Decorate a Dorm – Texas Wesleyan Edition

by Hope Allison

When I was first approached to decorate my dorm with things from Goodwill I jumped at the opportunity. I love Goodwill and I shopped there often. However, as I thought about it more, I realized I had never shopped in Goodwill’s home goods department. Whenever I went there, I always bought jeans and clothes but never furniture or decorations.

Questions began to fill my mind: What type of stuff is in Goodwill’s home department? Will I be able to find enough stuff to fill my room? What if I can’t find anything?

Walking into Goodwill with my roommate, Abby, I was unsure of what to be looking for and what I might find. We started by hesitantly walking around the store looking for anything that might fit my room décor that I already owned.

The first item that caught my eye at the Berry store was a wicker basket with blue ribbon. It looked to me like it could be the perfect size for a waste bin. It was a bit of a ‘fixer-upper’ because the blue ribbon was stained and falling apart. I loved the potential to refurbish even something small like changing the ribbon. At the time I was thinking it might go well in my shared bathroom space, but I eventually decided it belonged a part of my bedroom.

From then on out I don’t remember what order we picked things up in. It just seemed like we couldn’t stop picking up great items that fit the room. There was a time I remember Abby and I shared a look of amazement by how fast we filled our cart. Pretty soon we had a cube ottoman (just like ones I used to beg my mom to buy me when I was younger), some wall art, and an arrow jewelry holder. That is when we found it.

I believe I picked it up out of a pile and then Abby screamed from somewhere next to me “That could be a headboard.” It was perfect! The perfect colors to match my room and the perfect size to sit above my dorm bed. Suddenly I could picture in my mind exactly what my room would look like and I was ecstatic.

We went on to find a small shelf to sit on my desk and an over the door mirror.

Around this time, Abby was nudging me with her elbow telling me that she thought we would be over our budget of $100. So, we went to the checkout and learned we still had nearly $30 to spend. We decided to go to another Goodwill location, and I had this picture in my mind of exactly what I needed: A shelf about waist high but still small enough to slide under my bed. I could see exactly what I needed in my mind and hoped that the next Goodwill would have something similar.

The next Goodwill location, the Altamesa store, was probably twice as big as the first and there on the wall were the words “Goodwill Provides Jobs, Training, and Hope…” Hope, of course, being my name. I saw this as a sign that what we were looking for would be here.

Boy, was I right! We walked in and walked straight to a black shelf about waist high. Exactly what I had described before leaving the last place. We quickly claimed it as ours and moved it to the front before continuing shopping.

Here we reached kind of a standstill. I had found pretty much everything I thought I needed. What else could I possibly want? I found some cute “Lights, Camera, Action” signs I could hang on my wall. Then, after wandering around the store a couple of times, I remembered an embarrassing moment from the night before where I went to heat up some food in the microwave and there were no plates. I had no dishes of any sort. So, Abby and I went to work picking out various dishes from matching yellow plates, teacups and bowls to a glass chalice we pictured ourselves eating ice cream from.

Once I got all my goodies home, I began DIYing. I replaced the ribbon in the wastebasket.

The desk shelves got a new paint job and the big shelves we had taken apart in transit, so I had to glue those back together.

After about a day and a half of various paint/glue projects, everything was dry, and my room was ready for me to put it back together.

The room looks GORGEOUS!! I can’t believe how amazing it turned out. I keep insisting every one of my friends stop by to admire its beauty. They all ask, “Where did you get…” and the answer is always the same “GOODWILL!”

I don’t know where else I would’ve found all these great items for an affordable price. I am so thankful for this opportunity because I am certain my room would not look as spectacular as it does right now without this opportunity.