There are boxes everywhere and the car’s still full, but at least that kettle’s on! We’ve ‘tea’med up with the lovely student letting agency Letslivehere to give you 10 top tips for making your new place feel like home before the start of a new academic year.
1. Smells Like Student Spirit
Whether it’s damp (we hope not!) or just unfamiliar, the first thing most people notice when they arrive at their new place is the smell of something ‘different’. Don’t worry, though – as long as there isn’t any damp it won’t last long, but to speed up the process brewing coffee can help absorb any lingering odours and immediately makes the place seem much more homely. Burning incense, scented candles or opening the windows for an hour or two can also help to fill the place with the aromas of your own ‘student family’.
2. There’s Nothing Like a Soft Furnishing
Cushions are absolute lifesavers for savvy students! Forget reupholstering or paying for expensive throws, TKMaxx, Ikea and Clas Ohlson all have a huge range of pillows at low cost which can transform a rather drab looking living room. Mismatched is very fashionable right now, so why doesn’t each tenant pick one they like best? A perfect way to make your tea and television evenings a bit more personal.
3. Storage Secrets
One key reason many students feel uprooted is the suitcases dotted across the house. There’s one in a cupboard, one on top of the fridge, one behind the sofa….. when will they end?! It may take an hour or so, but putting all those boxes and bedding bags somewhere a little less visible is guaranteed to make you feel less like you’re backpacking and more like you’ve settled down for a good year ahead. Underbed storage is also a sure fire way of tidying away unused shoes, blankets, or the thermal underwear you promised your mum you’d wear.
4. Gardens Galore
Check out the Letslivehere Pinterest Board ‘Gardens Galore’!!
Whether you’ve got nothing but a balcony or a whole expanse to contend with, decking out your outside space doesn’t need to be costly or long-winded. Even tasks as simple as sweeping up the leaves on the patio or sourcing some plastic chairs from Freegle can give you an extra space to relax with friends and flatmates after a long day’s slog in the library.
Inviting over your friends, ex-flatmates from halls of residence or family who live close by can transform the atmosphere of your new home. If you aren’t equipped to have a big house party (or simply can’t be bothered) a TV and ice cream night, BBQ, kids-style sleepover or simply a few welcome drinks before a night out can fill your new place with happy memories – and fast.
6. Love the Local Area
From your local greengrocer (if you’re lucky enough to still have one) to a cafe or charity shop, local student areas are full of little wonders as well as the bigger, more predictable chain stores. Seek them out and you may find yourself in line for great deals, unique products and a barman that knows your flat by name. Bliss!
7. Fill Your Cupboards
Nothing screams ’empty house’ like using the same teabag three times. Stock up on everything you’ll need for a happy, healthy and yummy week at University and you’re bound to feel more at home.
8. Get Your Bills in Line
A lack of WiFi and strange ‘final notice’ reminders coming through the post is not homely at all. Moving into a new property means Split The Bills and splitting the money equally between you and all your flatmates. Can’t be bothered to sort it all out yourself? We don’t blame you. Split The Bills organise all your contracts on your behalf and you pay them a lump sum instead – fast WiFi and hot baths guaranteed!
9. Get Acquainted with the neighbours
Whether your next door neighbours are fellow students or a family or four, a welcoming smile and a ‘hello’ never goes amiss. Make friends with your neighbours and they’ll feel less obliged to bang your door down if a birthday party goes a little past 10pm.
10. Get Reading!
Last but not least, nothing guarantees homeliness more than cracking out that reading list. With the crippling responsibility of ‘An Introduction to the Nineteenth Century Novel’ to get finished, even the inside of your cupboards will be sparkling clean!
In Newcastle, and still looking for a property? Our friends at LetsLetslivehere offer a wide range of choice – both student and professional, from the city centre to the coast. Visit them at letslivehere.co.uk