As a fresher, packing for your first year at university can be tricky. With the car filled to the brim with shoes, academic reading and plenty of fancy dress options, is there enough room for anything else? Wait…“did you forget the kitchen sink?”
But seriously, it’s all too easy to get lost in the process of collecting all the homey essentials that you absolutely MUST have, and before long you’ve cleared out the whole house. All the gear, and very little idea. The key is to plan with military precision. To give you a head start, we’ve teamed up with packing experts at Boxed Up to put together this ultimate guide:
First, some quick tips:
- If you’re going to be living in halls in your first year, it’s a good idea to find out what is already there (ie, a kettle, toaster and storage). This will vary depending on whether you have chosen to live in catered or self-catered halls
- If you are able to contact your flatmates before your moving date on social media or student forums, suggest sharing communal items. You’re not going to need five sets of cutlery
- Be realistic. Are you really going to wear that jumper your nan knitted for you all those years ago? Probably not! Bringing too many clothes is a waste of space – wardrobes at halls are renowned for being small
- Don’t worry if you forget something (most students do). University towns have plenty of shops nearby so you can purchase the odd bits and bobs you left behind.
Step 1: Packing perfection
Something that any student will tell you when moving to university is that you don’t honestly know how much you own until you move. Be it college notes, student freebies or even that teddy you just can’t bear (get it?) to leave behind. Therefore, at the top of your to-do list should be to clear the clutter to make room for your new adventure.
The best way to determine what to take and what to leave behind is to make a checklist. What are the essentials? Clothing, bedding, books, towels and kitchen essentials. Then look back at the list and assess if those items are going to fit in your new student room and if there’s anything that can be purchased when you get there. Next, you will need to determine how you are going to get everything there in one piece – and thus we move on to transport…
Step 2: Logistics – getting all this stuff to university
Store all your items in removal boxes to ensure that you keep them as organised as possible. For the transport of weighty items such as books, bedding and basically anything that might break, good quality boxes are a must.
The dilemma comes when moving large amounts across the country in your small family car. The mileage, time and fuel costs are sure be a weight on your parents’ mind, and that’s not accounting for the trip back home. If someone else from your school is going to the same university (remember, they don’t have to be a first year), you could share a car.
Step 3: Once you get there
When you arrive at your accommodation, the first thing you’ll want to do is unpack, plan and perfect your new living space. But meeting and greeting your new flatmates is equally as important. Besides being able to point you in the direction of the local student bars, they can fill you in on what items they have brought, which can help you work out if there’s anything your parents can take back with them.
Most of all make sure that you get settled in, relax and prepare for some of the best years of your life.
Written by Kate Hulley, owner of Boxed Up, part of Belmont Packaging, which specialises in the manufacture of cardboard boxes.