Moving into a student house in second year is an exciting time. But there’s nothing quite so soul destroying as rocking up to your new house with a carload of stuff, and realising that the house is a tad more cramped than you remembered from the viewing. And to make it even better, you and your housemates, and (more worryingly) all your stuff are going to have to fit in there. If you’ve never had to organise a house before, that thought can be pretty daunting. But organising a student house doesn’t have to be a total ordeal.We’re going to share some quick and easy storage tips that you can use today to get organised!
1. Don’t unpack
We’re not saying you should leave all your stuff exactly where your parents left it when they moved you in, as tempting as that thought may be. Instead, use your suitcase strategically. A full suitcase doesn’t take up much more space than an empty one, so it’s often more efficient to keep some belongings stored in there. Wardrobe space will probably be limited, so save that for the clothes you’re using that season. Then, put any out of season clothes in your suitcase to free up storage space – for instance, in the summer, put bulky winter coats and knitwear in there. If storing clothes isn’t a problem, then go wild. Stuff like old textbooks and unused kitchenware can also be relegated to the suitcase if necessary.
2. Use every surface
Just because it’s not at eye level doesn’t mean it’s not there. If you’re struggling to find space for everything, make sure you’re using every available surface. This includes the tops of cupboards in the kitchen which are a great place to store cereal and other boxes of food. Similarly, the top of your wardrobe is often a great perch for things you don’t need access to all the time, like bedding. Don’t forget the space under your bed either. Although it’s tempting to let it get slowly cluttered with rubbish and odd socks, you should definitely be using it for items like suitcases and shoes. And if your bed doesn’t have a gap, bed risers will revolutionise your life.
3. Use magnets for more cabinet space
Small metal items like tweezers and nail clippers can be a bit of a nightmare to store properly. Sure they don’t take up a whole lot of space, but they are fiddly and very easy to lose (which is just perfect when you need to tweeze your eyebrows before a Tinder date). To solve this you can put sticky magnetic strips inside your medicine cabinet. Either put them inside the doors, or on the cupboard’s back wall. All those annoying metal items can then simply be hung off the magnets, so they’re not cluttering up the cupboard or getting lost every 2 minutes. Yay science!
4. Don’t double up on kitchenware
Anyone up for a game of frying pan Jenga? It’s on in the kitchen whenever anyone tries to cook. Yep, you’ll probably move into your house only to realise you’ve got enough pots and pans to host a Game of Thrones style feast. Try to avoid this. Plan ahead before you all move in, and decide who’s bringing what. Be realistic – you and your five housemates don’t all need to bring a blender, but you will all need forks. Plus, try to remember that your student house isn’t on its own isolated planet. If you’re finding your house is overflowing with stuff, send some stuff home to family. (Or just hide it in their car next time they come to visit.)
5. Use hooks in the kitchen
Kitchens often come with small towel rails, but you can make these even more useful by adding small hooks. You can hang pans from these hooks, meaning they won’t be clogging up the cupboards and you’ve got more room for important food staples like huge multipacks of crisps. Or you know, fruit and veg. These hooks are also nifty because they won’t cause damage to the wall, so you won’t have to kiss goodbye to your deposit just to fit your stuff in the kitchen.
6. Buy cheap additional storage
If you’ve tried all this, and your house is still seriously lacking on the space front, cheap storage solutions are easy to come by in budget shops like Wilko and Aldi (the Special Buys aisle in the latter is a goldmine!) For example:
- A free-standing clothes rail can expand your wardrobe at a low cost.
- Extra shower caddies are great if your housemates’ toiletries keep falling on you in the shower.
- Plastic drawers can be bought for less than £15 if you need a quick storage boost.
About the author
Andrew Chell is an Accredited Landlord who owns a number of high quality student houses in Loughborough.
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