If you’re moving into a new place for the first time, you’re probably leaving behind the comfort of home and getting ready to embark on a new and unknown journey at UBC.
Whether this is your first time living away from home, or you want your existing space to feel more homey, consider getting the stuff below to create a chill space you can call your own.
A S.A.D. lamp
For those who prefer brighter weather
Weather can have a big effect on our mood and energy. For those of you who have trouble in winter or during Vancouver’s darker, rainier months, try a S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) lamp. It mimics sunlight to help you feel closer to those bright summer days.
Avoid defaulting to shades of grey
Similar to the benefits of keeping your room well lit, a brightly-coloured room can help keep the spirit of warmer and brighter months going. The colours that surround you can often impact your mood and energy level. In fact, there’s a whole field of colour psychology dedicated to how different colours make us feel.
Photos and notes from back home
To keep you grounded
Those notes you passed around in class in grade 9 can be great pick-me-ups - reminders of your friends from back home. Putting up some photos of favourite moments can also make a space feel comforting and familiar. While you’re at it, find some great art on the internet and decorate your walls to make your room feel less bare.
A decent-sized mirror
If you like your space to feel larger than it is
Let’s face it: on a student budget, our rooms are often small and can feel claustrophobic at times. Investing in a large mirror can open up your space and make it feel larger than it is.
One (or more) potted plants
Even if you don’t have the greenest thumb
Plants help to clean the air and bring a feeling of nature to the indoors. They can help you feel calm by adding a touch of colour and life to your space. There are lots of plants that are very easy to care for, like cacti and succulents. So, if you’re taking a trip to IKEA anytime soon, grab some greenery on your way out.
Curvy lines and patterns
Balance out harsh lines and sharp corners
Just like natural fabrics, curvy lines and patterns add comfort to your space. They feel more organic than straight lines and squares. Circles, curves, and irregular shapes also make your space look a lot more fun, which can help when you’re having a bad day. Add some whimsy to your life with a few curves.
Organizational tools and receptacles
A clean room = a clean mind
Speaking of IKEA...you no longer have parents, guardians, siblings, or intrusive neighbours to bug you about keeping your room clean: it’s all up to you now. Make it easier for yourself: purchase some helpful organizational shelving, baskets, and other bits that will help to remind you to tidy up and make cleaning simple. It can be hard to focus when your space is a mess.*
Essential oil diffuser
Choose a scent that helps you feel good
For many people, aromatherapy is a great way to relax, rejuvenate, and/or energize - plus, it smells better than your gym sneakers. There are lots of ways scent can help you feel good. For example, lavender is calming and helps reduce stress, whereas the spicy smell of cinnamon improves concentration and focus. Smell is very personal, so you may want to sniff around a bit to find one or more scents that work for you.
Wicker baskets, faux fur, and other inviting textures.
Soft and/or natural fabrics make your space feel cozier and more comfortable. A silk pillow or wool throw can go a long way to make your space feel friendlier and more inviting.
Put some time and effort into creating a room that works for you- your wellbeing, happiness, and possibly even your grades will thank you!
*For those of you living in residence, there are a few damage guidelines in your residence contract. Please remember these as you choose how to organize your space. Here they are again:
Do not use nails, screws, hooks, glue-on hangers, scotch/masking/duct tape on your walls. You will be at risk of receiving an assessment for, without limitation, the damage.
To hang posters, please use only poster magic mounts which are available at the Front Desk (for free), or the 3M Command poster strips available at retail stores.
To hang pictures or decorations use the removable 3M Command picture strips or sawtooth/wireback picture hangers. These are inexpensive and widely available at grocery or hardware stores.