Many university students choose to move into a student house for their second and third years of study. Student houses have many benefits in terms of their location and facilities. Compared to a room in halls of residence student houses are generally a lot larger. This can be great, but with a bigger accommodation comes more cleaning and space to decorate. You may regard this as more costly on your student budget as well as time consuming. However, it doesn’t have to be.
It is important to make your student house look nice as it will make you feel comfortable, helping you to settle into your studies. In order to keep your student house looking nice, you and your flat mates will need to keep it clean for both your own benefit, but also to prevent your landlord from giving you extra charges.
If you are after some simple tips or advice on how to make your room look nice on a student budget, continue reading the rest of this article for support.
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How to keep your student house clean
A student house is usually rented by a small group of students through a private landlord. They are often cheaper than halls of residence. Many students in their second and third years opt for this type of accommodation. For more information about student houses, check out this helpful article.
It is important to remember that in a student house, you will not have a cleaner. Therefore, you are responsible for cleaning all of the rooms in your accommodation including the shared kitchen and bathrooms.
Key products to keep your student house clean
There are some essential items you should buy for when you move into your student house.
- Laundry basket – This is an essential item to keep organised with your laundry. You can buy some laundry baskets already divided so you can separate dark and light laundry with ease.
- Washing up bowl – Not all student houses will provide you with a washing up bowel. You and your housemates could buy your own washing up bowels and store other cleaning items in them organised under the sink.
- Vacuum – Many student houses will already have a vacuum which you can use. However, if not this is something that will be very helpful in keeping your accommodation clean.
- Mop – This will be a useful item to purchase for cleaning your kitchen and bathroom floors. You and your house mates may be able to together purchase an electric mop.
- Bin bags – These are an item you should keep in stock. You can use bin bags in both the communal kitchen and your room to keep clutter to a minimum.
- Washing up liquid – You may find this to be one of the most used products in your shared house. Even if you prefer takeaways, there will come a time where you need some clean utensils, so make sure to stock up on washing up liquid.
Have a cleaning schedule in your student house
In order to keep your student house nice and clean, you and your house mates could organise a cleaning schedule. You would need to take in account all of your house mates and the tasks that need competing for each individual room.
Firstly, you should make a list of all the different tasks for each room in the house. These may include washing up in the kitchen or mopping the floor in the bathroom. You may decide that some tasks such as laundry should be done individually and not by others in the house.
Next, you and your house mates should allocate each other a room to focus on cleaning. Usually in a student house there are between 5 and 10 students living there, meaning a few of you may decide to focus on a room together.
You should consider how often the tasks will need to be completed. For example, washing up would likely be a daily task whereas mopping the floor may be a weekly task. The tasks can then be shared out.
You may decide to print a timetable off and pin it on the fridge as a visual reminder. Alternatively, you and your house mates could put reminders on your phones or use message reminders via a house group chat.
Additionally, you and your house mates may decide to create a shopping schedule. Every couple of days or once a week, a member of the house could be responsible for completing a shop. You may decide to pool an equal amount of money together to cover the cost of the shopping which would save everyone from having to do their own shop.
Have meetings with your housemates in your student house
Organising a house meeting may be a helpful way to keep on top of cleaning and any issues within the accommodation. These could be once a week or once fortnightly with everyone in the house.
This would allow you to see how everyone is managing with the chores and if any changes are needed. Likewise, you would be able to discuss any problems or concerns in the accommodation such as any damages.
This would demonstrate equality within the house and help to prevent any disagreements or arguments from occurring.
Decorate your room in your student house
One of the most exciting parts of moving into a student house is decorating your room. The décor can have a massive impact on how well you settle into your accommodation as well as making it a comfortable environment for your studies.
Here are some of the easiest (and student budget friendly) ways to decorate your room.
- Lighting – lighting is important to both decorate the room but also for studying. Fairy lights are always a good option to illuminate your room whilst it is a good idea to invest in a desk lamp for when you study.
- Plants – An easy way to freshen up any room is to add plants (fake or real). You can purchase many artificial plants for as little as a pound, making it very budget friendly.
- Soft furnishings – When it comes to comfort in your room soft furnishings are key. Both cushions and a rug are good choices to add a splash of colour to your room.
You can find plenty of inspiration online through social media as well as websites such as Pinterest.
For more ways to decorate your room on a budget, check out this helpful article from Save The Student.
Bring some of home to your student house room
The majority of students find moving away to university daunting, with some still feeling homesick into their second and third years of study. Living in a student house will offer some comfort as you will likely be with house mates from your course or who you met in your first year of study.
However, many students find that bringing some of home with them to their accommodation is a great comfort. This could be anything from photographs of your family or your favourite slippers.
Having items from home, even ornaments, books or a blanket can add a great sense of comfort and greatly reduce feelings of homesickness. It can instead give off a sense of familiarity.
For more information about homesickness, how to manage it and where you can access support, check out this helpful article by Prospects.
Where to buy décor for your student house
There are many shops both high street and high end that sell a range of décor for university rooms. This will mainly depend on your budget, which usually as a student is a tight one.
Some of the best shops for décor if you are on a tight student budget include Wilko, IKEA, Dunelm and Matalan. Both Wilko and Dunelm offer great student ranges in bedding and home accessories with discounts on all of these items around September.
Many students are able to purchase décor for their room and transport it to their accommodation. However, if you are travelling to a university far enough away that you need to use public transport, you may have to purchase décor when you arrive. Generally, you will have access to many high street shops especially if you attend an inner-city university.
In order to budget for some décor, you may need to cut some other costs. Check out this helpful article about where to buy second hand university textbooks.
Keep a note of any damage to your student house
Most student housing rented by students is managed by the university but through a private landlord. Therefore, any damages caused in the accommodation could affect both the return of your deposit if you paid one as well as leading to extra charges for repairs.
It is important to make a note of any damages and if they cannot be amended by yourself, you need to inform your landlord of these. If damages are found within the shared spaces such as the kitchen, some landlords will hold all of you within the house eligible, splitting the cost for repairs equally. For more information about this, check out this guide by Student-It.
Things you should not do within your student house
Similarly to halls of residence, there are some things you must not do within the student house. Doing these may result in extra charges or your landlord refusing to return your deposit if you paid one. In the worst case, you may be asked to leave your accommodation.
Firstly, you must not make dramatic changes to any room in the house. This mainly includes drilling into or repainting any walls. Likewise, you must not use blue tac or Sellotape on surfaces such as the windows or walls. Many landlords do not allow any items to be put on the wall. Also, damage to the paint work may result in you being charged for the repainting of the wall.
Items that are generally banned from student houses include candles, matches and mini fridges. Often, you will need to pay for your own television licence, with some landlords expecting you to pay towards the licence for a communal tv. For more on this, check out this article by Save The Student.
There are many ways you can make your student house look nice and feel like a home from home. Creating a comfortable environment is key to boosting your energy levels and ability to study effectively. It also helps to combat any feelings of homesickness. Finding bedroom or kitchen ranges for students in shops and taking advantage of the different student discounts are key to finding affordable décor.