September is an exciting time for new University students. With almost half a million freshers starting their first term, it’s a time for moving to new places, making new friends and learning new things. Whilst student halls have vastly improved since my day (they even have wi-fi these days!) the rooms new students arrive at can still seem small, in personal and pretty uninspiring– especially compared to your bedroom at home!
Take a look at our top tips for making your new student room as comfortable, practical and homely as possible – after all you need somewhere to relax in between lectures, escape from any potentially annoying roommates (there’s usually one!) and unwind after a night of hard partying.
Decorate dull walls
Student Halls bedrooms usually come with plain, neutral walls that hardly scream ‘home’.
The easiest (and cheapest) ways to add some home comforts and make the room more personable is by decorating these walls in your own style:
Add some of your favourite photos to the walls to remind you of good times and add any more as you make memories throughout the year. You can use funky photo frames or even hang some string and pegs for a quirky way to display your favourite pics.
Halls lighting can be pretty harsh on the eyes– add some ambience with a nice light shade to beat the brightness or create atmosphere with that old student essential– fairy lights! A staple of any student halls, a string of fairy lights can be added anywhere in the room– hang them from your bed frame, hang on the walls or frame your window for some muted mood lighting.
For some fresh smells and pretty to look at accessories add some house plants to you room. Not only are they nice to look at but house plants have been proven to improve air quality indoors. Generally inexpensive and available from many local garden centres and even bigger supermarkets, you can also add some colourful plant pots for a splash of colour. Just DON’T forget to water them!
Get Comfy and Cosy
Your student hall’s bed can definitely seem less comfy than what you’re used to at Mum and Dad’s. With a busy student lifestyle you need a comfy place to catch some zzzz’s in between lectures.
Your choice of bedding can make a style statement and jazz up your dull digs. Check your bed size before you leave for uni to make sure you have the right set. If you prefer a plainer bed but still want a splash of colour or pattern, statement pillows or throws can work wonders to add a homely, layered effect to your bed whilst still being handy to snuggle up to.
If your new mattress leaves a lot t o be desired, you can add a new layer of comfort with a mattress topper. A lot friendlier on the student budget than a new mattress – toppers come in varying thicknesses and can even come in memory foam versions that mould to your body whilst you sleep for some seriously sweet dreams.
Most students experience a minor panic when they arrive at halls and wonder how they’re going to cram all their worldly possessions into this small room. There are ways to utilise the space with some savvy storage solutions meaning you won’t have to start Ebay-ing everything you own quite yet!
For halls with limited wardrobe space there are some great hacks you can use to utilise the space and make sure your favourite outfits stay easily on hand
For storing your favourite jeans or best party pants, you can save space by hanging multiple pairs of trousers in one space with a multi bar hanger.
Use up empty space with an inexpensive shoe rack – ideal for stacking your ever-growing trainer collection (thank you student loan!) in one place at the foot of your wardrobe.
For changing seasons, you can save space by storing unneeded items in space saving vacuum pack bags. Those bulky winter coats or collection of Summer swimwear can be vacuum packed and stored away until next year.
For your other essential items, stack-able storage boxes are another student staple. They come in a range of sizes and designs to suit your needs and décor and are perfect for storing under the bed or on shelves.
Top Tip: Before you leave home for your big adventure, it’s a good idea to have a seriously good clear out. Whilst it may be tempting to pack everything but the kitchen sink, consider whether you actually need to take that whole collection of beanie babies or those jeans you haven’t worn since 2010? Divide everything you own into 3 piles – Take, Store and Throw away. Take your favourite and essential things with you. Keep non-essentials at home or in storage and finally, throw or donate anything you really won’t need. It’ll make moving a lot easier!
Make your own: Do it yourself desk tidy’s:
Your desk will be a big focus of your student room and keeping it tidy and organised will help with your productivity when faced with those big essays. For desktop organisation, the oldies are still the goodies! A desk tidy still makes a great way to keep your stationary in one place. You can even make your own from kitchen roll tubes if your feeling crafty! Box files are great for keeping your papers in order and at hand for those big projects and can again be made yourself from standard cereal boxes.
See our quick guide to tidying your desktop below:
Time: 2 Hours (Paint Drying Time)
What you’ll need: 4 x Kitchen Roll Tubes, One Match Box, One Piece of Cardboard, Paint, Glue, Scissors, Small Plate + Pencil
Step 1: Cut the Kitchen Roll holders to 4 x different sizes
Step 2: Use the plate to draw and cut a circle from the cardboard for the base.
Step 3: Paint the cardboard tubes and match box in any colour or design you want and leave to dry.
Step 4: When the paint is dry, arrange your tubes and match box on to the card base to make sure you are happy with the set up.
Step 5: Use the glue to stick the tubes and box in place on the base and leave to dry.
Time: 10 minutes
What you need: Cereal Boxes, Paper (wrapping or wall paper), Sellotape, Scissors, Marker, Ruler, Sticky Labels (Optional)
Step 1: Lay the cereal box on its side and draw a straight line from the top corner to around half way up the opposite side.
Step 2: Cut the box on all sides
Step 3: Use wrapping/wall paper of your choice to wrap the box like a present. Make sure to leave excess paper around edges to cover and cardboard and secure with glue/sellotape
Step 4 (Optional) Attach sticky labels to the front of each file to keep your papers organised.