Embrace your tiny space you’ll call home this year


The Daily Illini File Photo

Students walk past Bousfield Residence Hall. Bousfield is located in the northeastern section of Ikenberry Commons.

By Pari Apostolakos, Managing Editor for Reporting

One of the most common complaints college students have about university life is downsizing. Going from living in a larger space (presumably with one’s family) to unpacking your entire life into a residence hall double is certainly challenging. However – believe it or not – there are certain benefits to less square footage. Take a look at five of them in the list down below.

Cleaning is, like, the fastest thing ever

A smaller space tends to become messier faster than a larger one. Getting ready for a night out can cause some serious damage in the blink of an eye, but because the space is so compact, cleaning it is not only easy but also satisfying. Fold a few t-shirts, stack some books on a shelf, make your bed, two strokes of a vacuum and all of the sudden your crib is looking like a Pottery Barn advertisement. Who knew?

It’s not as easy to lose stuff

See benefit number one listed above. Because your space is so small, there are literally only a handful of places your lost item could have ended up. Looking for your watch, the remote control or your laptop charger is much less intimidating when you don’t have to climb stairs, throw couch cushions around or tear apart dozens of drawers. Almost everything is in plain sight – it has nowhere else to go.

Smaller spaces encourage you to go forth and explore

If you thought cabin fever was bad before college, wait until you’re cooped up in a residence hall all year. The urge to leave becomes so strong that you’d rather be anywhere but there, and you’ll find some of your best campus hangouts out of sheer boredom. Somehow pretending to study while actually being on social media in a coffee shop just feels better. Also, becoming involved in the University and its many organizations outside of the classroom is one of the best parts of being a student here, so don’t sit around in your extra long twin bed too long.

Cheap decorations do a lot

Personalizing your space doesn’t need a steep price tag. It’s not like you have the room for that many decorations anyway. Posters, printed photos from your phone’s camera roll, pillows and hanging lights are all inexpensive accessories that can alter the feel of your space without altering the balance in your bank account. The collegiate experience is probably one of the first times in your life when you’ve been able to turn the key in the doorknob and say “This is my space,” so make it feel that way. A room can feel bigger if its filled with personality.

Learn to live with less

This is, arguably, the most important benefit of shacking up in a tiny abode. Because space is so limited, the knick-knacks and chachkies you previously couldn’t live without become entirely disposable to you, and attachment to material things becomes significantly less evident. Not to mention, the discovery that only about half of your closet is worn on a regular basis has undoubtedly caused some huge donation piles to show up at the local thrift store.

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