University Hacks

University Living Hacks for First Years

Your first year at university is an incredibly exciting time – so many new people to meet, new things to learn and new experiences to be had.

During your first year at university it can seem overwhelming attempting to keep track of everything you need to do: essays, shopping, studying, and going to events.

One major new experience is leaving your family home to live in halls, and this can be overwhelming for many reasons.

iTHINK are here to help you out! We have provided you with hacks from how to live with people who are totally different to you, to making sure you don’t sleep through your alarm!

Divide your drawers into sections

A good tip for keeping your drawers organised is to use dividers, that way you can keep your stationery organised and uncluttered. You don’t even need to buy one, in fact you can easily make one using an empty cereal box!

Use folding chairs in your room

University Hacks

Folding chairs are a great way of saving precious space in your room. When they are not being used they can be simply folded and packed away.

Plus there are so many cool colour and style options out there to choose from. Folding chairs are perfect for visitors too, especially if you have a group of people coming over – they won’t want to all sit on your bed.

Make a change jar

All your spare change adds up, and as a student you will know this better than anyone.

Rather than shoving your change to the bottom of your bag or letting it fall behind your bed, why don’t you make a change jar?

That way, when you come in from food shopping or a night out, you can gather all of your change up into one place. Once the money begins adding up, you may want to consider hiding the jar to prevent any thefts from occurring.

Get organised and make a chore chart

You do not get to choose who you room with in halls, and they could have very different ways of living compared to you.

Therefore, it is important to establish a set of rules to make sure that everyone is pulling their weight.

You could buy a whiteboard and create a chore chart. Keeping this chart in the kitchen is a good idea, as this will mean that everyone can see it and update it.

Decorate your room with a rug!

Have you noticed stains on your carpet? Or does your room just feel a bit bland? Consider buying a rug – the more colourful the better! This will liven up your room to no end and add some much-needed personality into it.

Do you feel like you have no privacy?

University Hacks

If you are feeling uncomfortable with the lack of privacy in halls, there are a few simple tips and tricks you can use to keep your belongings safe.

For example, why don’t you keep things like your spare money and keys in empty shampoo bottles? That would be the last place people would think to look. Of course, you could always buy a small safe to keep in your room for extra security.


If you are worried about sleeping through your morning alarm, then consider putting your phone or alarm clock in a bowl in order to increase the volume.

You could even put the bowl on the other side of the room – that way you would have to get yourself out of bed to turn it off. Before you know it you will be wide awake!

Highlighting hacks

Are you worried about forgetting the right books for your lecture?

We would suggest colour coding with highlighters – you could highlight the top of the book with the colour that matches your lecture that day.

This way you won’t have any excuses for mixing your books up!

Spend quality time with your housemates

You will enjoy your living experience at university so much more if you are friendly with your housemates. Similar to the chore chart why not make a fun chart? This chart could organise things like pizza night or a fun outdoor activity.

Sorting out the shopping

University Hacks

There are lots of basic essentials that everyone will use, for example cleaning supplies, washing up liquid, toilet roll, bin bags, hand soap and many more.

You could work out a system where individuals take turns in paying for these items.

However, a simple and fair system would be to put a small set amount of money aside a month.

Also, leaving notes on the fridge is a good idea to prevent people from over-buying on the same item.

Buy your own whiteboard

During your first year at university it can seem overwhelming attempting to keep track of everything you need to do: essays, shopping, studying, and going to events.

To ensure that you don’t lose track of all your important events, write them down on a small whiteboard.

This is a particularly good hack for those who are prone to losing their diaries or notebooks.

Use wall hooks to save space

This is a great space saving hack! Using hooks also prevents clutter from occurring, and you can hang pretty much anything – from keys to pieces of jewellery and scarves.

However, you may want to check the rules of your university halls as you may not be allowed to attach these hooks to the wall with nails. However, there are some great stick on hook options out there.

Stack your clothes vertically

Space always seems to be in short supply when it comes to clothes in halls. A good tip is to stack your t-shirts in drawers vertically, this means that you will be able to clearly see what clothes options you have that day without removing everything and creasing your clothes.

Save your wardrobe space with drink can tabs

This is a great tip! As Joe Ellison explains “An oldie but a goodie: if your wardrobe is bursting and hanger space is limited, simply use old tabs from soft drink cans to act as double (or even triple) hangers, giving you twice the space at no extra cost.”

How do I get rid of these stains?

Had a clumsy moment? Joe Ellison breaks down what removes these stains: “Lipstick stain: dish soap. Sweat stain: lemon. Red wine stain: white wine. Chocolate stain; dish soap. Ink stain: hairspray. Coffee stain: vinegar. Oil stain: white chalk. Blood stain: vinegar. If your stain is not one of these, you are on your own.”

So there you have it – plenty of life hacks for your time living in halls. Of course, if you are commuting to university these tips can come in handy as well! You can put them to good use and get your room and study life organised.