For many of us starting university means moving out for the first time. Whether you are staying in halls or renting out a room in a shared flat, you have the chance to decorate your own space. You will probably have to move around flats during your time at uni, it is not a good idea to spend too much on furniture and knick-knacks, for a big deal of things get lost or broken or you will be forced to sell some items to the new occupiers. Making your room homy and cosy doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Here are some places where you can find affordable essentials for your new home.
IKEA is only a bus ride away: catch 77 from the Buchanan Bus Station. The Swedish furniture giant is ideal for small furniture like shelves, storage options, coffee tables, or a small desk that you can easily carry home. You can always team up with your flatmates and split the delivery costs, but who wouldn’t like a trip to Ikea to get your fill of cacti and candles and Swedish meatballs?
POUNDLAND on Argyle Street has everything from electronics to dinnerware – all for £1. It’s the perfect place for lightbulbs and for a small clothes rack for your radiator (a lifesaver for tiny spaces) but also for cheap and cheerful plates and cutlery.
PRIMARK offers a large selection of bedding items: fitted sheets, quilt covers, throws and even duvets and pillows – everything you need to make your bed comfortable with a small budget. Primarks can be found on Argyle Street and Sauchiehall Street. A must-have is the pop up laundry bin for only £4, and you cannot miss their wide selection of candles and diffusers.
TIGER in Buchanan Galleries and Sauchiehall Street is a decoration heaven. You can find frames with affordable prices (surprisingly difficult), rugs, vases, candleholders, and even kitchenware and bathroom essentials with quirky twists.
For something second-hand, Glasgow hosts periodicals vintage and flea markets at the Barras, a street and indoor market in the East End. The famous market is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10am until 5pm. A trip to the Barras is always worthwhile; one can find pretty much anything from antiques and collectables to second-hand bikes and fresh fruit and veg, and maybe whilst roaming through the stalls with a bag of chips you might find the perfect deal for your room!
CHARITY SHOPS are also a good option if you are looking for cheap second-hand furniture. Some charities also offer home-delivery at a convenient price for bigger items like beds, couches and tables. Many are located in the city centre and the West End, on Great Western Road and even more on Dumbarton road.
Lastly, you can have a look online: Facebook now has a marketplace and Gumtree is particularly useful as many people post ads for items in good conditions for very good prices that many students could not afford otherwise. Remember though; never pay for anything before seeing the item.
Enjoy your shopping!
By Sara Paciaroni