Monday, 18 May 2009

Packing, to pack, pack.

cases flint knits
See full sized image by flint knits@Flickr here.

End of term.
It’s almost here for me, while for other people I know it’s already done and dusted. One more exam and I’m free for 105 days before having to repack everything and move back. But I’m more concerned with the packing that I’ve got to do… yesterday. I’ve not done it yet. I have another week before I’m taking almost everything home (then one more week being a minimalist) but I want to get everything packed soon so I can see if I need any more boxes (which I think I will). In hindsight, I brought far too many things with me to university, and though I’ve taken a lot of it home, in the past week I’ve managed to fill two holdalls and a large plastic storage box and my room still seems cluttered and full. I’ve definitely learned my lesson but we’ll see if it carries on to next year.

My real problem is I brought far too much to university with me in the first place – I have things here which I’ve never used or worn. When I tried to think ahead to what I would need I drastically overestimated and thus over packed. I really could’ve been a bit more minimalistic about it all and only brought:

  • Clothes I like and wear – not everything that fits you in your wardrobe; if you haven’t worn it for 6 months prior throw it, donate it, leave it, whatever. Really you only need enough clothes to last you between washes – in my case I wash my clothes every week, week and a half so in theory only need 10 days worth of clothes, but a little bit of variety is nice.
  • As above, but with shoes.
  • Fancy clothes – eg. fancy dress. Bring one proper fancy dress outfit and also school stuff. Why do you need school stuff in university? Because there’s always a school themed night. Also so swimming/beach clothes – always a themed night.
  • Accessories – only the ones you use/wear. I brought a load of scarves that I had collected over the past couple of years and I think I wore maybe two of them once each.
  • Towels/bedding (if not supplied) – maybe two sets. Definitely not more – you only need a set to use and one for when your other ones are in the wash. And please, please, please, bring something to cover up with after a shower like a bath robe – I’m sick of seeing one of my flatmates half naked all the time, it’s not nice.
  • Toiletries that I actually use. I brought all my make up with me, and even though I had a throw out of stuff that’s old or out of date I still have a lot that I don’t use.

I ended up with a lot of stuff sitting gathering dust (literally, this room is helluva dusty all the time) and not getting used, meaning I brought them for nothing. Of course everyone’s different – some people might actually wear everything they take.

Ding, fries are done.
Kitchen items though are something that I didn’t skimp on quantity of, and I’m glad of it now. I brought three plates, bowls, etc. and at least one of each has been broken or chipped badly. I’m glad my parents and I bought cheap in that respect, with each piece only costing £1 or £1.50 as some people look like they have some expensive items which would be a pain to replace if they were broken (which is extremely likely to happen in a student kitchen). I also bought cheap for pots and pans, as I figured that someone else might use them and burn them (which they did) or that they might go missing (which they have). The ones I do have left will just be thrown out at the end of the term and I’ll buy new, better quality, ones to replace them.
Alternatively, a lot of people now log on to social networking sites before they head off to university to see if they can make friends with people on their course before they go. I highly recommend this as I found a girl I would actually be living with during the year this way. If you’re lucky enough to do this, and manage to find a good chunk of the people you’re living with, you could agree before hand which kitchen items people are to bring so that you don’t end up with a million and four kettles and toasty makers.

That’s the home time bell.
I’m leaving university halls in less than two weeks now as I mentioned above. I did a little bit more packing between when I started writing this and today and now have almost everything that I’m taking home this weekend in one of many bags, though I’ll be making a few last minute additions on Friday (such as my own bedding, since it takes up so much space, and I’ll spend the last week using the bedding provided by the university). With my room now semi-empty and bags everywhere, I think I’ve definitely learned my lesson on what I should and shouldn’t take with me next semester. Now I just need to figure out how I’m going to pack my toasty maker.

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