One of the biggest tasks you’ll have ahead of you this summer, before university starts in the Autumn, is figuring out what you need to take away with you and what doesn’t really have to leave your family home. This may be the first time you’ll be living alone, so here’s a guide to make sure you don’t miss anything out or take something you simply won’t need. We haven’t included all the basics, just the things that you might not think of.
You’ll most likely be moving into halls for your first year, so you won’t need to worry too much about furniture. Universities will have images of the different halls rooms so it’s normally quite easy to work out if you’ll need to supply anything.
In terms of what you’ll definitely need, bedding is a must. We recommend a tog rating of around 10.5 since you’ll want a duvet that’ll last you all year round, instead of needing to struggle for space and storage with multiple duvets. If you do want to bring a winter and summer duvet, why not store the summer one during your first term in a self-storage unit?
While it’s tempting to splash out on completely new bedding sets, it’s a good idea to bring at least one set of bedding from home, especially if you think you might be homesick, so you have something familiar.
Also, don’t make the mistake of bringing your entire wardrobe to university with you. Luckily, your holidays between terms are the perfect times to switch up your wardrobes for the seasons. Simply bring your winter wardrobe down for the first two terms and then swap everything over at Easter. Side note: make sure to bring lots of coat hangers with you, since halls don’t provide them!
Don’t forget to bring adaptors and extension leads – university halls do have plug sockets, obviously, but they’re not always in the easiest places to get to.
No matter whether you’re sharing a bathroom or have an ensuite in halls, there are some bathroom essentials that are a given, such as toothbrushes, hairdryers and towels. However, some things you might not think about bringing are as follows: a bath mat, to stop having to get out of a shower onto wet floor, bathroom cleaners, wall hooks for towels (just in case) and also a laundry basket or bag that you can easily carry to the communal laundrette.
Also, don’t forget a first aid kit. Freshers flu is a phrase for a reason, so make sure to stock up on over-the-counter supplies, such as painkillers, cold and flu remedies, nasal spray etc. Also, it’s a good idea to have plasters on hand, some antiseptic cream, and maybe some anti-histamines for allergies.
If you are sharing a bathroom with other students while at university, you’ll probably need to invest in a portable toiletries/shower bag since you probably won’t be able to leave your toiletries in the bathroom, unlike at home or in an ensuite.
If you’re moving into catered halls, skip this step, but if you’re moving into self-catered accommodation, you’re going to need to pay attention here. These are some of the kitchen items that will be most useful for you – while you may already be aware of some of these, some will definitely save you when learning to cook away from home.
Make sure that any cutlery and crockery you buy for your kitchen is distinctive and easily identifiable as yours. While you’ll most likely have a designated cupboard, if you have the same plates as everyone else, it’s so easy for things to go missing or arguments to happen over whose is whose. Also, make sure to mark any cooking equipment you buy – such as frying pans, pots, wooden spoons, knives etc. – since you’ll want to make sure it’s also identifiable.
Don’t forget a bottle opener and a can opener – these two little utensils are so easily overlooked but can be lifesavers in a halls kitchen, whether that’s for opening bottles for pre-drinks, or making beans on toast when you get back from a night out.
Other essentials that can really make a difference include tea towels for washing up, bag clips to reseal open crisps packets or cereal, oven gloves and washing up supplies.
Having to get together all the above items so that you can survive in your own place for the first time can be a mammoth task, so it’s incredibly important not to forget the personal items that will make your university experience so much easier.
Top of the list is a good laptop that’s not too heavy. If you’d rather not make notes in a notebook during lectures, having a laptop that is easy to carry around with you is a great way to bypass the paper and pen.
Making your university halls your home is a great way to make sure your first year is a positive experience, so bringing some home comforts with you is a must. Whether that’s photographs of friends and family, houseplants, or bunting and posters, having these items will definitely help to brighten up your space.
Some items that aren’t necessary, but can definitely make your life easier, include: a printer, so you don’t have to buy printer credit or wait for a working printer around the library; a speaker to play your music; a lamp, since the ones provided by halls aren’t always the best; and some soft furnishings, like blankets and cushions, to keep you warm and comfy.
If you’re heading off to university in London in the Autumn and think you might be fighting for space in your halls dorm, or have sports equipment that just won’t fit, why not consider our student self-storage solution in London? With two excellent facilities, just a stone’s throw away from the top universities in London, we’re happy to lend a hand if you need more room.