I've officially moved into my third year house at university. After moving every year to a new place and then having to move all of my belongings back home at the end of the university year I was determined this year to make my room more organised and minimalistic, yet cosy at the same time. After living in halls for my first year and then moving into private rented accommodation for the past year and a bit i've come up with some tips and tricks to make the most out of the often small and basic space you have on a budget!
Tip Number 1 - Organisation
For me the biggest problem I faced when moving into my university room was the lack of space I had and trying to store all of my belongings, books and work in an organised way. Luckily I live in a city where there is a giant Ikea so I was able to collect many of my items from there which i've used every year however you can find them for cheap in shops such as Wilkos, WH Smith, Poundland etc.
Magazine Files - One of the most helpful ways of organising lecture notes, notepads and important documents was in these magazine files from Ikea that you can find here. They fit perfectly on desks and shelves and make it easy to access things without having to dig through boxes of paper.
Pinboard - Another way to visually see your time table and stay organised is to use a pin board to attach your calendar and any to-do lists. This way by having it in front of you at your desk you'll always have a visual reminder of what you need to do. It also helps while making notes from reading as you're able to pin them up on there and not clutter up your desk! You can find the one I have here.
Week Planner - On my desk I always keep my week planner which means i'm able to easily make lists of everything I need to do that week. While I also have a calendar and a diary, these are more for important dates whereas my week planner allows me to make lists of day to day tasks such as going food shopping or returning library books.
Tip Number 2 - Storage
One of the most challenging aspects of a university or collage room can be that it has very limited storage. My university room was partly furnished wish a desk, wardrobe, chair and bookshelf however over the years I have had to buy small pieces of furniture and storage boxes in order to store everything and keep it organised. One of the most helpful pieces I have bought for my wardrobe is a clothes organiser. Having no set of draws i've had to store everything in my wardrobe. This clothes organiser is from Ikea and you can find it here. I'm also using boxes from Ikea which you can find here. Another way I like to keep my shoes organised and all in one place which i've done by using a cheap wooden shoe rack from Asda.
Another tip i've found particularly useful this year is packing all of my clothes and bedding into vacuum storage bags which suck all of the air out of the bag and decrease the size of the bag by over 3 times. This has made transporting my bulky clothes and bedding in the car so much easier and i'm able to store spare towels and bedding in them.
Over the door hooks are extremely useful for saving space in your bathroom! These ones from Ikea don't require you to drill or nail them to the door either.
Tip Number 3 - Personalising your room
If like most student accommodation your room is very plain and lacks personality there are many ways to make it feel more personal and cosy.
Photos - If you're allowed to use white tac add some photos/posters to your wall or wardrobe. I did have some problems in my previous room with removing white tac stains from the wall so its best to use a noticeboard or your wardrobe if it goes again your housing regulations. By having photos up it can make your room a happier environment and it will help make you feel less home sick as there is always a visual reminder of the places you been and the people you miss.
Buntings and Fairy Lights - It may sound obvious to add these to your room but I remember last year wanting something easy to add to my room to make it feel more cosy and personal and I found these are the best way to add some colour and mood lighting to your room. You can find the fairy lights I have here and the bunting are ones I found at craft fairs. Another tip if you're adding lighting is to invest in a plug socket extension as I know from experience that student accommodation has limited plug sockets and I've used these clear adhesive hooks which don't leave any marks or remove paint which is perfect for rented accommodation!
Patterned Bedding - One of the main ways i've been able to brighten my room up without painting or hooking things into the wall is through using vibrant patterned bedding. I managed to pick up two lovely hand painted style bed sets for cheap from George at Asda. You can find their range of bedding here who'd have thought you could get such nice bedding for an affordable price!
Mirrors - Not only are they very practical but they can add more light into a small space and make the room look bigger. My room this year did not come with a full length mirror so I managed to get a cheap one in the sale at Homebase but you can also find inexpensive ones in places such as Ikea, Wilkos and The Range.
I'd love you hear your tips and tricks to making your university/collage bedroom more personal in the comments below!