Are you getting ready to leave university behind you and enter the big, bad world of real adulting? It’s a step that we all need to take eventually and can seem a little daunting. One of the best ways to get yourself a kickstart into feeling like a productive and valued member of society is to give your home a bit of a transformation.
Student living usually goes hand in hand with a number of things- questionable decor, cheap and cheerful furniture, and debris of the night before, plus the morning after the night before.
Get out of that cliched student headspace by turning your former crash pad into the home of a young professional with these simple tips and tricks:
Matching plates and utensils
The mismatched look of the vintage shop finds and bits and pieces of plate sets are all very well and good when you are on a budget, but it creates a messy look. Take stock of what you have and what you need; after all, the more plates you have the more plates you end up washing. If nothing matches it’s time to find some other options. If that first paycheck hasn’t quite landed yet you can get simple dinner sets for relatively cheap at most major stores, or keep an eye on garage and estate sales. A set of 6 of everything should be more than enough to cover day to day use as well as the occasional dinner party.
The same can be said for kitchen utensils and pots and pans where possible. Again take inventory of what you have and get rid of any extras or things that you really don’t need. A set of pots and pans or kitchen knives is a significantly larger investment but is a great suggestion for a graduation present.
Ditch the stolen stuff
Most student apartments have the habit of accumulating bits and pieces that were not necessarily paid for, like street signs, cones, and bar memorabilia. I’ve even seen a traffic light before. While all these ‘found’ objects are badges of honor for freshers do you really need them anymore? Clean out the clutter and dump the junk.
Frame your poster and photos
A super-quick way to instantly upgrade your decor is to put things in frames. Even the most basic movie or gig posters can benefit from this treatment. If you really want to take things up a notch use amount to really give whatever you are framing some extra class. If you don’t like something enough to spend a little on a frame for it, it’s a good indication that you don’t need to keep it around.
Clean out the mystery closet
If you have had a variety of roommates, or have taken the plunge and bought a place that has long been used as a student apartment, chances are high that you have a mystery closest. The mystery closet is where all the left behind items go to hide (and possibly mold depending on the cleanliness of the roommate that abandoned it). It might seem like a daunting task but take a day to exhume the ghosts of roommates past. Not only will you reclaim a whole host of storage space, but you might also even find some treasures that you can reuse or even sell off for a little bit of extra decorating cash.
Organize your bathroom
On a similar theme of getting rid of other people’s clutter, give your bathroom a once over. If you have come from living with multiple roommates to your own place it might seem strange to be able to have the run of the bathroom. You don’t need to hide your good body wash and fancy shampoo in your room anymore. Invest in baskets or tidies to keep everything in place. You could even splash out on a matching set of dispensers to decant all your day to day lotion and potions into for a more cohesive look.
These tips are all fairly basic ones that you can do on a smaller budget. If you are looking for some bigger changes the following ideas are the best place to start.
Upgrade your heating
It is amazing how easily we forget about the radiators in our home. They usually go unloved and unnoticed till they stop working. Give your heating system a good once over. This could mean getting a plumber in to investigate any funny noises the boiler or furnace is making or it could be as simple as watching some youtube videos on how to properly bleed your radiators. If there are serious problems, or the radiators you already have are seriously ugly, it could be time to invest in some new ones. If you live in the UK give Trade Radiators a look for decently priced radiators that won’t cost the world, come with good guarantees, and are energy efficient to boot.
Paint the walls
Walls can get really grubby after a while, if a wash down isn’t possible or is no longer working it’s time for a new coat of paint.
Kitchens are especially bad for accumulating grease and grime on the walls. Before you hit the paintbrushes you will need to give them a good scrub so the new paint can stick. Banish tones of magnolia and off the cream with accent walls in interesting colors and complementary shades that make the most of your rooms.
Give the carpets a good clean
Even a few years of student living will take its toll on your carpets. Get off to a fresh start with a deep clean of them. While you can buy carpet cleaners, the cost to rent an industrial one is usually fairly low and they are far more likely to do a better job than a domestic one. If things are really bad you might want to consider having a professional come in to take care of it. A serious clean can make a world of difference to a carpet and even mean you don’t need to invest in a new one.
With these tips and tricks you will be on your way to a whole new home, one that is perfect for the next step in life and the beginning of your career.