Life hacks are small things that help make life that little bit easier, but some of them really are game changers. With that in mind, we’ve decided to share our best uni hacks to make your student life as simple and easy as possible – because, let’s face it, we need ‘simple’ after a few late nights on the trot!
So without further ado, here are our top ten uni life hacks to get you through student living…
1. Get yourself a doorstop
Most halls have the sort of doors that close automatically behind you. Propping your bedroom door open with a doorstop on moving day (and over the weeks to come) will help you make friends with your new housemates. They’ll be more likely to come and talk to you, and you’ll be able to spot people nipping into the kitchen – the perfect place for a natter.
Top tip: Make sure you check fire regulations before using this one!
2. Personalise your phone charger
A colourful USB cable for your phone charger will ensure yours never goes wandering into your mate’s bag again! Everyone will have similar chargers at uni, and when you’re charging up in a communal area the chances of yours going astray is pretty high.
Top tip: If you already have a similar phone cable to everyone else and don’t want to fork out for a new one, colour yours in with highlighters so that it stands out from the crowd!)
3. Wash your colours and whites in one
Sorting washing is a pain, and even more annoying if you need to wash colours and whites on the same day. No need to bother going back and forth to the washing machine, though, just throw a colour catching sheet in with the load and you can mix your wash. Go on – we dare you!
4. Command your deposit back
Need somewhere to hang your stuff? Command hooks will stick to the wall and come off again without damaging the paint underneath. Command also do picture hanging strips so you can stick up as many pics and posters as you like without enraging the landlord or having to do a last-minute paint job before you move out.
5. Find your space in the shared fridge
One of the toughest things about student life is being forced to share your fridge. Writing your name on your stuff is a great way of keeping other people’s mitts off your food, but let’s face it, you can’t be going around writing all over carrots! Keep your fridge organised and your friendships intact by using fridge storage boxes to divide up whose food is whose. And, when you go shopping, take a photo of your fridge like we’ve done here so you’ll never forget what you need (and what you don’t) again.
6. Set your phone screen saver as your timetable
When you’re in your first few weeks at university, it’s easy to get lost, especially when you’re not quite sure what you should be doing, let alone where you should be doing it! Just take a picture of your timetable in freshers’ week, set it as your phone screen and you’ll never need to panic about where you should be again!
7. Back it up, back it up
This one sounds obvious, but it’s so simple it’s easily forgotten. Always back up your work on a USB stick in case of a sudden computer malfunction. Make a point to save your work every time you take a tea, food or toilet break – it’ll get you into a good routine.
If you need to print an assignment at the library, send yourself an e-mail with the work attached before you leave. This way, if the computer won’t read your memory stick (or you leave it on the bus!) you’ve always got a back up.
8. Get walking
Avoid cabin fever from being stuck in the library or your room all day by opting to walk where you can. It’ll save you money and you’ll be able to say goodbye to the days of running after the bus. If you track your steps on your phone, you’ll be surprised how many calories you burn walking too (hello guilt-free takeaway). It’s also good for some head space. Studying and living with the same people can get a bit full on at times – walking is a great way to sneak in some much-needed me time.
9. Fall in love with your freezer
Nobody has time for food wastage, especially when it burns a hole in your pocket and wastes money that could be better spent on an extra night out. Freeze sliced bread as soon as you buy it then just take what you need, when you need it.
If you only need half an onion or one clove of garlic, chop up the rest and freeze it in an ice cube tray with just a little bit of olive oil – the next time you’re cooking, all you need to do is pop out one or two of your cubes and add them to your dish.
Apply the same thinking to lemons, cutting one up and popping the slices into a freezer bag so you’ve got an instant ice cold slice of lemon to add to your water… or G&T of course! Finally, when it’s summertime, chuck your plastic water bottle in the fridge overnight filled with chopped up fruit to give you an instant tasty, cool beverage when you add your water to it in the morning.
10. Do the washing up
It’s a cliché, but like most clichés there’s an element of truth in there – most students avoid the washing up like cats avoid water. Even if you were a whizz at washing up when you were living with your parents, chances are it wasn’t because you had a passion for cleaning. This means washing up is going to be the last thing on your mind when you’re at uni.
This one isn’t a hack as such but more solid advice. Trust us, you’ll hit a new low when you end up eating out of a sieve because there’s no clean plates or bowls left. So, turn the music up, pull your gloves on and get stuck in there.
We’re not going to lie, there is, unfortunately, nothing that’ll make this any quicker. However, there’s nothing worse than trying to get through the entire contents of your kitchen in one!
For more inspiration on how to make the most of student life, check out our full range to help you get student life sorted.