As a young adult, moving house many times is almost inevitable. If you go down the university route, you may move away from home, and move into halls. Most students then move into private accommodation before the start of second year. I’ve known people who have moved house every year they have been at university, due to their previous house not being satisfactory, or simply because they fancy a change.
There are so many factors involved in choosing which house to rent; the landlord, the quality of the house, the distance from university/work, distance from transport links, the people you are renting with, the number of people you are sharing the house with, etc. With this long list, it’s clear to see why so many students move around a lot! On top of term time accommodation, you may also have to rent a different house during the summer, if you are lucky enough to get a placement. And this moving around doesn’t necessarily stop once you graduate. Again, you might take a temporary summer job, so you might need to find short term accommodation whilst you wait to hear back from companies. Even if you get a job straight away, it’s common for companies to train you for a couple of years in one place, then ask you to relocate. Or you might decide that after two years, you fancy a change, and find a new job on your own terms.
So this is the question; when you’re moving around so much, how do you make your new home feel less new? Of course, this isn’t particularly important to some people, but if it is, read on! I’ve settled into four different houses in the last four years, so I’ve spent a fair amount of time browsing Pinterest, collecting ideas, and coming up with a few of my own. I hope you find some ideas you like from the following list!
- Rugs and cushions are definitely an investment, but they are furnishings that will last your whole life if you look after them. They are a good way to transform a room with minimal effort.
- A whiteboard makes a wall look less bare, whilst also having a practical use. You can pick up a pretty large one for about £10, and I found mine to be so useful whilst studying for exams. Also useful when you’re on the phone and don’t have a piece of paper to hand to jot things down on.
- Desk stationery
- Fancy bottles make good vases.
- Clothes rail
- Fairy lights. Hang them round your window, desk, bed or picture rail to add to the room’s ambiance. Pushing battery operated LED fairy lights into a glass jar was something I came up out of necessity when I moved into my current room, and found that the lamp cable wouldn’t reach the plug socket from my loft bed. Being a massive science nerd, I’ve become quite fond of it, and it’s saved me buying an extension chord!
- Books. Popping a few of your favourite books on a shelf in your new room will make it seem more lived in, and also display a bit of your personality.
- Wall hangings are a good alternative to pictures, and a creative way to add colour to a wall that you’re not allowed to paint (if you’re in rented accommodation). I’ve put up this old map I bought when in Japan.
- Posters are probably the most favoured choice of decoration among students. They add colour to a room, whilst allowing you to express your interests. If you have a strict landlord, be careful not to damage the walls with blue tack.
- Photographs and postcards on the walls will look good, as well as reminding you of loved ones during lonely times. I ran out of nails, but wanted to decorate the living area underneath my loft bed, so I strung up a ribbon, and put the photos on that.
Washi tape. People have thought of such creative things to do with washi (paper) tape. From making a funky geometric patterns on doors, to laying our a grid on the wall to function as a huge calendar you can stick post it notes onto, the possibilities are endless. Also, it peels off easily, so will come off most walls without taking the paint or wall paper off. I’d check on a hidden piece of wall though, just in case.
- Bunting is good if you’re into the vintage/rustic style.
Duvet covers can definitely count as decoration. Personally, I like my duvet cover to match my lamp and rug.
- Furniture. Some charity shops specialise in furniture, which is great if your room is missing something you need. I picked up this bedside table for £5 – it’s a good way to give to charity, whilst obtaining extra storage and making your life a little easier.
- Cork boards. I’m a big fan. Again, they’re cheap, and also prevent you from losing important bits of paper. When I moved into my second house, I used it as a place to store and display jewelry, which worked well.
Trinkets. Especially good if you have an old room with a fireplace.
- Boxes. Cheap, attractive, functional. Need I say more?
Lamps are a good option if the lighting in your room isn’t very good. Also, if you choose a coloured lampshade, you can create light that is more relaxing or conducive to sleep. I like blue or orange light myself.
I hope these suggestions were helpful. If you are moving, I hope it goes well. Happy decorating!