Moving away from home for the first time can be quite daunting, and with so many new experiences coming your way it is always good to have a little place of comfort to escape to. Whilst a student flat may not quite match what you had under your parents’ roof, there are easy ways to make your uni pad feel like your home away from home in no time!
Moving up the country from Surrey, I didn’t really have a lot of space to bring absolutely all of my stuff, so had to be quite picky about what I thought I would really need. Make sure that you’re not just packing stuff for the sake of it, as lots of student flats here are not massive, and the last thing you want is too much stuff and nowhere to put it!
1. Your desk!
It may sound a bit odd, but I think your desk is such an important part of the room, especially as you’re likely to be spending a lot of time at it. I have always stuck by the philosophy that a tidy room = a tidy mind, so I try my best to keep my desk as clutter-free as possible. To make it a bit more interesting, I’ve stuck up a few postcards of some of my favourite pieces of artwork and have a wee knitted cactus sent from my mum to remind me of home. I also think that lighting a candle can instantly make a room feel more homely, so I have one on my desk at all times! (Do check with your landlord if you’re allowed candles or to stick things on the wall – some can be a bit fussy about these things and you don’t want to get caught out!)
2. Bedtime zzzz
An absolute essential is to make sure you have a bed that is comfy. I quite enjoyed picking out duvet covers and stuff like that, and as you can see, maybe got a bit carried away with cushions. (But they are great.) I also have a great lamp for my bedside table from home, and naturally, put up some cute fairy lights to develop a nice ambience. It’s a relaxing, comfy little spot and definitely something worth taking some time over. Make sure you’ve got a warm enough duvet, (this may sound silly, but Edinburgh can get really, really, really cold), blankets and a change of duvet set! (Again, may sound silly but I’ve met people who only have the one, and get themselves in a bit of predicament when it comes to washing that one set and still having one to sleep in!) I managed to convince my dad to let me take the comfiest pillows ever from home, and I definitely appreciate them this year!
3. Books, folders, notes… where do I put them!?
As a student, it is no doubt that you’ll end up with quite the collection of books, papers, folders and the like. I’m quite the bookworm myself and was lucky enough to end up with a really big bookshelf this year which has been really handy for storage. However, in first and second year I had to be a bit more creative with where I kept this stuff in order to make sure I was organised! Ikea is always a good place to go for storage boxes that are cheap but practical, and big enough to keep all of your folders in one place. It is so important to make sure your notes are easy to find and in some sort of order, so I had one box for each course and kept the relevant books and notes in each of those. It looked tidy and meant I always knew where to find my stuff.
I’ve got a bit of everything on here, from dictionaries, philosophy texts, my favourite novels and a book of pugs in cute outfits. This is probably the biggest collection of things I have with me from home and was not all that fun to move up four flights of stairs let me tell you that.
4. Making the most of a small space
Lots of student flats are no palace, and so it is important to make sure that you’re making the best use of the space that you have. People often forget about things like under-bed storage, which can be handy for big items that can’t fit into your drawers/wardrobe. Make the most of your hanging space in your wardrobe by using hanging shelves, giving you more storage space for clothes. Boxes for shoes/bags etc. are also useful to keep all your belongings organised. I got most of my storage stuff from Ikea, again soooo good for innovative storage at a low price. Also, as I mentioned before, keeping your desk tidy is easily done. I’ve got a few small jars/pots that I use for my pens, make-up brushes and cosmetics and they decrease the amount of clutter visible, making your room seem bigger! (Tidy too, wouldn’t your parents be proud.)
5. A personal touch!
Now to make your room a reflection of you. I don’t really like ornaments and things, so only have a few bits and bobs around the place. I do however love photos and artwork, and found this worked better for me in making my room feel like home.
I am a fan of books and reading, so have a wall dedicated to famous penguin book covers. It adds a bit of colour to the room and was a cheap way to brighten up one of the walls. I also have my favourite Alice in Wonderland original illustrations and some records of my favourite bands that were given to me as a present from one of my school friends. I like to collect bits and pieces from places I’ve been and things I’ve done, so have some pinboards which act as a reminder of all the wonderful people and places in my life!
I have a few other bits, such as my guitar and school yearbooks that are fond memories of my time at home if ever I’m feeling homesick. But over your years at uni, you’ll collect so many new bits and pieces and make so many new memories that they’ll be the ones you’ll want to display!
Don’t forget to check out our Instagram @schoolofppls for more insights into student life, and to check what we’re getting up to as the semester draws on. #myPPLSjourney