6 cheap ways to spice up your uni room
With just a little effort and hardly any cash, you can make your uni room a cosy little nest of joy.
Bleak walls? Check. Worn Carpets? Check. Empty spa- okay, so you get the point. These are the perhaps unintentional conditions of most normal student rooms.
Whether it´s your first year in halls or you´re a returning student embracing your new house, you don´t have to resort to stealing traffic cones to make your room look a bit more exciting (as tempting as that may be...).
From rooms that resemble prison cells to the slightly more luxurious double bed/ensuite combo – everyone can do with a cheap renovation to give their tiny home a small personal touch.
Have you visited the world's first ever online Freshers' Fair yet (all years)? It has loads of freebies and discounts and it’s free to get in.
1. Free Photo Memories
Most online photo companies offer a newsletter incentive – sign up your email address in return for free prints (usually around 50). Best place to start? Kill two birds with one stone: by signing up to studentbeans.com, you get 50 free prints courtesy of snapfish – win win situation. To display, the easiest option is blu-tack, but if you want to be a bit more decorative, pick up some cheap string and clothes pegs from any stationary store and drape your photos across your wall like a colourful washing line (you can always leave space for drying undies too).
PROS: There are plenty of photo offers online (after snapfish, try Tesco, Photobox and Asda) – essentially an endless supply of photos throughout uni.
CONS: Sometimes there are postage costs (around £1.49) but it’s a small expense for brighter walls full of memories.
2. DIY Art InstallationProudly display your student status whilst simultaneously creating art for your room, well that´s what you´ll tell the others anyway... Collect any used cans, bottles or jars (from beer to baked beans) and when you´ve gathered a reasonable amount (at least 40 for it to look impressive) begin stacking into any shape you desire – although triangles are a good place to start. And if this sounds like too much effort, anyone can channel their inner artist by simply leaving their bed unmade - à la Tracy Emin.
PROS: A solution to procrastination and a bonding opportunity for your house/flat.
CONS: If knocked over, it will be soul-destroying. Think jenga, but on a bigger scale.
It has the word 'free' in it, so we're already excited. The gist of it is simple: people upload things they no longer need to Freecycle.org and other people (us) are free to claim them. What's the catch? There isn't one! Even if you don't need anything in particular - who doesn't like stuff?!?! Expect the unexpected with listings from old TVs to football tables. Fill any empty spaces with these items and you'll already feel more at home.
PROS: Free stuff, 'nuff said.
CONS: Bigger items require transport for collection and the condition of items can vary too - but who needs arms on an armchair anyway? They're overrated.
4. Adopt a pet plantWith many uni halls banning pets (apparently fish don't actually want to be involved in pre-drinks) the only good alternative is to have a plant. Most supermarkets, hardware and garden stores stock a range of potted plants from £1 (try Wilkinson's and IKEA for the cheapest). So, simply buy a pre-potted plant, place on your window and voila - if you choose flowers your room will instantly look brighter, and if you opt for a food-bearing plant - you have a snack within reach of your bed.
PROS: Free extra oxygen and potentially an additional food source (think salad plants or tiny orange trees).
CONS: Not for the lazy-hearted; you will actually have to water your plant regularly - unless you go for a nice dry cactus (try IKEA).
5. Charity shops
For those who have already discovered these havens as a cheap clothes source, their purpose does not end there. Most charity shops have a section of household items and furnishings from photo frames (to display your free prints, wahey!) to old music records to adorn your walls and shelves. With prices starting from 25p you can't go wrong - your room gets a makeover and your bank account remains healthy. Simples.
PROS: You help a good cause and pick up some unique bargains along the way.
CONS: if you're looking for something specific, you may be looking for a while - it all depends on what stock they have in.
6. Turn your room into an arcade
Who doesn't like paper toss? Now, imagine REAL LIFE PAPER TOSS. That's right. Buy a cheap fan from Argos (£9.99), place on your desk and dig out some crumpled essay attempts from the bin and BAM! You've got paper toss. Suddenly your room is way more interesting than it was five minutes ago. And the game ideas don't end there. Try Hawkins Bazaar for your very own basketball laundry net (£15) - practise your skills whilst simultaneously tidying your room. Or perhaps a twister bed sheet (£30 for a double from lazybone.co.uk) - sleep in it at night, and then at every other opportunity, begin twisting shapes with the rest of the house or even with a special 'guest'.... See? Subtle additions with a BIG impact.
PROS: Your room will never be boring and you will instantly become the coolest in your house.
CONS: A more expensive choice, but an investment as you're provided with endless fun the whole year round.
Get discounts and freebies at The National Online Freshers' Fair - all years (Domino's, Urban Outfitters, Warehouse, Greggs...and masses more!)
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