Learn how to make a college pad your home

Moving out of home for the first time can be a bit daunting, the world can be your oyster or your clam. So to embrace the adventure, and avoid running home to mammy, here are some top tips to get you settled in to your new pad. Unless you’ve spent summers away in the Gaeltacht or at some other form of summer camp, going to college is the first experience for many young people of living with strangers. Getting it right can be easy for some, but more difficult for others. Where do you go for advice, for example, if your parents or most people you know lived at home until they got married or moved in with a partner? At DoneDeal, we’ve put together some tips for living out of home for the first time with strangers or with friends. Photo: iStock/CamiloTorres Make your living space comfortable Luckily, in Ireland, most accommodation comes furnished, so you will at least have the basics. However, if you want to gain some independence – and avoid running home to mammy and daddy every weekend ­­– you’ll need to make sure you can put up with your living quarters seven days a week. Traditional means of doing this are plastering the walls with over-sized posters and filling the living space with art made of empty beer cans or bottle tops. But you can be cooler than this. Even if it’s One Direction you yearn for on your sitting room wall, there are ways to take your own direction. Check out DoneDeal’s House & DIY section for anything you might be looking for, from cushion covers to a new mattress. Rules and regulations Now you’ve got the place looking right, you’ll want to keep it looking right. You can all pull your own weight around the house. But if someone isn’t cleaning up after themselves or sharing in the housework, a roster is the only way to do it. Try to put one together that works for when people are actually home. Don’t put your flatmate down for chores on the days/times they’re in college or working. Don’t put your flatmates down for anything without consulting with them. Communicate – face-to-face and verbally. Kitchen credentials Don’t leave notes on the fridge. Once upon a time, they may have ended up in a book like, ‘Who Moved My Cheese’. These days you’ll find yourself the victim of cyberbullying with pics of your frustrated scrawl all over Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. One of the easiest ways to keep track of your cash and food is to have your own space in the: kitchen shelf fridge shelf freezer drawer That way, no-one can secretly help themselves to your custard creams or Cup-a-Soup sachets. Bills and stuff Don’t volunteer yourself as the sole name to go on all bills. Share out the bills or get all your flatmates names on the bill (if the utility company allows). Electricity Gas Television connection Television Licence (you’ve seen the ads, it is worthwhile investing in one) Plan out in advance how you’re going to pay bills – a handy way to organise this is to divide it equally and make the transfer by online banking. Have fun There are loads of ways to have fun with your flatmates. We’re not going to tell you how to live your life, but if you’re stuck for ideas: Check out our Electronics section if you want to play video games together or watch old movies or the latest shows. Check out the Sports & Hobbies section if you have a grá for the great outdoors or want to join a sports club Check out the Music section if you think you have a chance of ditching college for fame and fortune Check out the Clothes & Lifestyle section to find affordable fashion for hanging around campus in, or for those big nights out. #College #HouseampDIY #Renting #Students