Top tips for students moving into halls

With university starting up for many freshers, if you haven’t already finalised your first-year accommodation, time is running short!

Living away from home for the first time can be a daunting experience. What are the main things you need to consider when choosing accommodation and preparing to move into your new home for the term?

Doing your research

As soon as you find out which university you’ll be attending, start researching the different accommodation options available. You’ll want to look at things like how many people will share your flat, the size of your room and shared areas, whether you’ll have an en suite or a shared bathroom, and how close it is to the campus, local shops, and of course the nearest bar!

If you have a disability, contact your university as soon as possible so they can help you find housing that meets your needs.

Finding out how soon you can move in

Most residences will be available several weeks before the official start of the term, sometimes earlier for international students. The sooner you can arrive, unload your belongings and unpack, the sooner you can meet people and take advantage of the pre-term fresher activities!

Being aware of space when packing

Regardless of the size of your new bedroom, you will likely have far less storage space than at home, so try to be conservative while packing. Bear in mind that you will only be in halls for around 9 to 10 months, so just pack what you need.

Getting help packing, moving and unpacking

Even if you’ve managed to reduce your packing, chances are you’ll struggle to pack and move all your belongings by yourself. Ask a friend or family member to help. If you can’t fit everything in a car, you may want to hire professionals to assist. Pickfords’ Man and Van service is designed for smaller, budget moves, with the flexibility to choose the level of service you need.

Sorting out insurance

While your accommodation should already have buildings insurance, you will need to arrange your own contents cover. This will protect items inside your room, such as clothes, TVs and games consoles, against loss or theft.

Depending on the plan you choose, you can also protect against accidental damage and purchase cover for outside your room or while out and about. Explore options for laptop, phone, gadget or musical instrument cover to suit your needs.

Checking if you need a TV licence

Some halls may already have a TV licence for communal rooms, but if you want a TV in your own room, you will need to pay for a separate TV licence.

Finding out your holiday storage options

You might not be able to keep your belongings at university during the holidays, or you wish to move back with family during Christmas or Easter. In which case, you’ll need somewhere to store your belongings outside term time.

Pickfords has a national network of storage centres, ideal for students. You can share a storage container with others to save money, or visit one of our local Self Store centres for an easy-access storage solution.

What are students’ options over summer?


With the summer break rapidly approaching for many students, tenancy contracts may also be coming to an end in line with the holidays, potentially leaving several weeks or months between student accommodations.

Most students will stay with friends or family, or find temporary accommodation during this time, but what about your belongings? What are your options for storing your stuff during the summer months?

Call upon family

Many students move back to their family home for the summer. A couple of months’ worth of home cooked meals, a full fridge and clean clothes can be pretty hard to turn down!

If your family have the space, you may have the option to take your belongings back home with you and store them in your parents’ loft, garage, or any spare room they may have available. If you have access to storage space back home, all you need to worry about it safely packing and transporting your possessions.

Make sure your belongings are packed safely, with extra care taken with any delicate or valuable items. If you’re in need of packing materials to ensure the safe transportation of your belongings, Pickfords has a wide range of boxes, wrap, tape and other materials to secure your goods.

If you have too many possessions to fit in a car, or items which are too large, you may wish to hire a professional moving company to assist you. Pickfords’ Man and Van service is designed for small moves on a budget, with the flexibility to choose exactly the level of service you need.

Ask friends

If you’re an international student or have moved particularly far from your family home, going home for the summer many not be a viable option.

In this case, you may be able to stay with friends locally during the holiday period. If you have a small number of possessions, you may be able to store them at your friend’s place. If packing your goods yourself, you may find it helpful to refer to these packing hints and tips or follow our packing tutorials to ensure your items are safe and secure during transit to your friend’s home.

Take out some storage space

Whether you move back with family, stay at a friend’s or in temporary accommodation, you may find that it won’t be possible to take all your belongings with you. If so, you will need somewhere to store some of your goods during the holiday period.

Pickfords has a nation-wide network of storage centres, ideal for students. You can choose to share a storage container with other students to save on cost, or visit one of our Self Store centres at Cambridge, York, Edinburgh or Bath for an easy access storage solution.

Protecting your possessions in storage and transit


There’s a lot at stake during your move, so it’s important to make sure you are adequately prepared. Aside from the money, time and effort it takes to move home, you need to take into account everything you are moving with you. Your furniture, clothes, and belongings may hold great value, whether financial or emotional. Nobody wants to arrive at their new home to find that some of their prized possessions and treasured memories have been lost or broken during the move.

You may be moving out of one home and into another on the same day, so will only need to protect your belongings during the moving process. Alternatively, you may be moving country, or may have to store your possessions while in between properties, so you’ll need to take this into account when protecting your belongings.

When you move home, make sure your goods are packed securely in clearly labelled boxes. For more valuable items, it’s always best to secure them with padding, such as bubble wrap, to add an extra layer of protection.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends or family, or hire a professional removal company who can make the packing and moving process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

If you need to store some of your belongings during your move, use a company you can trust. Pickfords have a nationwide network of storage facilities, with a solution to suit every situation.