Congratulations on getting to university! Or maybe it’s your son or daughter that has made it. Either way, well done you. Seriously, this has been a strange couple of years for those in education and even getting through A-Levels and BTECs has proven a battle. Choosing to go on to university and broaden horizons during a pandemic is a move not to be understated. So, congratulations to all new students and to their families who helped get them there. Now the fun really begins!
But first, you need to physically get there. 2020 saw a lot of online learning with the majority of young people learning via mainly virtual classes. 2021 will see a return to campus for many students, while some universities are looking to blend online and in-person teaching we hope that 2021 is a better year for students and the teaching profession alike.
Campus life can be a lot of fun and for many this may be the first time living away from family. University is a learning experience in many ways and one of the first lessons is planning and organisation.
We at HandiWorld are often asked about good ways of transporting pretty much anything. So here are our top tips for getting your, or your young person’s kit to university (and back again).
Top tips for packing for university
Do you really need everything you want to take? Make a list of all the things you will actually need, and be sure to consult any lists that have been provided by the university. If you’re in halls of residence, you will be provided with certain items such as a microwave or kettle and you may not have to take your own. If you’re in a shared house, worry about buying items like a toaster later. Someone else may already have brought one, or you can club together for one and save space in the car. Remember to dispose of any unwanted items responsibly.
Don’t take every outfit you might ever need, just in case. The wardrobe space in the accommodation may not be anywhere near what is available at home. More clothing can always be brought if needed at Christmas or half-term.
You will likely be able to buy your stationery supplies from a campus shop or somewhere nearby and probably at better prices than your normal high street, so don’t worry about overstocking on these too early.
If you need extra space for everything you want to take, then look at a roof-top box or bag for the car. You will do the trip to university, and back home again at least once for every year of study, and maybe also at Christmas and Easter. It’s worth investing in decent kit that you can use for other purposes throughout the year. If you’re tight on space back home, a roof bag is easier to store than a solid roof box – have a look at our HandiRack, HandiHoldall, and matching HandiDuffel bags.
The sort of items that we find people use soft roof boxes for are lighter items such as bedding and shoes. The HandiDuffel bags provide extra weather protection and are especially good for keeping at university and using as storage under the bed or on top of the wardrobe.
You can find more information on our soft roof boxes, inflatable roof bars, and storage bags at https://www.handiworld.com/soft-roof-boxes-roof-bars/
Bags are for life
Forget hard-shell storage tubs and make friends with bags. When packing for university, always have a roll of black bin bags to hand, and a few smaller carrier bags. Storage tubs are great for transporting fragile items but most things you will take can be wrapped in bags and pushed into cubby holes, under seats, and put on top of each other in the gaps. Pretend you are playing Tetris and make the most of every available inch of space. Just make sure everything is secure so it’s not moving around while you’re driving.
Once you’re at university and you’ve survived the first year, then you need to come home again. Try not to accumulate too much extra stuff during the year and you should have no problems getting it all back in again.
Put any dirty laundry in bags on the bottom, and then any heavy items like books. Don’t bring anything back home that you’re going to end up throwing away or replacing anyway – dispose or recycle it at university in the accommodation bins. Some universities do end of term disposal days and provide skips. If your university is one of them, plan ahead and take advantage of this.
You could also sell any items in good condition or donate to the local charity shop rather than lug them back home. Get familiar with eBay, Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace and Freecycle!
Most of all – practice, practice, practice. Once you’ve done this a couple of times, you will be an expert and surprise yourself how much you can get into one reasonable sized car. And all the very best for the next few years – may your lectures be enlightening, your essays be compelling, and your roommates be fragrant!