The ultimate Fresher's guide to prepare for moving into university
Leaving home for the first time is a daunting task, and is made even worse by the stress of packing. Here are a few essential bits and bobs and some tips to make the move as easy as possible for you:
First and foremost, check what your student accommodation provides for you - some flats come with a toaster/kettle/iron included, but if they don't you may need to invest in your own. Although, if you aren't provided with an iron, I wouldn't worry too much as I am still to meet a student who irons!
Secondly, get on social media - often, universities set up Facebook pages for halls of residences. This way you can find your flatmates before you get there, and arrange who is bringing what. That way you can avoid having to store 5/6 kettles in your kitchen! Liberty Living have a Facebook page for each of their student accommodation residences so you can keep up to date with what’s happening.
Once you have a good idea of what is already available, you now need to work out what you already have and what you need to buy. Compile a big list of everything you think you will need. You could even make separate lists for different rooms (bedroom, bathroom and kitchen) to break it down.
You can shop smart – Stores such as Ikea, Wilkinson and Home Bargains are great places to start for kitchen ware. Essentials such as Tupperware, utensils, pots and pans and table ware like plates, bowls, glasses etc. can be found fairly easily and cheaply. They’re definitely worth a trip and really is a student’s dream come true when it comes to budget. It sells things you probably didn’t even know you needed! It is easy to get carried away so be mindful of your essentials. You can find some great bargains for items such as a toilet brush, an extension lead and a set of towels. Large supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda usually have a great range of home ware at a reasonable and affordable price. Sometimes your room can feel a little bare when you first move in so consider picking up a few photo frames for decoration. Check these places out for new pillows and a duvet. Don’t forget – you’ll still need your pillows and duvet at home for when you visit!
Keep it minimalist - as hard as it will be, you really only need to pack the essentials. There's no point stuffing your suitcases with fairy lights and room decorations when you can easily pick them up from shops when you get there. Although, bringing a couple of home comforts such as photos can really help you settle in and make your room your own. Another way to save space is to pack seasonally. If you're going to be visiting home before Christmas, why not wait until then to move all your winter clothes to uni? And don’t forget whatever you take or buy at university has to come back with you when you move out!
Know your room - storage is a big issue for students who turn up with bags of stuff. If you can check out the storage in your room before you go, then you can arrange how much will actually fit in it. You can also maximise storage using baskets or boxes to store on top of your wardrobes and under your bed if there is space.
And the important bit - double check your sign in requirements. Make sure you are aware of the move in procedure and what you need to bring with you for example, a passport or other ID may be required before you can collect your keys. If you don't have it with you, you may not be able to move in.Know your room - storage is a big issue for students who turn up with bags of stuff. If you can check out the storage in your room before you go, then you can arrange how much will actually fit in it. You can also maximise storage using baskets or boxes to store on top of your wardrobes and under your bed if there is space.
Make contact with your student accommodation provider to be clear on what is already provided to save hassle for yourself and your parents!
Hopefully this guide will make your move slightly less stressful, and will ensure that you are well prepared for living independently. There are many webpages on the internet that you can find for packing/move in lists specifically for students so take a look and get organised! Good luck for September!
Alex Waterson lives at our Student Accommodation Newcastle Liberty Quay in Newcastle Upon Tyne. She is studying English Literature and Creative Writing at Northumbria University and is currently in her first year.