3 min read
If you’re one of the lucky ones (or super organised) you can find a decent student house but for everyone else you’ll probably end up with digs that are a bit cold, a little damp and thoroughly uninviting.
The good news is that with a bit of smarts and a sprinkling of TLC you can transform any gloomy student house into a place that you and your flatmates will actually want to live in!
As with all rented properties there are limitations as to what you can do, but here’s a couple of simple tips to make your new house feel more like a home!
Trust us on this one, nobody wants to share a house with that one person who’s been living out of their suitcase. Getting yourself settled in quickly will be much easier the sooner you unpack and sort out all of your stuff - you’ll feel instantly better and more organised.
One you’ve unpacked, it’s time to liven the place up with a few personal touches. Whether you’re living in student halls or a house share, this is now the place you’re gonna call your home for at least a year, so it’s important to make the place feel like you actually live in it…
Of course, most student housing contracts have a ‘no nails in the wall’ clause, and often a no Blu-Tack clause too, but to make the place feel a little less prison-esque you can add lightweight items to the walls like wall hangings, posters and polaroid’s – non-staining white tack comes in very handy for this!
Another cheap and easy tip is to head down to your nearest B&M, Poundland or Home Bargains to pick up some cheap cushions, throws, curtains and rugs. These small additions can turn your lowly student room into a comfortable and lavish nest!
We all like having cool stuff, but the problem is that cool stuff tends to be expensive stuff… But what if we told you there’s a way to get amazing swag for absolutely no money at all? Legally, of course…
Freecycle.org is a website where people advertise old items that they want taken away. It’s free to sign up and free to use, and all the items listed on it are completely free!
You might think it’ll just be full of a load of old junk, but there’s some seriously great finds that their owners just want rid of. All you have to do is show up and take it away!
You can forget about nausea-inducing flashing Christmas lights, but yourself a decent set of fairy lights will make your space feel much more inviting and relaxing.
You can string them over your bed for a calming and soothing vibe when you’re sitting in bed or pair them with a cool wall tapestry from your local vintage shop and an incense burner.
Not only do they look cool, they’re a much safer alternative to candles which can have the nasty habit of, you know, catching fire… Try explaining that one to your landlord!
Pets are usually a big no-no in student flats, but you can always get a pet plant! Alright, so maybe that doesn’t sound quite as exciting as a puppy but there are in fact plenty of benefits to getting a resident houseplant.
For a start, they don’t make any noise or leave a mess. In fact, research has shown that indoor plants can actually make you feel less stressed – something that’ll definitely come in handy during your final exams!
Worried that you’ll forget to water it and the poor thing will die? Get a cactus! Not only will it be low maintenance, you can strategically place them around the doorways to ward off thieves or have some fun with your flat mates...
Throwing a house party? Creating a makeshift cinema? Then you’ll need decent speakers!
You don’t have to go too mad and buy a full professional-grade setup, but if you and your flatmates all chip in, you can buy a decent sound system that’s useful whether you’re throwing an end-of-year bash or a flat movie night.
If you’re not a tech wizard you can check out this handy list of the best speaker systems for students of all types and all budgets.
Even if your uni isn’t that far from your family home, the fact you can’t always just pack up and head straight back means that homesickness is just part and parcel of the student experience.
One of the best and most effective ways to deal with it is to bring a piece of home with you. It could be photos, scrapbooks or other sentimental items; whatever they are, they’ll make your new environment feel much more familiar and cosier.
Pick up a pin board that you can use to create your own makeshift display to pin photos, gig tickets, wristbands and other items!
The bathroom is probably the least-loved room in any house, but the bathrooms in student flats are often places to be actively feared…
Worry not though, as you’ll be surprised at how a few simple and cheap accessories can turn it from a real horror show to a place that even your cleanliness-obsessed mum will be impressed by!
Small things like a funky shower curtain, a rubber duck collection or even fresh towels can really transform the place. A cheap bin will prevent the place filling up with empty bottles of conditioner and you’ll be surprised at what a few bottles of strong bleach can do for the place!
No, drinks every Thursday down at the Students Union don’t count… But starting some flat traditions – and sticking to them will give you all something to look forward to and help you all settle in much quicker.
Maybe you’ll want to host your own flat movie night every month? Have a stab at cooking Sunday dinners together? Or maybe you’re known campus-wide for hosting the best parties? It can even be as simple as creating a dish-washing system and sticking some tunes on to make it a bit more fun.
Whatever it is, starting some traditions will quickly make your flat feel like a proper home and your flatmates feel like a proper family!
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