You’ve been accepted into university and you’re excited, nervous and overwhelmed all at the same time. Once the summer starts to draw to an end it truly starts to sink in that you’ll be starting a brand new life elsewhere in just a few weeks. And with that realisation comes the mandatory trip to IKEA, the packing and unpacking of your bedroom (several times) and Mums continual attempts at forcing you to take things you’ll never use.
So what exactly do you need to take with you?
Before you buy anything remember to:
- Spend as little as possible – the basics will do for what will only be a temporary home
- Check what already comes with the accommodation so you’ll know beforehand what you don’t need to buy
- Avoid worrying if you forget anything – unless you’re studying on the moon there will be somewhere nearby for you to grab supplies from
Tips on what to take with you:
For the bedroom
You’ll want a good quality quilt, a couple of bedding sets (sheets, pillows etc) and a couple of pillows. It’s also worth taking a mattress protector and a large throw for the top of the bed. You should also take some nice photos and wall decorations, a clothes basket and a small table lamp.
If you have a sink in the room with you you’ll want to take a cup for your toothbrush and toothpaste, some hand wash and a hand towel.
Storage is really handy when you’re in halls so consider getting some soft storage boxes that fold down when you don’t need them.
You’ll want a couple of bath towels, shower gel and other personal toiletries. A clothes’ airer is useful if you have a large room (saves on tumble dryer costs at the launderette!). You should also buy washing powder and softener to take with you but that’s not super urgent as you can get some when you do your first wash. A big IKEA bag or similar will be useful for when you take clothes to the launderette.
Try to take enough clothes to last you a couple of weeks. Treat it like you’re packing for an all-weather holiday and remember to take all your favourite clothes with you – you want to be comfortable in what you’re wearing when you’re making loads of new friends! Some extra coat hangers will be useful as there are usually only a few in the wardrobe given to you.
You must ensure you have all the documentation you need with you, if you forget something you need for registration it could delay your student loans and your access to the university.
Essential documents are:
- Your passport and driving license (or provisional license)
- Some spare recent passport photos
- A document with your NI number on
- Any documents the university has told you to bring with you
- Any documents sent to you by the student loans company or similar
- Your university offer (acceptance letter)
- Bank cards
- Bank details
- Any exam proof needed by the university
- Any discount cards
Remember to insure any expensive equipment you choose to take with you. You should also check with your student accommodation board to see if your equipment needs PAT testing certification before you’re allowed to use it. If you can avoid taking expensive electrical gadgets with you, do so.
For the kitchen
Take some labels! These come in most useful for labelling food you don’t want others to get their hands on! Although the shared kitchen will have some cutlery and pans for your to use, it pays to take your own set and keep it in your room or your cupboard so you don’t have to worry about others not washing what they have used or keeping items in their room.
A good basic kitchen set would be:
- A small saucepan
- A large saucepan
- A large plate
- A small plate
- A bowl
- Two knives
- Two forks
- Two teaspoons
- Two spoons
- Your favourite mug
- A glass
- A wooden spoon
- A spatula
- A baking tray
- A bottle opener
- A tin opener
- One small sharp knife
- One large sharp knife
- A chopping board
By taking the very basics, you’ll be forced to keep up with the washing up – which is a good thing! You’ll also want to take some other basics with you like biscuit tins, tupperware boxes, foil and cling film. And some basic cleaning items like washing up liquid and tea towels are also a good idea.
Remember you can buy food when you’re there but it is good to stock up on some basic supplies for when you arrive if you can. Try to take a good set of herbs and spices, condiments, coffee, tea, oil, tins (soup, spaghetti etc) and cereal.
Remember to prioritise your must-haves before you pack anything else. If you forget your tin-opener you’re going to have to pop to the nearest supermarket and buy one, if you forget your acceptance letter, you’re going to be delayed with your registration process. Think to yourself ‘as long as I have…I can buy anything else when I’m there’. And most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy yourself!