5 Tips to make your student house feel more homely!

News at Dafydd Hardy Students | 27/09/2021

After all the excitement of moving in has worn off, it can be a little daunting looking around and not feeling familiar in your new surroundings. Take this time to view yourself as an artist staring at a blank canvas. You are going to make so many memories here and it’s entirely up to you how you want that to look! Follow these 5 tips and you’ll start to feel more and more at ease as the days go by.

1. Things that remind you of home 

Begin to unpack the things that bring you joy, all of the sentimental furniture and pictures of loved ones, so that when you look at them you’ll get a sense of warmth. Of course, you can’t fully recreate the feeling of being at home, but you can always keep a few items around that remind you of it close by. Your new home is waiting for you to express yourself! 

Things to bring with you:
  • Pictures of loved ones - This could be of family, friends, a pet or anyone that you love to look at. 
  • Sentimental furniture – Anything that holds value to your heart that you can put on display e.g. trophies, games, your favourite books, gifts from loved ones etc.
  • Home comforts – Your favourite blanket, soft toy, dressing gown, slippers etc. 
  • Technology – Connect and decorate the surrounding areas of your TV, laptop or games console. So that you have an awesome set up waiting for you to be entertained.

Things to buy:
  • Pictures of loved ones – If you don’t have pictures with you, print some out online and have them delivered to your door.
  • Essentials – Once you’ve got all your kitchen utensils, bathroom essentials and bedding sorted you’ll feel right at home. Have a look at local stores for everything you need.
  • Comfort meals – The best thing to cure home-sickness is to eat some food for the soul. Why not get a recipe online to put your culinary skills to the test and see how well you do at replicating your favourite meal.
2. Go green

Plants have been known for their ability to positively impact our mood and reduce stress, among many other things! They improve the quality of indoor air by providing more oxygen in a room and can even absorb harmful gases. If you don’t have a super green thumb, you could always get a low-maintenance houseplant that doesn’t require much water.

Low-key houseplants:
  • Mini cactus – Water once a week, life span – 10yrs+
  • Succulents – Water fortnightly, life span – 3-4yrs
  • Sansevieria – Water fortnightly, life span – 10yrs+
  • Aloe vera – Water every three weeks, life span – 12yrs+

Homely flowers:
  • Jasmine – Water once a week, life span – 10-15yrs
  • Orchids – Water once a week, life span – 8 months
  • Peace lily – Water once a week, life span – 3-5yrs
  • Bromeliad – Water once a week, life span – 2-3yrs
3. Lighting

There’s nothing more inviting in a room than warm lighting. Adjust the existing light fixtures in your home to shades of white or yellow to promote relaxation. Any space can instantly become more ‘homey’ with the introduction of more natural light during the day and mood-enhancing lights at night.

Add additional lighting as appropriate:
  • Lamps – Place on tables and shelves in the corners of a room to cast off shadows and radiate light inward.
  • Sunlight – Be sure to open the curtains/blinds in the morning to allow in daylight. Our bodies absorb vitamin D from sunlight, which is vital for regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body which also has a tremendous impact on our mental health.
  • ‘TikTok’ LED lights – Brighten up your work or gaming station with multi-coloured LED strip lights, to make a room look more fun - no wonder they’re going viral!
  • LED Fairy lights – Adding fairy lights to any room instantly makes it more cosy, warm and beautiful. They’re also very energy efficient since they don’t work by heating the light filament, like traditional bulbs energy is not wasted.
  • Galaxy lights – Aside from being insanely aesthetically pleasing, galaxy lights are an excellent sleeping aid. The soothing patterns calm the senses and help to properly wind down from a hard day at university, into a deep sleep. 
4. Feng shui

Used in ancient Chinese practices, feng shui uses pseudoscientific traditions of organising furniture in the home/office/garden etc. methodically by using energy forces to harmonize us with our environment. It aims to enhance your well-being inside a space by promoting a good flow of balanced energy! 

Examples of feng shui in the bedroom:
  • Place your bed in view of the door – this has been proven to improve sleep quality because subconsciously we’re “prepared” for an intruder, however, do not place the bed directly in front of the door.
  • Don’t sleep with your head too close to a window – For the same reasons as the door and because wind and rain at night may disrupt sleep. Also, having a window at the foot of the bed allows the morning light to wake you up naturally.
  • Align the bed with the middle of the wall – Having access from both sides of the bed leads to balance in the room and eliminates the unconscious feeling of entrapment (against a wall).
  • The bed shouldn’t be on an angle – Always have your headboard placed against a wall, it’s the most efficient way to set up a room by not wasting any space or being inevitably uneven.
  • Don’t store things under the bed – Of course, this isn’t always possible, especially for students. However, what you can do is arrange everything you put under the bed and decide what’s worth keeping, so you don’t end up sleeping over a pile of junk. 
5. Cleanliness

It can be difficult to feel at ease in a space that’s dirty or cluttered. The first step in making your home more comfortable is by making and keeping it clean. It’s said that your physical space is an outward expression of the way you’re feeling. If you want to take some stress off yourself, take a few of these tidying up tips so that you feel like you can accomplish anything!
  • Wash your bed sheets every week - There’s no better feeling than climbing into bed with freshly washed sheets. Most bedding goes in the washing machine at 60° to kill bacteria (check the label first). Or why not treat yourself to a fresh set that makes you feel extra cosy!
  • Regularly wash towels – You can’t beat coming out of the bath/shower and drying yourself with a fresh towel. Wash towels at 60° to kill bacteria (check the label first), so that you and your guests can feel clean after washing your hands.
  • Keep the floors and surfaces clean – Nobody likes walking on a dirty floor. It’s best to hoover first and then mop (unless you have a carpet) once a week. Always keep surfaces clean, especially in the kitchen to avoid cross-contamination/food poisoning. Take care of the things you love by dusting them regularly and you’ll be sure to have more!
  • Take the bins out – If your bin is full, simply tie the old one and throw it away. Get a clean bag and line your bin, ready for the week. Don’t wait until it gets out of hand, the last thing you want are mice/maggots and any other unwanted guests in your home! Also don't forget to recycle and upcycle as much as you can, not only does this help the planet but can be great fun too.
  • Clean as you go – After a stressful week, the last thing you want to have to deal with is a dirty home. It can be overwhelming for some to have this new responsibility of cleaning an entire house by themselves. The best way to overcome this is to make it a habit to clear the clutter before it gets out of hand. 

Do you have any top tips to share? Let us know at students@dafyddhardy.co.uk