When moving to university, you are likely to experience a lot of exciting firsts; your first freshers night, first lecture, first housemates and first accommodation away from home.
However, these new experiences come with their own unique challenges, and it can also be a nerve-wracking time.
Knowing what you need, what to pack and what to expect from your new accommodation are among those challenges. But with some simple tips and tricks from those in the know, you can prepare yourself and make moving into your new home as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
Read on for eight of our top student accommodation hacks.
1. Follow the university’s social media accounts
Social media is a wonderful way to get regular updates from your new university, including any information and tips you may need about moving into your accommodation.
As well as following the main university accounts, you might also find that there are Facebook groups or pages dedicated to your specific university halls or to those looking for house shares. There might also be pages for the housing office and student union that you can follow.
Following these groups can help you to connect with your pre-arranged housemates ahead of moving day or find like-minded people to live with if you’re not in halls. This can make your first day much more relaxing and can help to take the edge off those nerves.
2. Don’t bring the entire kitchen with you
All too often students go out and buy brand new pots, pans, plates, kettles, toasters, etc., and end up with four to six of the same items - and no accommodation needs that! So before you waste your time, money and space, it’s best to carefully plan what appliances and items you need to bring.
Often, if student accommodation comes with certain amenities like a kettle, toaster, oven, microwave, etc., all this information will be provided beforehand. Or, at the very least, be on the accommodation or university website. So check out what you already have before you go too crazy in IKEA.
Plus, if you’re able to connect with your future housemates, you can work out amongst yourselves who should bring what. This will stop you from having multiple appliances and no space.
And hey, if you realise you’re missing something after a couple of days, you can just pop out into town and buy it!
3. Pack light
You might think you need to take all your belongings, but the reality is, this can leave you fighting for space and never using half the stuff you took. It’s best to pack as light as you can, only taking the clothes you are guaranteed to wear. You can always swap your clothes around with the seasons as you visit home over the holidays.
The same applies to home comforts. Of course, you want a few homely belongings, such as tea lights and photos, but don’t go mad!
4. Hang things up
Whether you’re in halls or a house, you’re unlikely to have much space in your university accommodation when sharing with several other people. As such, you need to do all you can to maximise your space - and we have a handy solution!
Hanging things up can save valuable floor and cupboard space. And no, we don’t just mean randomly hanging items about. There are serval hanging storage solutions that can be perfect for uni rooms. These include:
• Hanging storage bags (with pockets)
• Hanging shoe holders that can go in your wardrobe (if you have one)
• Hanging laundry bags
• Hanging organisers
• Over door hooks that allow you to hang coats, scarves, jumpers, etc.
Make the most of these wherever possible and save your precious floor space for the items that can’t be hung or put away.
5. Maximise all available space
As well as hanging things up, there are lots of other ways you can maximise your space. This includes using every inch of available space as efficiently as possible. Make sure to carefully fold and put away clothes neatly; this can make a huge difference. If you have a wardrobe, hang multiple items on one coat hanger, particularly items of clothing you don’t wear that often.
If you have space under your bed, invest in some slim boxes that fit underneath. This can be very handy for books, shoes, seasonal clothes or any other belongings you don’t access very often.
You might need to wait until you get to uni to find out whether you’ve got this extra space, but there are plenty of places you can pick up the right size storage containers easily.
6. Buy a door stopper
Often, university halls will have heavy doors in each room, doors which typically have their own lock. But even if you’re in a house without heavy doors, buying a doorstop can be a very worthwhile investment.
This way, you can pin your door open and let your housemates know you are free to socialise or shut the door when you’ve got work to do and don’t want to be disturbed.
7. Organise your desk
Most university rooms, whether halls or a house, will provide each bedroom with a desk. This is understandable as most students will need somewhere to work. You can keep your desk tidy and functional in several simple steps. Buy yourself some book ends for your folders, textbooks, notepads, etc., so they don’t have to take up room in your drawers.
You could also get a stationery organiser to keep your pens, paper, highlighters, etc., neat and tidy. It’s these simple tips that help to keep your room clean, functional and a lovely place to be, whether working or relaxing.
If you don’t have a desk in your room, it might be worth investing in a fold-out table/desk, so you have a dedicated space to work. One which you can tuck away when you don’t need it anymore.
8. Take help with you on moving day
When the time comes to move into your new university accommodation, you’d be surprised how much work is involved, even if you’re packing light! For this reason, it’s a good idea to enlist some help on moving day.
You can ask friends or family to come with you and help you carry in your bags and boxes, unload the larger items and even help you get organised. They don’t have to stick around for long, but it can be a very helpful and comforting thing to have their help when you’re first settling in.
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