Heading to university is exciting and it is the first time for many new students to be away from home fending for themselves. Having lived so long at home, it can be difficult to decide what will be needed to pack and take with you. What you need will depend on whether you are going to halls or setting up in a flat or house with other students.
Packing Tips for Freshers
If you’re moving into halls, you are going to be faced with limited with space. You’ll have a small room with a bed, wardrobe and desk and shared communal facilities that can include a kitchen, shower room and toilet. It makes sense not to pack the car with a bunch of stuff that you aren’t going to need. The trick is to keep things simple at this stage, you can always add if you need to later. A good tip here is think about sockets, the student is likely to have more electric devices than there will be sockets, invest in a heavy duty, surge protected extension lead and you will save them from the difficult decisions about whether they charge their phone, laptop or use their hair dryer!
What to Pack for a House Share
Most second year students will move off site and get a flat or house with friends. The majority of student accommodation comes with some furnishings so the issue is: who is going to bring what to add to the mix.
Sit down with your future flatmates and work out a list of who is going to provide the basic requirements – pans, toasters, and cutlery for the kitchen and things like the TV for the lounge – so you don’t get duplication. Especially with items like electronics, doubling up can be a waste of time. You’ll also need to work out things like the internet and the TV licence and how it’s going to be paid as they may not be included in the rent.
- Your clothes: As with your onsite student accommodation, you’ll probably have a small wardrobe and you’ll have to fit everything in. That means you still need to be judicious about which items you take. Don’t forget that you’ll need hangers as well.
- Important documents: You should pack essentials such as your driving licence, passport and any university documentation.
- Personal Tech: A lot of your work will be done on laptops, tablets and the like so make sure everything you need is on your list, including chargers (and a good extension lead).
- Cutlery and Cooking: Utensils can be quite bulky to transport so keeping them down to the bare minimum is a good idea.
- Bedding and Toiletries: You’ll want your comfortable duvet, a couple of extra pillows and a few towels as well as the usual toiletries.
- Cleaning materials: Don’t forget to include some basic cleaning materials such as washing up liquid and a toilet duck as well as refuse bags.
- A new mattress: You don’t know where the bed in your new home has been and who has been lying on it, so one option is to replace the mattress.
- Furniture: Not all rented accommodation is going to have the furniture that you need. You might, for example, need a table and chair for your bedroom so you can work on your studies.
When looking for a house share this article from The Guardian has some great tips. It’s always best to err on the side of simplicity when it comes to your initial move and it’s a lot less stressful. Make sure you get the basics right first, including everything you need to do your studies and that all-important bedding. You can always add later if you find your new home is missing some vital utensils or other home comforts.