk drawer set and mid century modern desk chair

Gray Long Hair Pouf $60 | Truss Task Chair in Grey $40 (also available in blue, black, and white) | Black & Gray Drawer Rolling Cart $60


back-to-school college dorm shopping with big lots — decorative desks and rolling desk chairs

Rustic Wood Desk $100 | Faux Leather Rolling Chair $60 | Faux Concrete Desk $100 | Black Orb Rolling Chair $80 |


back-to-school college dorm shopping with big lots — under chair mats for rolling desk chairs

“You Got This” Chair Mat for Rolling Chairs $15 | Printed Striped Chair Mat $15

Towels and bath products

Since they’ll be living on their own for the first time (you won’t be around to remind them to shower)😬 get supplies they’ll be excited to use! Keep in mind that the dorm bathroom will be set up with necessary amenities like shower curtains and soap dispensers, but students will still need things like towels, caddies, and makeup storage. Is your student in their own apartment? If so, you’ll especially want to check out this super cute selection of items!

back-to-school college dorm shopping with big lots — bath towels

Reversible towel sets in Pink & Gray, Green & Gray, Blue & Gray, and Black & Gray $2-$5


back-to-school college dorm shopping with big lots — bathroom countertop accessories

Shower Curtain Sets in Pink & Purple Flowers, Gray Diamonds, Falling Feathers, Blue & Pink Stripes, and Purple Medallions $12 | Rose Gold Vanity Tray $10 | Rose Gold Soap and Lotion Dispensers $16 | Nickel Soap & Lotion Dispensers $16 | Nickel Vanity Tray $10 | Ribbon Tassel Banner 5′ $8


back-to-school college dorm shopping with big lots — acrylic and frosted plastic organizing bins and trays

Small 6-Compartment Organizer $8 | Large Countertop Organizer Tray $8 | Divider Bath Tote $17 | Large Organizer Bin $9 | Small Organizer Bin $8 | 4-Compartment Organizer $7.50 | 8-Compartment Tray Organizer $12 | Large 8-Compartment Organizer $10 | Shower Caddies in White, Gray, Blue, Coral, and Black $3

Wardrobe fixtures

Let’s face it. College students like to sleep in, so when they sign up for that early morning class, they’ve got to be ready to head out the door. Make sure their closet is equipped with no-fuss essentials, like over-the-door racks, slim and sturdy hangers, and a full-length mirror so they don’t have to guess whether or not the outfit they threw together matches. Oh, and don’t forget to send them off with a hamper (and a quick lesson in how to do their own laundry)!

back-to-school college dorm shopping with big lots — decorative over the door hook racks

Bejeweled Over-the-Door Hook Rack $10 | Silver & Wood Over-the-Door Hook Rack $12 | Silver Over-the-Door Hook Rack $12


back-to-school college dorm shopping with big lots — over the door full length mirrors

Over-the-Door Storage Mirror $80 | Non-storage over-the-door mirrors are available in-store only


back-to-school college dorm shopping with big lots — velvet hangers

Ivory & Gold Velvet Hangers 20-pack $20 | Gray & Rose Gold Velvet Hangers 20-pack $8


back-to-school college dorm shopping with big lots — portable hamper

Light & Dark 2 Section Hamper $10 | Pop Up Drawstring Hamper in Blue and Coral $8 | “Laundry” Gray Crunch Hamper $10 | More plastic hamper options are available in store.

Dorm room must-haves

Tie the room together for added comfort with essential pieces like extra cushiony seating and functional finds. When space is limited (like funds), split the cost with roommates and share to save even more!

back-to-school college dorm shopping with big lots — bucket chairs and floor pouf chairs

Truss Task Chair $40 | Round Saucer Chair in Blue, White, Gray, and Black $35 | Gray Knitted Round Pouf $50 | Brown Knitted Round Pouf $50| Natural Jute Round Pouf Ottoman $50 | Black & White Stripe Pouf Ottoman $60


big lots dorm shopping finds — "dare to dream" led string lights

LED Color Changing String Lights $10


back-to-school college dorm shopping with big lots — assortment of window and desk fans

Twin Window Fan with Remote $40 | 12″ Black Oscillating Desk Fan $17 | Lakewood 20″ Box Fan $17 | 6″ Clip Desk Fan $10 | 9″ High-Velocity Desk Fan $17


back-to-school college dorm shopping with big lots — small dirt devil vacuum cleaners

Dirt Devil Power Express Lite $40 | Dirt Devil Cyclonic II Vacuum $36 | Dirt Devil Breeze Upright Vacuum $40


Get the printable!

Need help with your shopping list? Check out these handy dorm room and apartment printable checklists!

back-to-school college dorm shopping with big lots — printable dorm and apartment decor and furniture checklists from Big Lots

Your academic adventure (and cool dorm) await! Have a GREAT year!



Written by Emily for Hip2Save. Emily lives in Buffalo, NY where she spends her time drinking lots of coffee, scouring the internet for deals, and tackling DIY projects. She’s a big believer in self-care and living the fullest life possible, all while saving money of course.

Join The Discussion

Comments 22

  1. Julie

    Hello! Nice post! Have y’all ever thought about doing something like this relating to traveling and what to pack for vacation? I’ve been packing for a 9 day vacation to Barbados, and I just feel like there is an easier way and there has to be deals on things I had to purchase.

  2. Cherryluva

    They sell a great variety of snacks too!
    Just don’t purchase a couch or chair from here 😝 after we had a fire, we thought, ok, we won’t get the cheapest and we won’t get the most expensive. Purchased a couch and rocking chair…lasted 4 MONTHS!!! couch cushions went super flat, chair broke and leaned badly. One of the seats on the couch completely caved in.

    • meg

      We have bought a couch..loveseat..dining room table..bar stools..all have lasted a really long time. we never had a problem with any of their furniture. maybe we just got lucky? 😊

    • Rebecca

      I agree about couches…..our year old sectional from there is looking absolutely horrible & I’m ready to ditch it. Such a waste of money.

    • Sabrina A.

      Same here! We purchased a couch and a lazy boy chair. The chair broke after a few weeks and the couch went flat in less that a year!

    • Danielle

      We bought a sectional there 4 years ago and it has held up very well. It’s still in great shape and has been used daily.. even slept on. You can’t tell it’s 4 years old.

  3. Deanna

    Great deals and I can’t wait to find them in the store. I always find good bargains on this site. Keep them coming!!

    • Amber (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      You bet! Thanks for the sweet comment! 😉

  4. ResseCup

    I like Big Lots but never thought about them for dorm stuff. Already forwarded to two people with kids going to college. I’m looking myself for daughter even though she will be a junior in college.

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      That’s great! Thank you for forwarding the post along. And best of luck to your daughter’s junior year!

  5. Sara

    Are school-provided soap dispensers a new trend? My school(LSU) didn’t provide anything other than the shower itself. I consider curtains or doors in communal hall baths to be a part of the shower. The communal hall baths in Broussard(Fall 2006) had a shower curtain. The communal hall baths in Envangeline(Spring 2009) had shower doors. The private baths(shared by two 3-person rooms) in Evangeline didn’t provide a curtain or a shower door. East Campus Apartments(Fall 2009-Spring 2010) and West Campus Apartments(Fall 2013) didn’t provide a curtain or a shower door. Residential Life custodians cleaned private baths weekly.

    • Jennifer

      My daughter attends USF and all that was in her dorm bathroom was a shower, toilet, sink and mirror.

  6. Rebecca

    I’m assuming this is a sponsored post but for what it’s worth, you can find some nice decor & storage options at Dollar Tree & save a little more that way.

  7. Leslie

    The towels are small. We use those as hair towels. You’re better off using a $10/$25 at JCPenney for bigger, thicker towels.

  8. Babymair

    Thx Emily.4 this post .I wanted to redo my office/spare bedroom ,but everything was so expensive. This is perfect timing . I really didn’t think of big lots ….cant wait to go shopping. keep up the good work and God bless.

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      We’re always pleasantly surprised with the furniture from Big Lots, especially the office decor — the desks look way more expensive than they are! Thanks for the sweet comments and have fun redecorating 😁!

  9. Happy Aunt

    FWIW: I was told by a store employee that the next friends and family weekend (20% off the entire store) will be the last weekend of September. I try to hold out for those sales when possible.

  10. Mo

    Just saying hi Emily!! I am from Buffalo too 👋🏼

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Hey Mo! Glad to see a fellow neighbor on the site 😄!

  11. Melissa

    Check Walmart, they had better deals on plastic, bedding and decor!!!! My local Walmart had Big lots beat on price and selection.

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      That’s awesome! Thank you for the tip, Melissa! Looks like we’ll be heading to Walmart soon 🙂

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