UCLA_dorm_roomMoving into your first apartment after college can be exciting but it's certainly a daunting experience. How do you translate your dorm style into your brand new adult apartment? There are some things that just do not belong in a grown up apartment. Here are the things you need to ditch before you start moving into your brand new adult quarters:

1. Anything inflatable. These were great when you were 6 so why did you even have one as a college student? Sure they're cool for a while but then when you have to get up from one you have to squeak and squawk until you can get out of the miniature couch. Those are certainly not made for having friends stay over on your couch after a long night out.

2. Plastic milk crates. These are really great affordable storage options for when you have a lot of junk and nowhere to keep it. But when you move those from a dorm room into a nice apartment, they look as cheap as they are. Swap them out for a regular bookcase to store your belongings.

3. Any plastic storage. Clear drawers on wheels are great for your dorm room but they'll look out of place next to all of your other real furniture. Stick them away in a closet and use them as medicine cabinets.

4. Polyester bedding. It's uncomfortable and you probably just slept on it every night for 4+ years in your college dorm room. Don't make your skin suffer into your adult life as well. Invest in some real sheets and a cozy comforter. You will be grateful for it later.

5. Unframed posters. Your poster that you purchased for $5 in the university book store of that Marilyn Monroe quote you love is nice but it doesn't belong in a grown up's apartment. Scour Etsy for a nice artsy print and put in a frame for crying out loud!

When you've ditched the above things in the trash and you're ready to upgrade your adult apartment, here's how it's done:

1. Paint is your friend. Pick a new color and paint the walls or if you're not ready to commit to a whole room, pick one wall and paint it an accent color. You'd be amazed what a little color can do to brighten a room and it's cheap too. If your new apartment doesn't allow you to paint the walls, don't let them stifle your creativity! You can purchase wall sheets that stick directly to your walls. They come in every color and pattern imaginable and they peel right off when you're done with them.

2. Washi tape can be used for so many things. Add it to the frame of a mirror to add a little accent. Use it around the molding of a door to add flair to your entry ways. It can be placed on a wall if you want an interesting design instead of paint.

3. Bring the outdoors inside. Just adding a plant will instantly freshen a room. Not only will it improve the air quality but it will make the room feel brighter. If you don't have a green thumb, succulents are a great alternative. They can survive without water for longer than other plants so they're especially low maintenance.

4. If your walls look bare but you don't have money for fancy artwork, take an interesting shower curtain and mount it to the wall. It will take up a lot of space and it's dirt cheap.

5. Hanging hats on the wall doubles as not only a place to keep your hats but also as wall ornaments.

Transitioning from college dorm to real apartment can be difficult without dropping loads of cash but there are some affordable ways of decorating. All it takes is a little creativity and maybe some elbow grease.

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