As the countdown to uni begins, the stress kicks in, and panic buying ensues – at least, that was how my first time packing for uni went. I’ve done it twice now, and through my own experience, and conversations with my friends, I have all but nailed the art of uni packing; read on and you too could have a stress free pack… and maybe even enjoy it!
1. Give yourself time
As in all situations, the less you rush, the less stressed you’ll be, so it makes sense to start making preparations at least a month in advance. This is a big move, potentially the biggest of your life so far, so allow yourself whatever you think will be too much time, just to be on the safe side. ‘Too much time’ often turns out to be just the right amount, or even not enough, so always estimate for longer than you think will be necessary.
2. Write a list
A list is great, a spreadsheet is even better! As extra as it sounds, making sure you’re organised is fool-proof for reducing stress levels, so go back to your school days and open up Excel. Columns could include: item, already owned, need to buy, and packed. If you don’t fancy going all out with a spreadsheet, then stick to a list, but make sure you have one of the two, as you don’t want to forget anything.
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3. Pack small
Moving to uni is a notorious time for overpacking, but think small. No matter how much you bring, it is possible to minimise the amount of bags you bring, by following some handy packing techniques. Vacuum packing your clothes is great for easy transportation and storage, as it is claimed that storage space is reduced by up to 75%, and you can buy the necessary bags from as little as £5 for four on Amazon. There are free solutions too, with Buzzfeed and similar brands posting regular videos on Instagram and Facebook with tips on how to pack a suitcase. Alternatively, my favourite is the KonMari folding method, which also works well once you’ve arrived to perhaps less storage space than you’re used to – look it up.
4. Pack a maybe box
Throughout your decision making process, you are doubtless going to come across objects, items of clothing and maybe even kitchen equipment that you have no idea whether to take with you or leave behind. Packing all of these question marked items into one box can help to solve this dilemma, as considering these items whilst stood in your new home can help you to know if you really do need them. After each item has been decided, either give the box and its remaining contents back to your parents, donate it to charity or keep it for a couple of weeks – there will definitely be more items that you realise you don’t need.
5. Obscure essentials
Maybe you already had these items on your list, but if not, make sure to include: a doorstop, as making friends is easier with an open door; a blanket, for multipurpose use as a picnic rug, bed throw and movie night essential amongst others; a dish drying rack, to make the most of the often limited kitchen space; push pins, as most rooms and/or kitchens have pin boards; disposable cups, so that you don’t have to take or leave entire bottles at parties; a pack of cards, as these will be in endless demand; and last but not least, hangers, as loads of people forget them.