Preparing for the Big Day Part 1

Here’s another post about preparing yourself for your big day – moving in!  This one’s focused on what to actually pack, rather than what to do to occupy yourself before you go. This is part one – the essentials.


One of the main things I was worried about when I first moved in was that I had so much stuff. Like, “my mum and I went up on the train with a suitcase so the rest of the stuff could fit in the car”-much stuff… So here’s my guide of how to not get yourself in a fluff about having too much stuff. Step 1: DON’T WORRY THAT YOU HAVE A LOT OF STUFF! Don’t even worry if you feel you don’t have a lot of stuff! You have the amount of stuff that you have, and that’s that really. I like cooking, so a lot of the space I filled in the car on moving-in day was to do with, or to go in, the kitchen; things such as a blender so I can make soup, cake tins so I can bake, spices etc (although as I said in my last post, I do recommend buying food when you get there!). If I didn’t like to cook, I would have a lot less stuff and wouldn’t have been stressed out – but I do, so that’s that. Once you accept that you have the amount of stuff that you do, you can think about enjoying the thought of unpacking it all and making your room yours.


All my things packed to move in!
All my stuff ready to move in for second year!

Okay, so, what do you pack, then? While I stress that you can’t have too much stuff, take it with a pinch of salt and don’t take every single thing from your room at home and lug it to the back of your parent’s car. Just a word of advice: you won’t need everything you’re going to pack! All that will happen is your uni room will get cluttered and you’ll end up taking it back home again at the end of the year. Take a good look at the room inventory of your halls first to see what you definitely won’t need to bring. At Aston for example, a kettle, toaster, microwave, iron, ironing board, hoover, bins, mop/bucket and dustpan/brush are all provided – so you don’t need to bring your own!


     Step One – Essentials

Once you’ve had a look at your inventory, jot down the essentials. I’m an organised soul, so for first year, I made a few Excel spreadsheets for everything I wanted to take with me – a spreadsheet for each different category like bathroom, bedroom, kitchen etc. If extreme organising isn’t your thing (call me Monica), then definitely do try to write down the absolute musts, just so you don’t forget them. Here is a short (yes, short) compilation of what I would define as essential for moving in (each to their own, though!):


A list of packing essentials

This is me trying to explain this list. “Bedroom” is pretty self explanatory I think; paracetamol and ibuprofen I’ve put as essential as it’s better to have them when you’re feeling ill rather than having to go out to get them! “Bathroom” is pretty straightforward too. “Kitchen” includes some weird ones.

Pans, minimum 2; I’d say this is the absolute essential if you’re wanting to cook for yourself, even if it’s beans on toast or pasta and sauce – you’re going to need a pan for pasta and a pan for sauce possibly! Or maybe rice and something… I don’t know, I’m off on a food tangent. Pans, two, get them and be done with it.

Baking tray (no holes); if you’ve only got a pizza tray and are wanting to cook chips in the oven, it will make a massive, huge, oily mess. The absolute no-no if you’re cooking on a pizza tray is a chicken kiev. Don’t do it. Just don’t. Yes Josh, I am talking about you last year. If you’re cooking anything other than a pizza on a pizza tray, don’t be surprised when your oven starts smoking up – that’s all the grease and fat burning up in there that’s dripped through the holes from your last meal! Take it from me – invest in a baking tray without holes. Cutlery and crockery is standard – you can even go for multiple of each if you’re expecting to cook for friends or family. I have a set of four of each, so it’s just what you’re wanting.

Sharp knife; with this goes a chopping board which I didn’t mention. You might need to chop some chicken or something, and that’s not going to happen with a butter knife, so buy a sharp knife or two! Also, buy a glass chopping board if you’re up for it – easy to clean and can be doubled up as a worktop saver to put hot pans on (for example – flat fajita night!!). Or, plastic chopping boards are cheap as chips.

The obvious thing I missed out here was clothes, duh. You’re most definitely going to need them. Think about nightwear, daywear, going out stuff, winter stuff, summer stuff, swimwear, underwear (don’t forget that…), slippers, dressing gown etc. Basically, this is the part where you know what you do and don’t want to take, so just make it up as you go along! Leave behind things you don’t wear so much maybe, so it gives you room for other things if you’re struggling for space. Also, vacuum bags are a godsend for space-saving! You heard it here first.



Right, so I say don’t take a kettle etc. because you may have one in the flat, so why have I got one in my picture you may ask? That’s because I’m not actually living on campus this year! 🙁 Nope, I’m taking a step into grown-up land, but not going as far as renting my own house! I’m just a few minutes walk from campus this year in a private accommodation (meaning not owned by the University), which is still halls of residence. At this particular halls, we don’t get kitchen appliances provided, so we have to take our own. That’s why I have a kettle and iron and stuff – which does actually take up a fair bit of room…


That’s it for part one! I hope this has been informative and you aren’t sleepy from the long read!

~Until next time 🙂


“Stuff” count: 15…