For me, home is somewhere that I need to feel comfortable, and no matter where I am, I can feel at home as long as I feel safe and secure.
When I first moved to University I found it really hard – a mixture of emotions I like to call ‘University feeling’ whereby you feel lonely/confused/scared/anxious but excited for new beginnings. The biggest and probably hardest thing for me is leaving things behind. I grow a weird emotional attachment with my belongings and so, moving out, I pretty much took my whole room with me. But, as time went on, I found this was not the trick.
University and being a student makes it hard to find comfort. In fact, renting in general makes it hard to find comfort! I think bedrooms, for me, symbolise that safety blanket that we crave when we are away. With the lack of expenses no matter how hard you are working, and the constant build up of empty cutlery and plates, and (in my case) University work spilling from wall-to-wall, your bedroom is the pinnacle of your contentment and ease in your weird, not quite your own, a little bit pokey space.
Investing in a good duvet and some good pillows really adds to the comfort of being in bed, not to mention adding to the good sleep that you so desperately need at 4am when you have a deadline coming up. I found my pillows from Amazon and my duvet from Asda for really budget-friendly prices that will probably see me for a good few years to come.
Bedding is equally as important, especially in rented rooms, as it brings together the entire space. Getting into something that you associate with home, for example, will consolidate those feelings of home-sickness that we can’t quite admit to. Similarly, you feel so much better when bedding is pretty. It doesn’t need to be expensive – Asda, TK Maxx, Wilkos and Primark have some nice ones.
I also like to have a blanket nearby my bed for added warmth, especially in my temperamental student house where it can be warm one day and -10 degrees the next. My bed throw is from Matalan and though a bit on the pricey side, I have had it since the day I started in halls and it has seen me through a lot, plus it still hasn’t lost the fluffiness! Some others are available at Wilkos, Primark and IKEA.
Having some sort of theme in your room will avoid it feeling cluttered and non-permanent. A colour theme or a pattern theme for example will mean that you will spend time making your room ‘fit’ rather than just putting things in for the sake of it. Your room will feel a little bit more like a piece of you.
Candles and Air Fresheners
One spark and the house will alight, but candles really are a best friend when you are not at home-home. I often crave good smells, and having candles and air fresheners really do brighten up your space and give it some life, especially at the initial moving in stage where it doesn’t really feel quite like yours yet. Similarly, avoiding that all too familiar weird smell of a place that isn’t yours can be kind of uncomfortable. Candles are pretty inexpensive depending where you go – I have some Yankee candles from Christmas and Birthdays, but good deals are on in Primark, IKEA, Asda and TK Maxx (again) for good quality, cheaper alternatives. I have put them all in some cute candle holders that I have accumulated over the past few months.
If you aren’t really a candle person, diffusers are great and cheap to shove in the corner and their smells really do settle into the space.
Yes, to some it may seem a waste of money, but honestly spending a few quid on some good homely buys definitely gives the room some good energy and encourages your personality to shine through.
If you don’t want to pay, take your favourite bits from your room at home to help make it yours. The best part is, it doesn’t need to be expensive.
Pictures at Uni are your best friend – I have printed off some pictures and used string and the most adorable ladybird miniature pegs from Ebay for a cute and homely touch, and bought some discounted frames from Primark and Asda to remind me of my favourite people around me. There are apps such as ‘freeprint’ which are super cheap and have a really professional feel.
It sounds weird, but when I first moved out I didn’t have a lamp. I forgot they were even a thing because I had taken advantage of their use.
A good lamp goes a long way – I stole mine from my parents but IKEA and Wilko have a great range and the different styles are comforting and make your room feel cosy and secure. Similarly, fairy lights are heaven on a lonely night.
I am always struggling with space and fitting things in, and storage for me has been great to hide that excess clutter for essentials that just don’t need to be out all the time. Storage boxes should be ultimate student buys, and they come in all shapes, sizes and designs and do not need to be clunky or overbearing. In fact, they actually can become a good part of your room, and make moving in and out so much easier. Similarly, clothes rails are a must for those clothes that don’t quite fit!
What do you do?