Packing for university: Let´s travel light

08 Aug 2011


Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to pack everything that you might possibly need for the next nine months of your life into the back of a Ford Fiesta.

How much can you fit in the boot of your car?

I'm being ridiculous, of course. This mission isn't optional if you have any intention of successfully beginning student life. So with less than 24 hours to go until you set off for university, you've got a drama on your hands that would make Jack Bauer weep.

But unlike Jack, there's no ad breaks for you to fill with tears while nobody is looking, so pull yourself together. It's time to get (relatively) organised…

First, get everything together that you'll absolutely need, regardless of how big it is. Pillows might take up an annoying amount of room in your hatchback, but you just can't do without them. Likewise, saucepans and crockery just cannot be left behind. Oh and you might need some books, too.

Now you've got the essentials in, you know how much room you have got to work with - and I'm guessing it's not as much as you'd hoped.

So you'll have to be smart with the clever gadgets you bring along.

You could argue that old CRT televisions waste more space than any other out-of-date gadget. Swap one of these monsters for a diddy LCD or LED flat-screen TV and you've saved tonnes of room in your boot - plus you won't have to break your back carrying it up the stairs.

It gets even smarter when you get one with a built-in Freeview tuner, so you'll land on the right side of the digital switchover without needing to pack a set top box.

Needless to say, laptops are much smaller than desktop PCs and the necessary paraphernalia. But by cramming all your CDs onto your laptop or an external hard drive before you go, you can get most out of your machine's space-saving capabilities.

It's always worth playing the long game while you're packing, and start looking six months down the line. While a panel heater might seem unnecessary at the height of summer, come February you'll be glad not to be freezing. It is well worth making room for one.

But the most essential of 'non-essential' items has to be a kettle. You'll barely be in your new home for five minutes before it'll be time to put the kettle on. Sure, you can hope someone else brings one - but do you want to rely on someone else for your brew?

And so with the kettle nestling neatly on top of your pile of belongings, it's time to drive off to whatever far-flung university town you'll make your home. At least travelling light means you'll have less to unload when you get there.

Do you have any tips for packing for university? Comment below or tweet @DixonsinTheKnow