Understandably furniture might not be high on your list of priorities as you prepare for university, but it will play its own small part in you having a comfortable and productive time there.
Here we offer five tips on choosing the right furniture when you’re moving in to unfurnished or partially-furnished accommodation away from the university’s halls of residence.
Speaking of your list of priorities, study might not even be high on your agenda at first, but when you do knuckle down to it your choice of desk should be carefully thought through.
If possible, go for as large as you can, so that books and paperwork can be comfortably spread out – especially useful if you’re cross-referencing one source with another. Another practical benefit of a large desk is that if you’re working on a joint project with a fellow student at any stage, you can work collaboratively at the desk together.
Although the bedroom within your accommodation might be relatively small, your desk can serve various purposes including being a bedside table, dressing table and general storage area when it’s not being used for studying and so, if at all possible, go big.
Money will invariably be tight but try to acquire a reasonably good quality office chair. You’ll be sat at your desk for hundreds of hours over the next few years and you’ll need something that will last the distance with you. Buying two or three cheaper chairs throughout your studies will probably add up to more than the cost of one decent chair, which is somewhat of a false economy.
In addition, being comfortable will help your concentration and productivity, which will ultimately help you to get the best possible end results.
When buying a chair, cushioning is vitally important, whilst an adjustable backrest and seat height will help you to achieve the perfect posture. Broadly speaking, when positioned at your desk with your feet resting comfortably on the floor, your eyeline should be roughly level with the top of the laptop or monitor screen that you’re working from.
A good night’s sleep will help you to be at your very best, which is especially important when you come up to exams time. The mattress, rather than the bedframe, is the key aspect to consider here. Much like the chair, if you possibly can try not to go for the cheapest option here, as this may not be conducive to giving you the most restful of sleeps.
If the size of your bedroom is generous enough, or indeed you have space in the living room, a sofa bed can offer some highly useful versatility. Not only is it great for extra seating when friends gather at yours, but it can also provide an extra bed, should any of those friends decide to crash over.
Ok, so that’s the key items of furniture sorted, but where should you get these from? If you want reasonably good quality and you’re also restricted by budget then of course a certain Scandinavian furniture chain could well provide the perfect solutions for you. However, it’s also worth considering any local charity furniture shops, as there’s usually at least one in most university towns and cities.
Not only could you find some good quality, pre-assembled furniture, but you’ll be able to grab yourself a bargain whilst also contributing to a worthy cause. A final benefit – buying used furniture also helps the environment, saving perfectly decent items from ending up in landfill.
All the very best with your studies.