Student life

10 hacks for your student house share

Now that you’ve completed your first year at uni, you will likely be preparing to move into your first student house share with a group of your closest friends. Moving into your first house can be a daunting prospect, but it also comes with a huge sense of accomplishment and independence.

With so much to consider before moving, such as arranging bill payments and completing inventories, remembering to pack family photographs may fall to the bottom of your priority list. To help you settle into your new home, we’ve pulled together a list of a few things that may come in handy.

1. Pictures and posters

You’ll definitely want to take some of your home comforts with you, whether it’s photos of family and friends or wall art to make your house share feel more homely. Put your own individual stamp on your new bedroom, as this is where you’ll be spending the majority of your time studying, socialising and sleeping. You want it to be a welcoming and friendly place to be, and a place where your friends will want to come and hang out in their downtime. However, before you start blu-tacking photos and pinning up posters everywhere, check your tenancy agreement to find out what you are and aren’t allowed to use on the walls.

2. Door stopper

A door stopper is a good idea to show that you’re sociable and up for a chat. Keeping your bedroom door open is a sure way for your housemates to know you want to hang out. But if you’re planning on having your door open the majority of the time, make sure to be considerate and not keep your music on full blast! You’ll also want to make sure you shut and lock your doors (and windows) before leaving the house, as leaving it open may invalidate your student contents insurance policy should the unexpected happen.

3. Pots and pans

A couple of saucepans and a frying pan will be your saviour in your student house share. You don’t need to bring the whole of John Lewis with you in order to cook a hearty meal, however you will need a couple of cooking pots. Saucepans are great for cooking any number of quick and easy pasta dishes, which will come in really handy during your time away from mum’s cooking - quick and filling is key when it comes to student meals! Not only this, but you’ll be able to fit almost an entire fry up into one large pan for those hangover days! It might be worth deciding with your friends who will bring what to the student house - you don’t want to end up with twenty saucepans and only three spoons, not to mention the fact that you might not have a lot of cupboard space.

4. Mattress topper

You’ll likely already know this from living in halls, but the mattresses in furnished accommodation aren’t always the most comfortable – at least, not as comfortable as you’re used to back home! But a good night’s sleep is important if you want to succeed at uni. It might be worth checking out the bed first, to see if you are happy with the quality and feel of the mattress. If you think you’re likely to have a few sleepless nights, a thick mattress topper will be your saving grace – and they’re not particularly expensive either. You might also want to consider a mattress protector – it’s probably best not to think about it too much, but a fair few other students may have used the mattress before you, so you’ll probably sleep better knowing you’ve got that extra layer!

5. Toastie maker

It’s a well-known fact that everyone (especially students) love a good toastie. They’re warm, comforting, and can be adapted for whatever mood you’re in. With a toastie maker you can be as gourmet as you like, and making food for the whole house suddenly doesn’t seem like such a chore when all you have to do is chuck in the ingredients and close the lid! Not only this, but toasties make a great meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and are pretty cheap to make if you’re trying to keep an eye on your bank account.

6. Laundry basket

Whilst everyone goes to uni with the intention of doing their own washing, sometimes it just doesn’t get done in the midst of lectures, seminars, exams, and socialising. This means that, for the most part, it either ends up in piles around your room or in a bag to be transported back home for mum and dad. However, regardless of whether or not you plan to do your washing at uni, a laundry basket is a great thing to have. It not only keeps your dirty clothes away from your clean clothes, but it’ll stop your room from getting too messy.

7. Clothes airer

If you do decide to do your own washing then a clothes airer will be a lifesaver when it comes to drying your clothes. You may not have too much outside space, and without the use of a tumble dryer (which aren’t too common in student houses) you’ll need somewhere clean and dry to hang your clothes up so that you’re not left with a damp smell. Try not to dry your clothes and towels on radiators, as the majority of tenancy agreements will usually exclude this. Put your airer near to a radiator or by an open window to keep your student house fresh and dry.

8. Extension lead

It’s likely that you’ll be taking quite a few gadgets to uni with you, as will most of your housemates – between your hairdryer, your phone charger and your toastie maker, you might find that you don’t have enough plug sockets available for all of your electronics. In these circumstances, an extension lead may come in handy, especially if the sockets are located in awkward places – it might prove irritating if you can’t reach your phone from your bed, or if you have a party and want to plug your speakers in. Discuss with your housemates who will be bringing what – there’s no point in having a toaster each when one will do the trick!

9. Toilet roll

There’s one thing you can guarantee, and it’s that you will, at some point, run out of toilet paper when you need it most! Keep a stash in your room, just in case, and it may be worth arranging a communal house grocery list for all of the shared items you might need, such as toilet paper, washing powder, milk and butter. Setting up a shared grocery list will ensure that you all buy your fair share of toilet roll, as you don’t want to be left as the person who is constantly funding everyone else!

10. Bedroom bin

Most student houses won’t include a bedroom bin, meaning your room may soon become a haven for balled up bits of paper and crisp packets. If you don’t have one included with your room, it’s worth investing in one as they’re usually pretty cheap, and you’ll be spending the majority of your time there. A clean bedroom really will help you concentrate on those all-important essays and assignments. Just make sure to empty the bin on occasion!

Whilst there are a number of items here that are really useful to have in your student house share, before you move in have a think about the things you use every day, and what you might need. The most important thing is to make your student house homely, and that you feel both safe and secure whilst you’re away from home.

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