How to pack up your room in a day

27 May 2020
By Rob Slade, Writer at Unite Students

Packing is a pain in the backside at the best of times. But packing in just a few hours? Well, that takes things to a whole new level.

In such strange times, it’s entirely necessary though. The speedy spread of coronavirus caught everybody off-guard, which is why a lot of students have unfortunately been separated from their belongings for weeks.

What this means, then, is that at some point soon you’re going to need to head to your student flat to pick up your belongings, all in the space of a day.  

Or maybe you’re still in your student flat right now, waiting for the end of term and a relaxation of travel restrictions so you can head home.

Whichever category you find yourself in, you’re going to have to pack up all of your belongings soon. And you’ll probably want to do it in the shortest amount of time possible. Because of that, we’ve put together this guide on how to pack up your room in a day.

Step one: Planning

I know, planning to pack up a room hardly sounds like a fun way to spend your time, but it will save you hassle when the time comes. First, make an inventory of what you’ve got in your room and try to remember where you left it. This should give you a good picture of how much stuff you actually have to move.

Then think about what you have to pack your belongings into. Suitcases, rucksacks, storage boxes, cardboard boxes. They all work. Plan out how many cases or boxes you need to take and think about what you can pack into each piece of storage. That way, you (and any helpful family members) know exactly what to do to get packed up.

You may also want to consider taking bin bags. They’re not glamorous, but I’ve used them on many occasions to move quickly. They’re especially handy for packing clothes and bedding.

Beyond that, think about whether you have anything breakable. You could put your valuables and electronics in a small backpack that you can keep close to hand, but how are you going to pack things like glasses, bowls and plates? One idea is to use clothes or bedding to pad these items out to stop them from breaking. Or why not use a couple of old newspapers?

Step two: Decision making

Do you actually want to keep everything in your student flat? If there’s any clothing, kitchen items, electronics, toiletries or long-life food that you don’t want, consider donating it at the British Heart Foundation donation point in your property.

If you have items that you don’t want to keep, but can’t donate, check to see if you can recycle them before dumping them in the bin and sending them to landfill.

Another decision you might need to make is if you want to pick up your belongings at all. Or do you want to put them in storage until heading back to uni in the autumn? 

Sound like a plan? Our partners LOVESPACE will store your things locally, collecting your boxes and then delivering them back to you in September. Plus, you get £10 off for living with us. Easy.

If you need to get your belongings shipped to another location, you may want to see what Baggage Hub can do for you. Better still, you can save 10% if you currently live with us. 

Step three: Execution

When the day arrives to pack up your belongings, you’ll be in a good position thanks to your planning. Make sure you’re clear on what you decided. In fact, you could even take a piece of paper with your plan on. If you have someone with you, make sure they’re familiar with what they need to do.

Once you’re in your flat, pack any breakables first. This way, you can use clothing or bedding to pad it out. With that out of the way, your next priority should be to gather any valuables and pack them somewhere that you know they’ll be safe.

Now you can pack at a quicker pace. Stuff any clothes and bedding into suitcases and bin bags, then start piling any books, DVDs and other items into boxes. Remember to put aside anything you’d like to donate or recycle, which you can do once you’ve removed everything you want to keep.

Finally, if there’s anything you don’t want to keep and can’t recycle or donate (for example, opened or expired food), make sure you dispose of them properly.

Step four: The final checks

When you have everything loaded into your car or van, you’re almost ready to go. But before you head off, head back up to your flat. This is a chance to double check that you haven’t left anything behind. Look under the bed, behind furniture and in drawers and cupboards.

If you’ve got everything, make sure your flat is in a clean and tidy condition, and then you’re good to go. Before leaving, you’ll need to leave your room and letterbox keys at reception.

Don’t forget

While the coronavirus situation continues, you’ll need to keep to the government’s social distancing guidelines, washing your hands regularly and keeping two metres away from anyone you didn’t travel with. 

If you need to use a lift, you should only share it with the people you have travelled with.

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Rob is a writer at Unite Students.