So, it is quickly creeping up to that time of year when soon-to-be university students just about let their offer sink in and are moving on to the next big thing: planning for the move away from home. I remember being excited but very daunted by the prospect, with a thousand questions buzzing around in my mind; what my room would be like, would I get on with my flat, how many flatmates would I have etc…, but what I was most desperate to know was what – and how much, for that matter – I needed to take with me. I wanted my room to feel like home away from home, but I knew that id be limited for space and that if I took too much the room would quickly become cluttered (which I find has a significant impact on my stress levels). I took to YouTube for videos posted by students about what they thought was either essential or unnecessary. However, a term into first year, I realised that I had still managed to bring too much of the wrong thing. Below I comprise two lists: firstly, of either the things I could not have lived without or wished I had remembered and secondly, of the things that just gathered dust.
(I’m not going to list absolutely everything you will need, just some stand out ones!)
1.) MUST HAVES
– More than one duvet set (when one gets dirty, you haven’t got the immediate rush of getting it washed and dried the same day).
– A mattress protector. Your bed will probably be comfier than you expect, but it’s worth being prepared.
– More than one big towel (the same applies).
– No more than two of each essential crockery piece (plates, mugs etc.) … you don’t need more than this, I kept the rest under my bed for the whole year!)
– Likewise, just bring one or two pans. You really can just about make everything in a wok.
– Bring at least 4 or 5 sets of cutlery, because they go missing and you’ll end up with a single spoon by the end of the year.
– I’d recommend that, instead of bringing all of your clothes, pack for the sort of weather you expect for term – plus a few things that will save you if the weather suddenly dramatically changes – and then swap it over/add or take things away when you go home. I tried to take almost everything I owned, and there just wasn’t room!
– Desk organisers – if you plan on working in your room at all, then these will be really handy.
– An umbrella – obvious, but easily forgotten.
– Ear plugs are an ESSENTIAL. You might only need them once or twice, but when you do they are a god send.
– A door stop makes it a lot easier to move things in, and having an open door is a good start for getting to know your flatmates.
– Coat hangers.
– A lamp.
– A drying rack – this is an ESSENTIAL.
– A couple of your favourite books.
– Photos of family and friends – they immediately make you feel more at home.
– A laundry basket. Of course you can just use a bag to cart your washing from your room to the laundry room, but it’s a lot more practical.
– A proper coat. Cold, rainy walks to campus aren’t fun as it is.
– Slippers. Barefoot kitchen walking can be quite a traumatic experience.
2.) LEAVE BEHIND
– DVDS or an excessive amount of books. I took some DVDs that just sat and collected dust – if you don’t already have it, convince your family to get a shared Netflix and that will be enough! I also thought it would look nice to have a big old stack of books on my shelf. It did. But I hated the decision when I was moving in/out because they made boxes so much heavier.
– Your entire wardrobe (see above list).
– A printer. Mine had no ink in it half of the time, and the library gives you printing credits for free so I didn’t use my own at all.
– Lots of kitchenware/utensils. They just take up space you don’t have.
– Wine glasses. They were always shoved precariously at the back of my cupboard, so I just left them there and drank everything from the same 2 or 3 glasses.
– An iron and ironing board. If you shake your clothes out enough after a wash, they’ll look acceptable.
– A soap dispenser. Mine just got dirty so quickly – keep it in the one it comes in.
– Every toiletry you own – just take one of all the things you use daily, and if you realise you miss a product you can pick it up when you next go home.
– A-Level notes/ textbooks. They might contain a page or two of relevant content, but it isn’t worth the space.
I hope this list might have reminded someone to pack something they couldn’t live without or stopped someone in their tracks from packing the entirety of their bedroom at home. Either way, I hope that packing is no where near as stressful as you might expect, and I wish you all the luck in your next step towards starting university!