So Freshers’ Week has arrived and you’ve just moved into your new room, be it in halls or in a privately rented house. For many of you this will be the first time that you’ve lived away from home, and away from all the comforts that comes with being at home. All that you have now is an empty shell lacking in personality or warmth, which may look lonely right now, but you can soon change all that and make your new room a home from home.
This article will give you a few ideas about how you can do that!
1. Photos and Posters
Everyone loves a photo collage, and they really help to personalise your room and make it feel homely. Not only are they relatively cheap, with many online photo service offering free prints too, but they are such a simple way of decorating a room. Whether you just want to put a few photos up or create a whole collage, they are something that can be built on as the year goes on, providing a source of emotional support at first when most photos are of friends and family from home, but then go on to remind you of all the good times you have throughout the year as more photos of new friends are added! Equally, posters show your interests off and help to personalise your room, covering a lot of blank space that would otherwise be unused. But be cautious with both posters and photos though, halls rules prevent the use of Blu Tack whilst some private contracts have rules regarding Blu Tack, white tack or pins, so double check with your contract before you cover your wall with photos.
2. Soft Furnishings
One thing everyone takes for granted at home are cushions, throws and lamps, and they all make a real difference in making your room feel more homely. Not only are they all very practical, but they add style and comfort to your room, and with a throw, you could save a few pounds by using that rather than turning the heating up. If you do buy some soft furnishings, it’s worth remembering that your room is unlikely to be a massive space, and too many cushions could make your room look cluttered and end up causing a mess. Moreover, it’s also worth remembering that on a student budget you cannot afford to buy expensive items, so try and bring some from home or look online for separate cushion cases so that you can change them over quite easily, giving you more options but no more cushions, and therefore no cluttering. Prints are extremely popular, whilst a touch lamp also means you don’t have to have your main light on.
3. Knick Knacks
This is another great way of bringing a few smaller items to your room that would make a real difference to your room. Figurines, keyrings, rubber ducks, all sorts of knick knacks are out there from the mass-produced to the individual and quirky, and with Portswood and its charity shops being within easy reach for most students, there are loads of places to get a good deal. Again just be careful though, too many can make your room cluttered and messy, and when it comes to cleaning, you really do not want to have too many items that you need to dust around.
4. A homely smell
Keep with me for this one, but it’s inevitable that cleaning and tidying your room will quickly fall down your list of priorities at university, and as a result you’ll end up with a room that stinks of nights out (and all that they entail), unwashed plates and that piece of food you dropped months ago. Nobody likes that, and if you were at home, that smell would be quickly got rid of, so why not do the same in your new room? There are lots of ways of doing this, and my personal favourite is a reed diffuser. They last for months and help make your room smell fresh in a subtle way, no overpowering scents. Various scented items are around too, so its worth having a look online to see if there is anything you fancy. Of course, a free way of clearing the smell is opening the window, but over winter this is less practical. Candles should be avoided as almost every contract will not allow them.
The ultimate sign of showing you’ve survived your year at university is by having a plant that you still care for and nurture by the time you reach the end of the second semester. Plants not only give a nice fresh feel to the room, but they brighten it up and also give you something to focus on. Fresh flowers can also give a nice scent, but as they die quickly it is better to by a small green potted plant that will survive, with good examples being Cacti, Bonsai and Aloe Vera. With a potted plant though, it is important that the pot has a few holes in the base to allow water to escape, and remember to put the plant on a plate so that you don’t get water all over your room.
These five easy steps are guaranteed to spruce up your room and make it feel more homely, with each one allowing you to express your own personality and interests. It’s worth having a look around to see what deals you can get – you don’t have to spend lots to have a big impact on your room. You’ll end up with a space that is perfect for you.