Moving in to your new halls is intimidating – there’s no doubt about that, but it is also one of the highlights of your time as a fresher. You’ll be meeting the people you’ll be living with for the next academic year and finally seeing your new room. But if the ‘jazzy’ curtains and carpet leave you feeling somewhat disappointed, then never fear! We have the top tips to make the best of what you have been given, from ideas to get your creative juices flowing, to clever ways to just conceal what you don’t like!
While it is a great idea to pick up some IKEA bargains (and highly recommended given the handy store just a bus ride away from campus), one thing worth making a small investment in is your bedding. A mattress topper is pretty essential, given that a night on those beds could leave you feeling like one of the Flintstones. With the rest of your bedding, choose sheets with a high cotton thread count; it’s the best material and super easy to wash! Your bed is also the focal point of any room, so pick a colour or theme and incorporate this, with pillows, throws, quilts or a patterned cover. It adds personality and ties in with the room if you have this theme dotted about elsewhere with lamps, photo frames and other accessories.
Photos and posters are an easy way of instantly brightening your room and making it your own. The walls may look startlingly bare when you first arrive, so make sure you have some prints to put up as soon as you’ve finished unpacking! The familiar faces of your family and friends will be a big comfort in those first few days. A few nice photo frames could start eating into your budget, so go for a cheaper, colourful option – use Washi tape! (right) It’s a type of masking tape that can be removed from walls easily without leaving marks, and so is perfect for rented accommodation. Available on Amazon or Ebay, this comes in a range of colours and patterns so just simply frame this around pictures or prints to liven up those plain walls.
Command hooks (left) are also really useful. Again, developed for rentals, these will leave no damage on your walls and can be used for extra storage and decoration. There are hugely versatile and there are plenty of great ideas for these online.
3. Hide it
Living in halls, you will find that people will constantly be popping round for a visit (at all hours), so it’s probably not the best idea to have your dirty laundry or old underwear lying about to greet them! Grabbing yourself one of these super handy laundry bags (right) from IKEA is perfect. It hides your clothes with a cover as a lid and the frame fits perfectly under your desk out of the way. Ideal for storing up your bundle until your next big wash. Pictured: Skubb Laundry bag, £9, Ikea.
4. Concealing the carpet
While the carpets in halls accommodation are practical, they often aren’t very pretty! If there are mystery stains or you’re just not keen on the print, grab yourself a rug. It will cheer up the room and be cosy for you to step on to when you wake up for lectures on cold autumn mornings!
If you have any serious issues with your room, contact your halls reception. Most problems are fixed within only a day or two of the issue being reported.