It's almost time to start university, and as a first year student you're excited about moving out on your own. You'll finally have the freedom to live the way you want, and that includes decorating your own accommodations. Whether you're living on campus or off campus, you'll need to consider how your room will function and if you can get the most out of it while you're not in class.
1. Coordinate with your roommates
You may be moving in with other students, so get in touch before you move in and coordinate with them. Everyone won't need their own coffeepot or microwave, so if you get in touch now you can coordinate who's bringing what.
2. Be aware of the space you have
Remember, you may not have as much space as you would have at home. You can bring whatever you like within reason, but you've still got to find somewhere to put it. Focus on bringing only what you really need.
3. Buy furniture that can double up
As space is limited, you've got to be able to make the most of what you have. The best thing to do is buy furniture that can double up. For example, buy an ottoman that can double up as a table, if you put a tray on it. The more use you can get out of it, the better.
4. Check the rules before decorating
The walls can feel rather cold and utilitarian, and you'll probably want to cover them with posters and photos. “You may well be able to do this, but check the rules before you start putting stuff up. Some accommodations have rules against sticking things to the walls, so it's always best to be sure”, - says Helen Dawson, an office decorator at Australian Help.
5. Think about how you'll use your room
Some students love to study in their rooms, while others will use it more for socialising. Think about how you'll use the room as you decorate. If you're going to socialise more, for example, you may want to invest in beanbags or other cheap seating. This is especially important as you'll be away from the commuter camps most of the time, so make sure you have what you need.
6. Invest in storage
If there's anything you'll need at university, it’s a storage. Buy yourself storage solutions that will fit in your room. David Hayes, an Art Director at Essayroo comments: “Try boxes that roll under the bed, or boxes that can be stashed on the closet floor. Be clever about how you store your belongings.”
7. Try using removable wallpaper
If you're allowed, removable wallpaper can be a great way to personalize your space. What's even better is that it can be very affordable, too.
8. Do some fun DIY projects
Try making some individual projects before you leave home to decorate your room with. Print out your favourite photos and arrange them in a collage, or use washi tape to create frames on posters.
9. Use plants to add life
Plants can add a real touch of class to your accommodations. Try using low maintenance plants like succulents, or self-watering containers, to ensure that your plants last the first year.
10. Stack vertically
If you're really struggling for storage space, try stacking your storage vertically. You're using otherwise dead space, and you'll be able to fit a lot more than you thought into your room.
11. Give everything a space
If you know where everything is in your room, it makes your life a lot easier in the mornings. “Create a space for your bag and keys, so you can grab them both on your way out to class in the morning. You don't want to have to come all the way back to fetch it because you forgot it!” – says Carol Danner, a university coordinator at Bigassignments.
12. Be careful about going halves
Sometimes it's a good idea to go halves on a purchase, especially if it's a bit pricier. However, you need to be aware that only one of you can take it home at the end of the year. Make sure you agree on who that is before you buy the item in question.
These tips will help you create a room that's perfect for you, and totally suited to your needs. Use this time to fully express yourself through your room!
Gloria Kopp is an educator and an elearning consultant from Sydney. Now she works as a tutor at Essayroo service. Besides, she is a regular contributor to such websites as Engadget, Huffingtonpost, etc.
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