So.. let’s face it. By this point, you would have already scoured through deluge of information as to packing – what to pack, when to pack, even tips on how to minimise the space in your luggage. Hopefully this post would give you concrete tips that you can bring to paper and address your concerns!


Emotional state before packing:

We know that packing is obligatory before travelling anywhere, much less moving to university! Before we discuss the 5W1H of packing, I think it would be more useful to discuss our emotional state. Even before drawing up a packing list, or relentlessly convincing your parents that you actually don’t need that extra 28 inches pan and yes you do need 9 notebooks, make sure you are CALM. Patience is a virtue and it applies to packing as well!

So.. what do we even pack?? Well, sorry to keep you waiting but let’s explore WHEN to start packing! Before you pack, you would need to purchase your necessary (okay fine… desired) items which you should have adequately drawn up.


Drawing up a Packing List:

A systematic way of doing a packing list is to include these factors: item, a vigorous vetting process of the item which will be discussed shortly, details of purchase and categorising that item.

So what is this vigorous vetting process?

  1. Ask yourself whether you truly NEED this item. There are some questions to aid you with this:
    1. Do you foresee yourself using it adequately?
    2. Do you see yourself using it often to warrant space in your already minimal 23kg luggage?
    3. Are there cheaper AND better alternatives in London?
    4. Is this an item that can only exclusively be obtained from your country? Perhaps there might be ways around this sticky situation – do online websites allow you to purchase this item? (e.g. Amazon, e-bay, etc)
  2. Details of purchase:
    1. Where can you purchase your item in your local country? Do you have to travel to a supermarket or could you get that item in your neighbourhood store?
    2. How much is this item? Could you scour for cheaper deals?
    3. Are you going to allocate a weekend to purchase your items or would you prefer to do it in small bursts and consistently?
  3. Categorising the item:
    1. Proposed categories include: utensils and crockery, toiletries and feminine products, necessary medications and contact lenses, comfort items (e.g. that childhood soft toy, or snacks that you can only get from your home country)



After you have drawn up the list, vetted it relentlessly with others’ input, and purchased your product, it’s now time to start packing!

There are a few hack-it blogs and vlogs that teach you how to pack efficiently (e.g. rolling your clothes instead of folding them, looping your belt around the collars of your dress shirt). These resources are useful:

That said, I hope you stay calm and PACK!


Sharmila Devi