Moving to university for the first time is a big challenge, from living with people you’ve never met before to leaving Mum’s cooking behind, it’s a huge change for everyone. And, no matter how ready you are for the big move, you’re going to have some nerves and trepidation, but that’s only natural.

To make you feel instantly at home in your halls, we’ve put together some must-haves that will help you transform it into a cosy retreat where you can make friends, have time out and get stuck into that all-important studying (after all, that’s what you’re going to university for, isn’t it?).

The biggest problem with your new home is that it’s probably going to be a bit of a box room that has absolutely no character whatsoever! The majority of student halls have been built to accommodate as many students as possible, which means you could be sleeping in the smallest bed you’ve ever seen and you’ll probably be able to reach your desk from said bed! However, small doesn’t have to be claustrophobic, and you can soon transform this space into one that you’ll feel right at home in. Here’s how:

Soft furnishings

Bedding, cushions and curtains are the basics you’ll need at university to help inject a bit of personality into your room. Because of how small your room may be, you’ll need to choose something that you’re not going to tire of easily, and it’s always good to check what size the bed is so you can get the right size. You’ll probably need to take a duvet, pillows and most importantly, a mattress protector (it doesn’t bear thinking about what could be lurking beneath the mattress)!

When choosing your duvet cover, choose something that reflects your personality, whether that’s animal prints, elegant florals or bold stripes. Alternatively, you may want to push the boat out with a Marvel duvet set so any visitors think you’re one of life’s real superheroes!

Finish with complementing cushions and curtains to tie in your colour scheme perfectly. You may find that your university provide curtains for your room but they may be a dowdy colour, so feel free to put up your own instead!

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Pictures, posters and pinboards

One great way to really make yourself feel at home is to add lots of pictures of your family and friends from back home. A lot of halls will have pinboards installed in bedrooms for you to pin these on, enabling you to create a really cool feature with memos, photos, posters and cards.

You may find that there are strict policies about sticking posters on the walls but, thankfully, there are a number of damage-free products you can use to hang these on the wall. You can also add personal touches with plaques and canvases – using complementing designs that match your duvet set and enhance the overall style of your room.


To add ambiance to your room, why not opt for some fairy lights? These will look great around your pinboard/desk area or will help jazz up your sleeping area. Traditional candle-style fairy lights are perfect for a cute touch, while multicoloured ones are ideal for all the disco divas out there.

You can also complement your soft furnishings with funky lampshades or bedside table lamps, which will also help add some softer lighting to your room too. If you’ve got some plain lampshades at home, why not add some details with ribbons, bows and buttons, bringing your own personal touch to them? You could even add a cool filament bulb for a truly distinguished look.

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Another way to bring some life to your room is to put a plant or two on your windowsill. All you need to do is remember to water them – or, if you know you’ll forget, choose something low maintenance like a cactus or even artificial plants/flowers!


Because it’s highly likely that your room is going to be on the small side, make sure you’ve got plenty of storage so you can stow various items away under your bed. Choose some basic storage boxes for those that will be hidden away or opt for a more stylish solution for your bathroom/next to your desk.

A tall, slim storage unit is ideal for keeping all of your bits and bobs tidied away in your bathroom and it’ll also add a gorgeous touch to it. We’ve got some great ranges from nautical themes to simple chrome designs, providing you with something that’s not just practical but stylish too.


As much as you may be looking forward to all of the partying that’s ahead of you, the chances are, you’re going to have to do some work at some point! So, make sure you’re kitted out with all of the stationery you need, from project books you can take to lectures to revision cards for your end of year exams.

However, your stationery can also be a way to inject some colour and personality into your room too. Something like our Unearthed stationery range would be ideal, with vibrant tropical patterns and bold colours that will really add a zesty twist to your desk. Or, go for a classier touch with our Enterprising Britain stationery range, which boasts soft pastel colours and elegant floral patterns.

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Finally, some of our team members have shared their other must-haves that they think every student needs with them when they move to university…

Firstly, make sure you have a teapot and some mugs. Not only does tea help to solve a multitude of problems but it’s also a great way to get talking to people and to emulate that homely feeling.

Secondly, use a doorstop to prop open your room door so people can pop in and say hi as they arrive. It’s a great way to break the ice and you’ll probably find that you’ll keep your doors open throughout the day anyway!

Don’t forget your speakers for listening to your favourite tunes, these will be much-needed before a night out or to pump yourself up before that dreaded 9am lecture; just remember to be considerate of your fellow housemates!

Armed with all of these items you’re bound to feel at home as soon as you arrive at university, helping to soothe the transition from living at home with your parents to going it alone. Don’t forget to share your moving stories with us on Facebook and Twitter!

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