Hello everyone! Today's Student Sunday post is a guide to packing for university. I spent a load of time reading lists like this before going to university and they were so handy. They help highlight the things you may have forgotten about or the things that you think you need but you really don't. You should write your own list so that you have a clear idea of exactly what you will need and then if you see any great deals on anything you need you can catch yourself a bargain. I would recommend waiting until around mid August before you start properly buying things though as this is when a lot of stores bring out sections specifically for students!
Bedding: Duvet, pillows, fitted sheets, duvet set, a mattress protector and maybe a blanket too. I would recommend getting two sets of bed sheets so that you have one set that you can put on whilst you wash the other set. I would really recommend Primark, Wilkos, ASDA and IKEA for sheets. I've bought from all of those places before and the sheets are nice quality whilst not being overly expensive.
Practical items: Alarm clock, waste bin(may be already included so best to check), a washing basket, a hair dryer and brush, a small mirror, a calendar or some form of academic diary, an extension lead(the longer the better normally), clothes hangers, an umbrella, plasters, batteries, paracetamol and any prescription medications you will need. I brought a bin with me to university thinking one wasn't included in my room when it actually was. I quite liked having two as it meant that I could use one for general waste and one for recycling. When bringing clothes think about what the weather will be like in the city you are moving to and if you will need any special clothes for sports etc. Make sure that you bring some really comfy shoes as you will probably be doing a lot of walking.
Personal items: photos and posters to decorate with, any make up or hair products you use, sanitary products, condoms(even if you don't think you'll need them), nail polish and remover, air freshner and any ornaments/trinkets you have in your room at home. Most university accomodations have a pin board so I would bring some drawing pins so that you can stick up things to help decorate the room. Most accomodations ban the use of candles but a reed diffuser or something similar can help your room smell a bit nicer, my accommodation smelt a bit stale when we first moved in but was alright after a few days.
General: larger plates, smaller plates, bowls, cups, pint glasses, mugs, spoons, knives, forks and teaspoons(teaspoons will go missing so bring a lot), at least one sharp knife, scissors, chopping boards, can opener/bottle opener, wooden spoon, spatula, pots, pans, a baking tray/dish, oven glove, colander/sieve, tongs, cheese grater, vegetable peeler, freezer bags, tupperware, tin foil, cling film, bag clips, washing up liquid, scourer sponges and tea towels.
Food: pasta, rice, noodles, tinned tomatoes, pasta/sitrfry sauces, seasonings, salt, pepper, stock cubes, tea/coffee/hot chocolate, snacks etc. I would recommend brining some dried or tinned food alongside you and then going and doing a big food shop after you've moved in and can properly assess the storage that you have. In your first food shop I would really recommend stocking up on fresh fruit and veg, bread/rolls that you can freeze, meats and things for breakfasts and lunches. Things like fajitas kits are also great.
Shower: shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, a shower puff/loofah, shaving gel, razor(s), any body scrubs/body butters you normally use and face wash. I brought a little caddy style thing with me so that I could take all my stuff out the shower and back to my room with me but I actually never used it!
Sink: Toothbrush, toothpaste and hand soap. I would recommend buying liquid soap as a bar of soap will get quite messy and require cleaning!
General: Bath towels, hand towels, face cloths and a bath mat if you think you'll need one. I would recommend having at least two of each type of towel so that you have one to use whilst you wash the others. I would also recommend bringing lots of toilet roll with you so that you have some to last you for a while before you and your flatmates sort that sort of stuff out for yourself. And remember to bring some things to clean your bath room with. Some wipes or sprays will be enough!
First of all I would really recommend stocking up on the large refillable notepads if you see any on offer. I arrived at university with one 250 page pukka pad and finished it in three weeks! Generally you will need all the things you needed in school for studying: pens. highlighers, folders, a hole punch, stapler, extra staples, post it notes etc. If you are interested in getting a job whilst at university you should probably bring a few copies of your CV as well.
I had considered buying a printer before going to university but didn't and got by ok. There were times that I really could have done with a printer seeing as my flat was a 20 minute walk from the library and it's not fun to make the walk there and back in the rain for a two page lab report. I would think a lot about what sort of degree you are doing and how much printing that will require before making the decision on whether to buy a printer or not and what sort of printer you should buy.
NICE BUT NON ESSENTIAL TREATS
Fairy lights! These are by no means an essential item but they can really help brighten up a room. You probably don't have to pay electricity bills in your first year so you can buy ones with a plug and not really worry about it. I bought battery operated fairy lights from Sainsbury's and the batteries that came with them have lasted the whole year.
Mattress topper. I bought a memory foam mattress topper from Aldi for about £20 and it was the best investment ever. It made the bed in my halls so comfy. Many a nap was had on that bed. I'm hoping that they bring them back this year as I would love a double one for my second year flat.
Cook books. In all honesty I haven't used these as much as I had hoped to but I was already a pretty competent cook before leaving home anyway. I still like having them and would recommend that every student has at least one. If you don't fancy buying one then it might be nice to buy a plain notepad and ask members of your family/friends to add their favourite recipe to it.
Under bed storage bins. Another great Aldi find. 3 under bed storage containers for £10. Bargain if you ask me. You probably don't need these but they can be very handy and a good way to keep everything organised. You can also double them up as boxes for when you are packing. Then they stack easily in the boot of your car.
A blender. Soup is one of my favourite things to eat so having a small hand blender was really handy(see what I did there). Mine was the Sainsbury's basics one and it is actually really good and easy to clean. I can make a big batch of soup up and freeze it and it's perfect to just take out the freezer and defrost if I need an easy meal. I never normally make smoothies or anything but this style of blender can also make those!
So that's my list of things to take with you when moving out for university. Obviously this post is aimed at people who will be driving to university! If you are an international student it's probably best to pack the essentials in your suitcase and just buy everything else upon arrival! I hope this list was helpful and if you have anything else to add to it then leave a comment below!
Previous Student Sundays posts: Intro, Getting Started, Accommodation, Cooking For Yourself, Making Halls Home, What To Pack For University, Friends & Flatmates, What's In My Uni Bag, Saving Money On Food, Fresher's Week Survival Guide, What To Expect From Classes.