university checklist

University Checklist

It’s the start of a fresh new year! It’s that time where some of you will be moving into tertiary institutions and starting your university or college adventure! Some of you could be moving universities or simply accommodation. Either way, a University moving checklist is essential! 

Home comforts and room practicalities

As you’ll be spending time in your room resting and studying, you should make this space somewhere you feel comfortable. Decorate with photos of family and friends, posters, or your favourite bedding and cushions. If you’re renting student accommodation, be sure to find out what your room already has.

Other practical suggestions for your room include:

  • desk fan
  • desk lamp
  • torch
  • music speaker
  • drawing pins for putting up photos or posters

We recommend taking a look at the relevant accommodations’ site to work out how much space you’ll have to work with. The Campus’s room sizes and features can be found here.

 Kitchen equipment

Most kitchens are kitted out with all the kitchen equipment you’ll need, so check what items are there when you arrive, and share the cost of any extra items with your flatmates, instead of having numerous utensils.

Check the rules of your chosen accommodation, as some kitchens may ban items such as rice cookers or deep fat fryers. Some university accommodations may also give you the opportunity to pre-order bedding and kitchen packs. These bundles can be conveniently waiting for you in your room upon arrival.

Space in your room and kitchen is likely to be at a premium, so weigh up each item and consider its value. In general, you’ll need:

  • knives and a chopping board
  • saucepans and a frying pan
  • baking tray
  • plates and bowls (microwavable ones are a good idea)
  • cutlery
  • glasses and mugs
  • corkscrew and bottle opener
  • tin opener
  • vegetable peeler
  • measuring jug
  • grater
  • cling film
  • tin foil
  • tea towels
  • dishcloth
  • student recipe book (we also have a blog on quick student meals hereIf taking your own kitchen equipment along to res, make sure all your items are marked, in case there are any disputes over ownership.

     Study essentials

    You’ll need to bring your own stationery, including:

    • pens, pencils and highlighters
    • lever arch files
    • A4 file paper
    • ruler
    • eraser
    • stapler
    • hole punch
    • diary
    • different-sized notebooks
    • Post-it notes

     Electrical items

    Having your own laptop will make your work and studies much easier, as shared library resources are often oversubscribed. This is an investment that will keep your learning mobile, meaning you can work wherever you go. It can also remove the need to take a TV, as you can use it to watch your favourite shows online. However, if you bring a TV, you’ll need a TV license. Games consoles and beauty items, such as hair irons and dryers are also on the list. 

     To ensure your connection to the internet is reliable, consider buying an Ethernet cable, depending on where you’re staying of course. This connects your laptop to a modem or router to provide a solid internet link. A portable hard drive is also great for backing up your work – and they don’t take up much room in your bag.

    Make sure you pack all the chargers you need (a spare one for your phone will come in handy when you misplace the original) and remember to bring along a few memory sticks.

     What you won’t need

    • kitchen equipment such as a fridge, freezer and kettle
    • a printer – if you need one it’s likely you’ll be able to use those in your university department or library
    • a car – as parking spaces may be limited, and this is a cost you can usually do without
    • large suitcases – these are hard to keep and boxes work better for storing your things
    • your old study books – reading lists will be handed out at the start of term
    • pets – most student accommodation forbid pets (even goldfish) of any kind, so you’ll need to leave them at home and see them over weekends or during vacations 

    Remember to treat these ‘what to take’ lists as a general guide, and use them to check off the things most relevant and applicable to you.

    Transporting your belongings

    When packing your belongings, make sure they’re separated out into manageable chunks. Although there may be trolleys and lifts to make moving in easier, these may be busy and you may need to carry your possessions upstairs.

    Move-in day can be stressful. So it’s also wise to bring a couple of helpers (friends and family). Parents, other family members and friends are usually the people who will help you to move. However, there are student baggage shipping services available that, for a fee, will deliver your belongings to your student accommodation in time for your arrival. The price for this removal service may be based on the number of boxes you’ll be taking.

    Also, check how many people can help you move in. Some universities (especially during these times) may put a limit on the number of people you can bring with you.

    Keeping your valuables safe

    When you first move to university, you’ll be focusing on all the positive aspects of the change, such as making new friends, exploring new places and gaining new experiences. However, you need to be mindful of the safety of your belongings, especially if you’re living in shared accommodation.

     Security tips include:

    • avoid leaving your room unlocked, even for a short time
    • don’t allow people you don’t know into your room, and don’t leave them unaccompanied
    • avoid leaving windows open when you’re out
    • if your room faces a public area, keep your curtains closed when out
    • don’t leave expensive items in view – put them away in a drawer or cupboard
    • keep your access cards safe, don’t lend them to anyone else and don’t keep your address with them
    • take out necessary insurance for your possessions

    Your university accommodation may include the cost of basic insurance for your belongings. However, if this is the case and you have some hi-tech or expensive equipment, you’ll need to check the level of cover provided.

    Other steps you can take to keep your things safe include:

    Keeping copies of insurance documents and warranties in a file or box, ensuring you know who to contact if something goes wrong – for instance, student support and residential services are there to help with university-based issues. 

    Your accommodation’s student support team will be able to offer guidance on matters relating to your residence, such as any problems you might have with your flatmates, or be available to provide pastoral care. Should you feel homesick, store a list of contact numbers separate to your phone – for example, family, friends, your bank or card provider, mobile phone network, and your university’s student support service – so if you lose the electronic version on your device, you can still get in touch.

    Good luck with your first big solo move!

    To apply for Joburg’s favourite student accommodation, simply visit our site

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