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Between the mess, mice and mould, uni homes house a few unspoken treasures.
Across the country, shared university houses and halls of residence eerily mirror each other: there will always be a few items sourced on drunken nights out, duplicates of everything as everyone's mum bought them the same things at the start of each term (particularly tea towels) and lots of objects you don't even remember acquiring.
Here are our seven favourite uni house finds...
Pint glasses stolen from pubs
Whether you drink beer or not, you will have a branded pint glass in your house somewhere. Operating as a vase, measuring device or an actual beer glass, Stella, Carlsberg and Grolsch will take centre stage in your cupboards. You won't remember how you obtained it (Was it a dare? Did I walk home with this? I went out last night?!) but it will come to be the most functional glass you own.
Unused cookbooks gifted by parents
Every parent fears their child will forget how to cook, not know how to order take out food and be late in their discovery of baked beans.
As a consequence, the most popular leaving home present across the whole of Great Britain is the ‘Student Cookbook'. In actual fact, the book will never get used and will get rammed in some cupboard out of reach as students can READ cooking instructions and will have the pizza place's number on speed dial.
Towels airing on the back of every door
Doors have now become hangers. With one bathroom, no fancy towel heater and multiple tenants, that small space at the top corner of every door in the house will be used as a hanger all year round. It will prevent doors from ever being shut, it will leave watermarks all over the paintwork and your towel will begin to smell of wood, but they will be dry!
Previous tenant's letters
No one, including the culprit reading this, cancels their post when they leave a shared house. As a consequence, the next tenant takes on the H&M catalogues, TV license warnings and library fines. These will gradually mount in a heap either behind the door or get chucked on the kitchen work surface but never, ever, thrown away. Well, the tenant from 1987 may be back for his post one day...
It was probably poorly mended when you rented the house, or maybe broken entirely but you missed it, but as soon as you move into your new pad all your furniture will break. Chairs, tables, beds, everything. And what is most important, no one will call the landlord, bin it or attempt to fix it - it just becomes a piece of the furniture.
Students are a take-away restaurant's dream! Lazy, hungry and tired, students will order at all times of the day and desire all types of cuisine. As a consequence, leaflets, flyers and posters will fill your post box every single day. Once again though, no one will bin the menu for fear of a Tikka emergency.
Packs of sticky cards
Not just any cards, but sticky cards in particular frequent shared university houses across the country. Drizzled in last Wednesday's Wine and Friday's Rum, these cards are the life and soul of any pre-drinks or party and get drenched in the competitors' drinks. The cards will then be found months later, wedged down sofa sides - I hope you weren't planning on playing an actual card game with those...
Heather Young has been Ideal Home’s Editor since late 2020, and also edits its sister title Style At Home. She is an interiors journalist and editor who’s been working for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines for over 20 years, both in-house and as a freelancer.
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