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What sums up ‘hot, hectic and an emotional whirlwind’ for the wild-eyed bewildered looking first years and their parents alike better than arrivals day at university? A day consisting of a flustered daze of heavy lifting and room tidying. Preparing yourself in advance for the big day can help you get through it without feeling agitated and too overwhelmed.

Uni Baggage, specialists in student shipping, share some useful tips to ensure that your university moving-in day goes as smoothly as possible without any hiccups along the way.

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Ditch the bulky suitcases, unless you are flying

If you’re not travelling by flight but by car instead, you should definitely think about packing all your things into duffel bags, foldable rucksacks, or even large black bin bags (as strange as it may sound)! They’re actually ideal for packing and can be easily disposed of without taking up space in your room. If you are taking the leap and moving from a different country then check out this ultimate international packing list to help you settle in smoothly. 

Bring refreshments

Throw in a few cold soft drinks into a cooler as well as some snacks along for the ride. The moving and unpacking process will most likely drain all of your energy up fast, so there’s a refreshing pick-me-up when you really need it.

Conflicts and disaster are destined to strike if you let ‘hangry’ teens run rampant without sugar or caffeine to keep them at bay. If your mum happens to make heavenly home baked goods, definitely bring them along! On second thought, bring a lot actually, just in case it’ll be awhile before you reunite with them.

Bonus tip - open up a box of cookies and instantly everyone is your best friend!

Pack with seasons in mind

Before you know it, it will be dead cold winter season as the start of Fresher’s Week goes by unbelievably fast. It’s probably smart to throw in some heavy duty coats and warm parka jackets for those December - January winter blues, along with swimsuits and other fancy dress costumes that you’re going to need for different party occasions you’re attending.

Check for move-in policies and prohibited items

Uni Baggage have a handy resource covering everything you need to take with you to university. However, it’s not unheard of that every year, some freshers would try to sneak in some ‘contraband’ items, but hey, kudos for trying, at least. To avoid the awkward conversation you would otherwise have with your accommodation officer, check out the list of prohibited items. These would vary depending on your university, some would ban items such as mini fridges, coffee makers or even extension cords.

The university would also provide useful information such as valid parking spaces, and where you might find student helpers that can guide you to your accommodation building. Make sure to grab those itineraries for parents and guardians on events such as Welcome Talks, as well as campus tours etc. 

Bring cleaning supplies

There’s definitely no avoiding this crucial step for when you first set foot in your new home. Just get out some dusters, surface cleaners and cleaning sponges and get to work ridding of all the dust and dirt that has gathered up in your room over the summer. This is going to be important especially if you have any allergies such as hay-fever. A small dustpan and brush would come in handy, so make sure you pack them as the last step so that they’re unpacked first.

Pack your room decor in a separate bag

It would be frustrating if bits and pieces of fairy lights or picture frames got buried amongst all your other belongings and it saves you some stress from searching for them. Instead, just pack them all into one separate bag from the rest of your stuff. It’s probably not the greatest idea to be rushing into decorating your room straightaway. You should try spending some time with your family or get acquainted with your new flatmates first. Glamming up your room can be postponed to a later time when emotions aren’t running at an all time high.

Have tools handy

Bring along scissors, screwdrivers, hammers as well as scotch tape etc. just in case you would like to raise the height of your bed or fix that loose screw on the closet door. Even if you have no idea how to man these tools yourself, your parents could always lend you a hand. I mean, the whole ‘learning to do things for yourself’ thing can come later…

Make your bed last

Since you’ll probably be covered in smothering dust blankets when moving in all of your stuff, you should aim to make your bed and only change to clean bed sheets after you’ve managed to organise everything else. You’d want to stand up on your bed as well if you want to put up a collage wall, posters or pictures of friends and family. Therefore, make sure your bedding stays clean until everything else is sorted!

Dress appropriately

It certainly isn't a runway show down the hall of your dorms in those ridiculously high heels, ladies! You know that you'll be doing a lot of heavy lifting and bending over backwards to make the barren land of your room at least habitable for the rest of the academic year. Opt for comfy jeans and casual shoes instead! Also, it's for the best if your dressy outfits don't get caught in the crossfire of you and the 'big clean out'.

Pack your clothes on hangers

This is going to help you save so much more time when you pack your clothes while they’re on hangers into your bag and all bundled up together. Not only are they firmly pressed together to avoid any troubling wrinkles, also it saves you from having to hang them up one by one following by organising them accordingly.

Put cotton rounds in your make up

This one is for the ladies that just can’t live without bringing their entire glam bag over with them. It’s understandable that it almost feels like a death in the family (RIP) when your powdered compacts and eyeshadow end up being smashed into smithereens. To avoid feels of desperation by having to repurchase these expensive cosmetics, simply insert some cotton wool into the compacts to absorb some of shock, so that along with you, they can also survive the big move.

Label all boxes and bins

This is kind of a no brainer, you should stick some labels on all your storage boxes or bags that clearly categorise them as ‘books’, ‘electrics’, ‘decor’ etc. That way, you’ll know for sure where to find your things as well as organise the order of how they should be unpacked. At least there is some sort of ‘order’ amongst the mess that you’re about to create…

Written by Annie Thompson, blog writer at

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