Grades requirements have been met, post A-level club nights attended and Ikeas up and down the country raided for matching crockery sets. That’s right - university’s starting, and for thousands of students that means moving into halls of residence.
There’s no denying, university halls can be great. With hundreds of fellow first year students living in close proximity they provide a great social scene and countless opportunities for meeting new people and getting involved. But as exciting as the prospect of moving away from your annoying younger siblings and into your very own flat may be, it’s also worth remembering that university owned rooms can be small. Very small. Rabbit-hutch like, in fact.
From cold bare brick walls and lumpy mattresses to less than spotless shared bathrooms, university halls aren’t always the cosiest of places. Add to that minimal storage space and your bedroom at home may seem like five star hotel suite in comparison… But don’t let that put you off!
Whilst it might initially seem like an impossible task fitting all your belongings into your cupboard-esque room and making it seem homely and inviting, we’ve got a few nifty tricks to help you out. Whether your budget’s big or small, everyone deserves a homely room in their first year of university. Here’s how...
1. Hang ups
What do you do when you don’t have much space? Hang things off walls, of course. The geniuses at Ikea have done it yet again with this £5 hanging organiser, perfect for packing away all those nick nacks that would otherwise take up valuable desk space. It might be designed for shoes but that doesn’t mean it can’t hold everything from pens and notebooks to old club wristbands and revision snacks. Top tip: hide your favourite biscuits in one of the compartments to stop your housemates stealing them. You can thank us later.
2. Peg your pictures
No self respecting student moves into university halls without at least one set of fairy lights. Got yours? Good. Now nab these super cheap mini pegs from Amazon and use them to hang pics of your nearest and dearest off your lights. No more blu-taking photos to walls = no peeling paint = no deductions off your deposit. Result!
3. One night stand
No bedside table? No worries. Invest in this incredibly handy - and stylish - trolley and feel yourself instantly adult-ify. With not one but THREE storage surfaces, trolleys are the ultimate small bedroom hack and can hold every hangover supply you might need within hands reach of your bed. Don’t have £50 to splash? Avoid buying brand new and browse Gumtree and Freecycle instead for cheap or free pieces of furniture. You never know what you might find...
4. Sort it out
Fresher, meet desk. You’re going to be spending a lot of time together. Ok, maybe not in the first few weeks of term… but hopefully during exam period. And when you do, you’ll want your space to be in tip-top organisational condition. Use this rose gold organiser to pack away all stray pens and store important post-it notes. What’s more, it’s right on trend. Win-win.
5. Use all available space
If you’ve got space under your bed USE. IT. Get yourself an underbed drawer and fill it with all the seasonal clothes you don’t currently wear (denim shorts, we’re looking at you). At just £19.99, you can’t really go wrong with these plastic storage boxes from Argos. They might not be the world’s most aesthetically appealing item, but when it's hidden under your bed who really cares?
Now, it’s not exactly a hack, but it is something we think every student room should have. It’s the infamous sheepskin rug. Lay it next to your bed for instant cosiness in chilly winter mornings or drape over your desk chair to make studying that little bit more appealing. With smaller rugs starting at just £10, it’s an investment you won’t regret.