Moving away to university can be an overwhelming experience. Not only do you have to say goodbye to friends and family, you also have to give up the comforts of home.
The novelty of new-found freedom will be short-lived if you’re sharing your place with cockroaches, existing on two-minute noodles and are miserable in your shared flat or dorm. With a mini makeover you’ll be able to give your place a family feel, which will help you feel like you have a home away from home.
Become a master of disguise
It doesn’t matter if the sofa is a nasty shade of ’70s orange, or the fact your coffee table is actually made of wooden crates and propped up with books. Use brightly coloured material, fringed throw rugs or tablecloths to camouflage shabby looking furniture.
You don’t have to spend oodles of money on fancy artwork. Purchase cheap canvas from a dollar store and unleash your inner Van Gogh. Bright acrylic abstracts which coordinate with your throw rugs will give your place a homier look.
Display mementos from home
Funky frames displaying your favourite photos of family, friends or pets can be a way to bring a little piece of home with you. Opt for using Command hooks, they won’t damage the walls, are reuseable and are a much better solution to Blu-tac or nails. If you have lots of photos and can’t choose, opt for a digital picture frame.
Keep the pantry and fridge well-stocked
Make the effort to cook a healthy home-cooked meal each night. It can be too easy to slip into the habit of nuking a pie or settling for two-minute noodles. You need a healthy balance of the five food groups if you want to have a clear mind to study and complete assignments. N.B. Pizza, beer and wine do not count as three of the five food groups.
Accessorise with plants
Studies conducted by Sydney’s University of Technology suggest plants remove toxins from the air and help us breathe better. Plants and flowers are also a good way to detract the focus from your mismatched furniture, and provide a sense of belonging, peace and relaxation.
Keep It Clean Kid. You won’t have your mum running around after you to pick up your dirty laundry, clean the bathroom or do the dishes. It’s important to stay on top of the housework, no matter how busy you are. Dirty kitchens will attract horse-sized cockroaches and laundry on the floor provides a great hiding place for poisonous spiders. A clean flat will feel more homely and is believed to encourage productivity.