If you’re planning to start uni in September, and you’re not sure what to bring, keep reading.
Moving away from home for the first time is a big step, and if you’re going into your first year in September, the chances are you’re going to be living in university halls. Although halls are an ideal place to meet new people, make friends, and live in close proximity to the university buildings and facilities, they are usually very plainly decorated and basic inside.
In between your hectic schedule of going to lectures, the library, social events and societies, your bedroom should be a place where you can relax and feel at home.
So let’s forget about Coronavirus for a few minutes, and look forward to the future! Here are my top tips on things you can buy to make your uni room feel comfortable and homely …
Sunset Disco bedroom collection, George @ Asda. Items in the range from £16 (available in store or online)
1. Nice sheets and bedding – Not only will clean, fresh bedding improve your nights sleep, it will also add colour and pattern into your room. It’s a good idea to have more than one set, so you can change your sheets often (it should be every two weeks at least). I love the George @ Asda bedding, because the designs are beautiful and also reversible so you can switch which design you want whenever you like.
2. Photos of family and friends – Take some down time during the busyness of Welcome Week to put some photos into frames for your windowsill, or make a photo wall above your bed of your family and friends from back home. It’s nice to have a reminder of home on your homesick days, and also adds a bit of colour to the plain cream walls! I would recommend the FreePrints app to print out your photos.
3. Storage- If you’re anything like me, three drawers and a wardrobe is not enough space for all your clothes and shoes. During Welcome Week, I bought a set of pink plastic drawers from B&M (which were really cheap), and used these to store my makeup and accessories, so my drawers under the desk could be for clothes. I would also recommend you get some smaller pots for things like stationary and pens for your desk. To maximise bathroom space, you can buy smaller boxes for the bathroom shelves to keep all your products organised.
4. Over the door hooks – are brilliant for your wardrobe doors so you have a place to hang your dressing gown and coat. I also used to hang my room key here so I didn’t leave the room without it and lock myself out! Please note, you aren’t allowed to put these on the main door to your room as these are fire doors.
Copper 4-Hook Over-the-Door Rack – £14 @ Urban Outfitters
5. Washing basket – An essential purchase to keep your room tidy! Having a nice-looking washing basket will stop you piling your dirty clothes on your floor. I would advise buying one with handles for practical purposes, so can look stylish on your walk to the laundrette, and there’s no need to empty it into bags.
6. Reed diffusers – Uni halls prohibit the use of candles and incense burners, however a reed diffuser is the perfect solution if you enjoy having a fresh smelling room without setting the fire alarms off. You can turn the reeds over every few days and refill them with essential oils of your choice when they run out. They’re inexpensive and available in most supermarkets.
My favourite smelling reed diffusers include:
Seagrass & Amber Metallic Scented Diffuser – £25 @ Oliver Bonas
Molton Brown Gingerlily Aroma Reeds, 150ml – £45 @ John Lewis
Wild Rhubarb & Pear Diffuser – £15 @ M & S
Sainsbury’s Home Vanilla & Tonka Bean Diffuser 90ml – £8 @ Sainsbury’s
7. Full length mirror – Most rooms at the university don’t come with a full length mirror, so I would advise you buy one to save yourself the trouble of having to climb on top of your toilet and bending in front of your mirror every time you want to check your outfit before going out. Argos, Dunelm Mill and B&M have nice ones for as little as £15!
8. Plants – There are many benefits to keeping plants in your bedroom, for example they purify the air you breathe, help improve your concentration and productivity, and they add colour and life into your room. Certain plants such as cacti are very low maintenance and make the perfect decoration for your window sill. I also like to add flowers into my weekly food shop, so I always have a fresh bunch of flowers on my desk.
Large Metallic Dipped Concrete Rustic Cactus/Succulent Planter from Naturalcraftmoulds on Etsy for £20
9. Cleaning products – You should keep a well stocked basket of cleaning supplies under your bathroom sink, containing essential products such as antibacterial spray, dusting cloths, toilet bleach and glass cleaner. Even though cleaners will clean the kitchen and communal areas, you’re still in charge of cleaning your own bedroom, and you should aim to do this weekly (including hovering) so it doesn’t become too unmanageable. Having a dusty, dirty room is not good for your health and won’t make your room feel somewhere you feel you can relax in.
10. Lighting – The rooms in halls can be quite dark, due to the small windows and energy-saving light bulbs. If your room doesn’t feel bright enough for you to work and live in, then I would advise purchasing another desk lamp. In the evening I love using my colour changing Philips light, which I usually have on the pink setting for when I’m watching Netflix in bed or pampering myself.
Philips Berry LED Colour Changing Portable Table Lamp, Multi – £35 @ John Lewis
11. Fluffy rugs, cushions and blankets – Dunelm Mill in Bangor has an amazing selection of everything fluffy, and so does The Range, B&M, Home Bargains, and George @ ASDA – we’re quite lucky in Bangor really that there are so many places to buy low-cost fluffy interiors! Of course we don’t want to clutter our room and have too many things, but there’s nothing better then having a soft blanket for your bed, fluffy rug for your feet and soft cushions for your head, right?
Pom Pom Blush Square Cushion – £15 @ Dunelm Mill
12. Good quality pillows and duvet – It’s really important that we get a good nights sleep for us to stay healthy. The cheap pillows and duvets you can buy in the supermarket are not usually good quality, as they’re thin and not very warm. Even though most rooms in halls are single beds, I would advise you buy a double duvet and tuck the sides underneath the mattress – it feels far cosier! The average person spends a third of their life in bed, and most students definitely spend much more time than that … so invest wisely to give yourself the comfiest bed and best night’s sleep possible.