It’s fair to say that students traditionally don’t have the best reputation when it comes to housekeeping. All too often the connotations that spring to mind when it comes to student living are dirty dishes, empty fridges, and all-round messiness. Student halls or houses can also feel like pretty solitary places at times too, especially if you’re bunking down with a group of relative strangers at first. It’s totally normal to start missing the creature comforts of home after a while and craving a little bit of cosiness – especially if your home has seen one too many fresher’s parties, and runs the risk of becoming more of a hovel than a haven!
Don’t fear. We’ve come up with a couple of hacks that can transform your student home from muddle and mess, into a space that Marie Kondo herself would approve of. We think you’ll be surprised at just how much difference a few homely touches can make – and who knows, you might even feel brave enough to invite the parents round for tea...
Let there be (good) light
Quite often you’ll find student houses aren’t always lit very invitingly. Lightbulbs can be glaring and overly bright, which can make it hard for you to relax, let alone study. Some student accommodation might include bedside lighting, but not always, so you may have to shop around until you find a lamp that does the job. Whether fairy lights are your thing, a dimmer lamp – maybe even a lava lamp if you fancy a real throwback – you’ll be feeling more relaxed in no time by eliminating the glaring glow of 40 watt bulbs in favour of something with a little more ambiance.
Tip: Don’t overlook charity or antique shops on your quest for the perfect bedside lamp. You might just find yourself a bargain with some real charm.
Get yourself a houseplant
As a student, it’s unfortunately unlikely that you’ll be living in a house with a lusciously grassy back garden - but that’s no reason for you to not get green fingers. Houseplants are a great way to breathe life and oxygen into your surroundings (as long as you remember to water them!) Not only are they pleasing on the eye, there’s also been a lot of research to suggest that keeping plants in your home can help to reduce stress symptoms and improve all-round mental health and wellbeing. So why not fill your lounge or bedroom with a couple of green friends? Pop down to your local garden centre or keep a lookout for trendy potted plants on the high-street.
Tip: If you really struggle to keep your plants alive, settle for a cactus! Same effect, half the maintenance.
Create some colour
Student accommodation buildings are often painted in pretty safe, neutral colours. A great way of making you feel more at home in your new bedroom is to inject bit of your personality into it and make things a little more vibrant. A pop of colour can go a long way! Wall art is a great way to do this, whether it’s finding a colourful print to hang up, or covering your bedroom in posters. You can also throw in some eye-catching cushions, throws or bedding too to brighten up your bedroom.
Tip: If you’re renting your student home, remember to check with your landlord before you paint any walls or hang any prints from the wall – as this could potentially result in the loss of your accommodation deposit (eek!).
Get storage savvy
Nothing detracts from a nicely decorated room more than clutter and mess – fact. When moving to student accommodation, you’ll often find you’ve had to cram all of your worldly possessions into a relatively modest space. This calls for one thing and one thing only – smart storage solutions! By this we mean under bed drawers, shoe racks, shelves (where possible) – you get the picture. It’s all too easy for your student room to become ‘floordrobe’, and there’s nothing more stressful than scrambling to find the textbook that’s disappeared into the abyss of bedroom chaos, ten minutes before your lecture is about to begin. Investing in some nifty storage can prevent such disasters and really help you to conserve space, as well as allowing you to stay organised and calm.
Tip: Washing basket always getting in your way? Get one that slides underneath the bed, or a canvas basket that can hang on the back of your door. This will free up even more space.
Bring home with you
No student digs would be complete without your favourite photos on the wall. The wall photo collage has become the classic staple of all student homes. Many students find it helpful and comforting to put up photographs of their friends, family, pets or hometown for moments of homesickness. They’ll also make for a good talking point when it comes to breaking the ice with your new housemates.
Tip: When it comes to printing off your photographs, shop around online for some cheap deals. Printing your photos from an online service will often be cheaper than doing this on the high street.
Here at LJMU, we understand the importance of feeling at home at university. We’re proud to have selection of brilliant student accommodation buildings throughout the city to suit the needs and preferences of every single student. So whether you’re a postgraduate or mature student looking for a room of your own, or a fresher looking to dive into the bustle of student halls – we can help you find the accommodation that’s just right for you. Find out more about our accommodation today or email firstname.lastname@example.org.