Kitchen Packing: Tricks and Tips.

Everyone talks about what you should be packing for your bedroom at university. Whether on-campus accommodation or off-campus accommodation. I’m guilty of this too. However, one of the important topics that gets glazed over is what you pack for your kitchen. Therefore, this week my blog is going to revolve around that all-important kitchen packing list.

The best way to give credible recommendations is to explore the mistakes I made when packing.

All my kitchen stuff on the day I moved into my Chancellors Court at EHU.

In EHU accommodation, more often than not you’ll get one cupboard in the kitchen for all your stuff, which is tiered into two sections by a shelf. Therefore, do not make the mistake I made and pack a colander, it will take up too much space in your cupboard. I’d recommend a sieve for all your drainage needs, because then you also have something for baking! Also, it’s likely to be a lot cheaper of a purchase.

Another mistake I made was taking too many plates and dishes, realistically I’d say you’d only need two of each if you’re on top of your washing up like I was during first-year.

Onto recommendations rather than mistakes! Buy some kitchen foil and keep stocked up on your kitchen foil. You can use the foil to wrap up leftover food like pizza for your fridge, but also put it on your baking trays to save on washing up. For £3 every few weeks, you can save a lot of time, leftover food, and space in your fridge since wrapping something in foil is more space effective than putting it in plastic boxes (Something I often did).

Even if you’re apprehensive on if you’d use them or not, I suggest packing a measuring jug, mixing bowl, some kind of tin to bake with. Anything you don’t use can just be stored beneath your bed. I didn’t have the desire to bake until Christmas came around, so I was thankful I had a mixing bowl and a nice little square baking tin to use. Besides, baking is a good way to score brownie points with your flatmates (The pun there is very intentional).

Overall it’s better to pack light on your kitchen utensils and so on, you’ll most likely want the extra space in your car for clothes when moving to uni if you’re anything like me!


Revisiting My Packing List.

A few weeks ago my blog post talked about moving out of university accommodation, now as I sit here a few weeks later, it’s time to begin thinking about my packing list for second-year. This blog will hopefully serve to inform upcoming first-years of what I took to university, and also an inspiration for any other readers to consider what their lists might look like for when we go back to university in October.

First and foremost, my packing list for first-year featured a lot of leisure reading books, which on paper is great, but in practice, I probably only needed one book, not my entire Gillian Flynn collection and my entire Vogue collection (My reading is very diverse as you can see). Pick a book you know is easy to read or one you’ve been dying to read and add that to your packing list, at Christmas, you can swap it out, or if you haven’t touched it at all, there’s no harm in taking it home and not replacing it. For myself, I barely touched my books, but read a lot of my Vogue magazines, so for second-year, I’m most likely going to pack those again.

My excessive bookshelf.

Another thing I took too much of was kitchenware. Having doubles of your plates, and cutlery is a good idea, but you don’t need three, or even four, of each like I did. The cupboards in the kitchens are generously sized, but you will fill them up quickly. In place of excessive kitchenware, I recommend Tupperware or other plastic boxes to store excess food, it’ll help you portion control, but also means you don’t need to cook daily. For second-year, I’m planning to only take doubles of my basic kitchenware items to free up space.

In a previous blog I’ve discussed video game consoles, but to add onto that I strongly also recommend a firestick or other streaming device in your packing list, I bought one during my second week of uni, though if you take a PS4 or Xbox One, both those consoles have the streaming capabilities of a firestick so you may find you’re better picking one or the other. I plan to take my PS4 to uni’ in October, so may end up leaving my firestick at home.

Beyond those suggestions, the basics still apply. You’ll want to make sure you pack toiletries, stationery, a few notepads, very basic items you would’ve used at home daily or in your studies at college or sixth form. Your packing list will look very different to other’s in some areas, and that’s ok. The point of a packing list for university is to ensure you take items you need, but also take items that provide your comforts. Your new friends might be avid readers, while you only took one book, so its wise to never use one list you see online as gospel. For second, or even third-years, it’s important to reflect on what you took the year prior and realise what you didn’t use a lot, you’ll thank me for that suggestion when you need to move out again at the end of the academic year.


Return to University – Post Placement

Hey everyone, as I have been at home for the past 8 weeks completing my second professional practice, I thought I would share with you how I am preparing to return to university after being away for so long.

After being away from university life for so long, I feel that it will be strange to adapt to living away from home again but, luckily I will be going back to some great friends and is the first step to help me prepare to go back to university.

I have already arranged to meet up with friends as soon as I get off the plane which I know will really help me calm the nerves. I always make sure that there is someone in the house or in the flat so that I am not coming back to an empty space. Having friends or someone to meet you when you come back from being away for so long can be calming and help you get right back on track again!

I know that last year when I was at home for Christmas, I left all my packing very last minute before I came back to university which led to even more stress and did not help the nerves of leaving home. I always found the packing element stressful anyway because I am a neat freak and NEED everything to fit into the case and when I left it all to last minute…well, you can imagine how that went…

Image result for packing struggles gifs

This time, I am packing little by little until I leave so that I don’t get overwhelmed and make the process harder and more stressful. It also allows me more time to pack everything nice and neatly and calm my frantic mind.

To soften the blow of going back to university, I have decided to get a start on some assignments I have due in a few weeks and so, I have started to read articles and make rough plans for my next, looming assignment. 

Reading articles with some sweet help!

I find that it is better to ease yourself into uni life again after being away for so long. For me, starting early lessens the stress of all the work that is ahead of me. I often find that working in a group together to get started on something always helps me get motivated and back on track with uni life and work.

I hope that this helps or some find it relatable. If you are like me and struggle to return back to university after being at home for a long period of time, just know that all it takes is a couple of days before you are back into the swing of things again and that there is a load of help and support at Edge Hill University.

“My body needs laughter as much as it needs tears. Both are cleansers of stress.”

Mahogany SilverRain

Moving Out

Hi guys, considering it’s what most students will be doing around this time, I thought it would be a good idea to  talk about moving out of accommodation for the summer and what to expect when it’s your time to do the same.

Whether you live on or off campus you will probably be expected to have the place tidy for when you leave, obviously out of courtesy but also because it’s usually in the contract to leave the place in the state you first found it and naturally you would want to avoid any possible dispute. This can be tedious, especially if your room’s a bit of a mess come summer time after being bogged down in work but just take it step by step and you should end up with a floor you can actually see! I always take photographs of the place before I leave just in case any issues arise afterwards you can say “yes it was left tidy”.

Throwing away food will probably be necessary, in my experience no matter how hard I tried I always ended up having to throw away food because I keep buying stuff. Just make sure you  make sure it needs to be thrown away, certain stuff can be fine to keep onto next year if your in the same flat. Additionally if you are in  uni halls it’s worth offering spare food to your flatmates who may be staying longer, who can argue with free food?

In terms of travel, coming from Northern Ireland I have brought stuff back by car on the boat as I have too much stuff to take on the plane so that will be an option for some if you live somewhere overseas.  If you don’t have that option there are moving companies which will transport your boxes of stuff for a fee.

Also, if living on campus you have to let the uni know when your leaving and most importantly remember to drop your keys off to the security hut, or if off campus, return to the estate agents/landlord.

Hope this helps, thanks for reading.



Uni Top Tips

Hello again!

Freshers week seems like so long ago for an old biddy like me… but there are certainly things that I wish I knew before coming to university! Here are a few:

  1. It is impossible NOT to make friends

Like a lot of people, your main concern right now might be finding those you’ll get on with. And trust me… you will definitely find them. You will meet soooo many students who are likely to also have the same concern! Take your time and enjoy speaking to new people.

  1. You probably don’t need that extra tea towel

I bought SO much stuff that I have barely used. You DON’T need 3 frying pans, 4 tea towels and 15 spices. Okay maybe I exaggerated a little. However once I settled in my accommodation, I realised that I bought too many things with such little uses. If you forget something you actually need, you can always pick it up next time your home.

  1. Cutlery goes missing

No matter how much you buy and no matter where you put it, it gets lost. And I don’t mean there’s a cutlery thief…there is a cutlery ghost. I have no idea how it happens or where my forks end up, but I am now down to one tea spoon and a pair of scissors. Honestly it is a MYSTERY. So ignore point 2 – bring as much cutlery as you possibly can.

  1. Library luck

I never went to the library to do my work for sixth form as I was never really a fan (or thought I wasn’t). HOWEVER, it has now become my second home. Edge Hill’s new Catalyst building offers 4 floors of work spaces of different noise levels, with meeting rooms, printing hubs and even its own café. I would highly recommend visiting, as I wish I had visited more for my first couple of years at uni!


Balancing work and play can be easy to preach but harder to do. Edge Hill have so many people who are there to support you such as student guides, tutors and the student help desk where you can find one-to-one support if needed. No one should be working 24/7, and university is the time to go out n about!! So make sure you look after yourself, and treat yo’ self to day trips and nights out with your mates.

Thanks for reading, have a fantastic week!



Preparing to Leave Home

Hi everyone, for my second blog I’m just going to talk a little about moving out of home for the first time and going to University, and what you can do to prepare to make the transition more manageable, enjoyable and hopefully A lot less stressful!

1. Pack early: I know this might seem obvious but starting your packing even a week before leaving home is a really good idea, trust me. You don’t realise until it comes to packing how much stuff you need to bring with you, clothes, gadgets, trinkets and whatever else begin to pile up really quickly. In my personal experience even though I had done most of my packing by the time I was ready to leave, I still found myself running around like a headless chicken looking for my headphones and whatever else I realised I would definitely need.


2. Book travel well in advance: Doing this not only saves a lot of stress but also a lot of money. Obviously depending on where you live or your travel situation circumstances will be different but if you know you will be travelling by train or boat or plane, booking earlier can save you a lot of hassle that can be caused by booked up journeys or lack of luggage, space say if you were going on a busy flight and needed cabin baggage. In my experience if you book for example, A flight a month beforehand which in my case was coming over from Northern Ireland, an early booked flight would only usually cost £10/20 but leave it too close to the date and you could end up paying more like £50/60 which is a LOT more if you’re a budgeting student.


3. Don’t worry if your late: I know you definitely want to arrive on time for your moving in day and you most likely will, but on the off-chance you don’t (like me) don’t stress, Edge Hill is very accommodating and even though I was one of the last people to pick up my keys, someone still took the time to show me to my accommodation where I finally arrived to meet my flatmates for the first time, which didn’t make any difference that I was late as everyone was also still pretty nervous! Moral of the story, chill out it will be fine :).

Before it starts…

In my blog post earlier I spoke about what happens when Uni finished, but for all you lucky people this is miles away!

So what will you need to bring to uni when you’re living in halls? Well all your necessities… unfortunately this is not a holiday where you can pack a suitcase and be done. I would highly recommend you start gathering these things ASAP to reduce your panic and stress nearer the time! There’s a lot you will need to pack that you don’t think of, you will need everything from toiletries to pans!

  • Toiletries- shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste/brush!
  • Kitchen pots and pans, knives and forks, spatulas, spoons etc. Plates and trays.
  • Towels, bath mat, toothbrush holder, soap and toilet roll. (If you’re lucky enough to have an ensuite, don’t forget toilet roll!)
  • A single quilt, pillows, a fitted sheet, duvet cover and pillow cases.
  • Maybe a lamp for your bed side table.
  • Clothes, pyjamas, underwear, socks, shoes (even your winter wear i.e. a coat, gloves, hat, scarves etc.) Do not forget coat hangers!
  • A bag for your uni things, folders, paper pads, stationary, calculator and a laptop!
  • Don’t forget your makeup, straighteners etc. girls or drama students!
  • Sports wear if you fancy heading to the gym or joining a sporty society!
  • General bits and bobs to make your room more homely/cosy!
  • Oh and food essentials! Bread, milk, sauces, pasta… the staple student diet!

You may forget somethings or think you don’t need them, then change your mind! However at uni there are plenty of shops in Ormskirk where you can pick bits up from! With your uni card you can get the uni bus from Edge Hill to the town centre which is extremely convenient, especially if you have a lot of shopping to carry!

So if you’re moving from far away and you know your means of travel will not allow you to transport a lot of items, then you can always go shopping for it! So either way you won’t go without!

Good luck packing!

Moving on

It may seem far too early to be thinking out about moving back home for the summer, but I’ve found that moving out slowly but surely is one of the most efficient ways of doing so.

First things first have a good spring clean, it might sound boring but you accumulate a lot of stuff whist at uni. You’ll come across leaflets from fresher’s week that you’ve stuffed at the back of wardrobe and hundreds of water bottles that just seem to be stacking up. Once you have gotten rid of all your rubbish you’ll find that you already feel as though you have less stuff to think about taking home.

Next thing to do is think about what you haven’t used, haven’t worn or will no longer need. For me this includes things like winter shoes, scarves and books. I try to take home little bits at a time so as to not be weighed down on the journey home. If you do this frequently you will find it so much easier when it comes to the actual big move out day. You will also begin to realise how many things you’ve brought to uni that you have never used, write these things down and remember for next year as if you’ve managed for a year you probably don’t need to bring them back again. For me this included items such as

  • a colander
  • copious amounts of Tupperware
  • far too many decorative ornaments/picture frames
  • every piece of clothing I’ve ever worn ever, that I suddenly thought I would need whilst at university

By doing these things when it comes to moving out you should have a much easier time. On that day though it’s important to be just as organised. My advice would be to label and sort things into what you’ll need at home and what can stay packed until next year. This saves you the hassle of unpacking everything to find that one thing you realised you can’t manage without and also saves repacking everything again over the summer. Invest in some good storage boxes and they will hopefully see you through the three years of moving in and out.

Last but not least be prepared at home. Condensing two rooms back into one may not seem like a big deal but when you’ve got a room full of IKEA bags, storage boxes and suitcases your motivation to organise them may suddenly disappear and they will remain there until September rolls around. Try and make a space for the things that are labelled as what you will not need. I was lucky enough to have space in the garage, but even making space in your bedroom, wardrobe, shed or loft in order to keep these things out of your way. Just make sure that your possessions are tightly sealed and out of the damp as the last thing you want is to get back to uni start unpacking and realise that everything is ruined.

So overall preparation is key, and by doing little and often you are likely to avoid the stress of moving out. Be able to pack the car up with ease, and settle back in at home without being surrounded with tableware and folders.

What to Bring!

Ok, so coming up to uni you’ll probably be gathering your essentials already… and if you’re lucky enough, some luxuries too! So in September you don’t want to be in a mad rush to gather your things together or get the things you’ve forgotten a few days before you’re due to arrive-  or even in Ormskirk on Welcome Sunday as you’ll be so busy!

So you will need AT LEAST the bare essentials such as:

  • Single Bedding (Quilt, pillows, bedding, mattress protector)
  • Kitchen Essentials (Cutlery, Pots/Pans, Cups, Mugs)
  • Clothes and shoes for every occasion… hopefully this is presumed!
  • Food (enough to keep you going until you find your feet)
  • Laptop and Stationery… DO NOT FORGET YOUR CHARGERS!!
  • Any Documents you may need (ID for going out, Student ID doesn’t always suffice)

Also, if you’re lucky enough to be staying in a room with a TV and you have enough room/can manage it, bring your Xbox or Playstation with you too! Home comforts are the best and if you’re living far away from home the more you have the better – you’ll definitely appreciate them.

Basically you can  bring anything to uni… except for pets *sad face*… oh well, you can always Skype them courtesy of your family, if that’s not too weird ahah! Just make sure you don’t overpack or acquire a collection of junk/things you don’t need because this will be a huge pain when you move out in June next year, especially if you don’t live nearby as multiple trips will be out of the question!

So basically… keep to only what you need – have fun deciding!

Packing for University – TOP TIPS

This week I finished my second year of university! The stress of coursework and exams has finally lifted, but now comes the stress of packing up to go home! I yet again have seriously under estimated the amount of stuff I own and am now panicking how to pack it all away on my own without the help of my mum (yes it’s true I still rely on my mum to pack!). So today I thought I’d shine a light on how I’ve managed to cram all of my stuff into a small space effectively – including my un-necessarily large lipstick collection, to give you some tips of how to pack for university, and a few tips of what not to bring!

1. Firstly, vacuum pack bags are your best friend! I’ve managed to fit a grand total of 4 towels, 4 pillows, 2 cushions, a coat, 3 jumpers and a hoodie into one squished bag! They are so worth the investment and a great way to transport your stuff, especially if you only have a small car.
2. Don’t just bring everything from your wardrobe, you never wear it all! Let’s be real, you’re a student and you’re going to live in trackies and a hoodie the majority of the time. ps. ladies you’ll only need the one pair of heels – and you’ll wear them once in freshers week and never again!
3. Don’t bring every single kitchen utensil ever invented – you won’t need them all and everyone else in your flat will bring them and you’ll end up with 7 potato mashers!
4. Shoe Boxes are a saviour – for transportation purposes these are amazing for all those little things that won’t go anywhere else! I think mine’s filled with sun glasses, fake lashes and all other sorts of junk – but they are really handy so don’t throw them out. I’m currently using my GHD box to store my lipstick collection – pretty inventive storage i think!
5. Bag for Life – Not only awesome for transporting things but you’ll need them for when you’ve got that trek from Morrisons back to halls with your weekly shopping.

ps. if you need any more packing inspiration, check out this video!