Packing Up Your Student Room: The Stress-Free 7-Day Method

It’s been nearly a whole two semesters since you arrived fresh-faced and expectant at university halls. You probably only had a couple of suitcases and a TV when your parents helped you into your new room.

You don’t know how it happened, but despite the lack of funds this year, you appear to have acquired a considerable amount of books, clothes, fancy dress outfits and a traffic cone.

It’s not (all) your fault – You did needs those books for the course, and you can’t get them all on your iPad.

How are you going to sort through this mess to move out of halls?

Follow our plan to tame the chaos in your room so you can leave your halls in full control, knowing you left your space in the best state possible to win back your deposit.



Don’t wait for mum to arrive

Yes, you are busy with exams, revision and coursework, end of term parties not to mention your upcoming plans to Interrail around Europe, but don’t leave it for mum to sort out on the morning she picks you up.

Mums can perform a lot of miracles, but be reasonable – Make sure by the time she arrives with the car, everything is packed and ready to go into the boot and you’ve still got time to make her a cuppa.

Tidy up

Before you can start packing and sorting out, tidy your room. Get rid of any mouldy food items and pizza boxes so you can clear the way for the real work to begin.

Don’t forget to look under the bed for stray socks. Vacuum and dust to create a clean canvas for the day two.


Buy some boxes/crates

It is painful to see student packing consisting of plastic carrier bags chucked in the boot. Get some strong containers such as cardboard boxes or crates. The important thing is that they have substantial space to fit a lot of clothes, books or folders. This means you can neatly categorise your items and carry them to the car easily.

DAYS 3 & 4

Sort and categorise your items

Be ruthless in getting rid of anything you won’t need next term. Don’t be hasty in giving your books away before you get your results. If you know you won’t have to resit any modules, you can sell your textbooks through the university or online.

Organise your belongings into:

  • clothes
  • books
  • course notes
  • DVDs/CDs
  • electronics
  • toiletries,
  • food items,
  • cleaning products
  • towels and bedding
  • crockery

Use one crate for each of these categories, adding a second if required.

Take care of posters, rolling them up carefully so they don’t get creased. Don’t force Blu-Tack off the wall. Go round the leftover Blu-Tack spots to eliminate any unsightly marks.  You want to leave your room as you found it.

Keep the items you will need separate

Don’t make the mistake of burying your wallet and phone at the bottom of one of your crates. Put them in your everyday backpack or handbag so they don’t get muddled in with your other things.

While in the midst of decluttering, you will want to know where your phone is so you can at least tell the time.


Agree the household clearing in advance

All that sorting will have disturbed a lot of dust, so you need to vacuum and dust again. Wipe away any dirt or stray hairs from inside drawers.

If you are living in a shared house, make sure to contribute to the household cleaning. This should be split between all housemates to share the load. If one person is leaving the house before the others, they can still help by cleaning the oven.

Household chore breakdown

  • Living room – Vacuum the floor, under cushions on sofas. Dust and polish furniture.
  • Landing and hall – Vacuum and dust
  • Kitchen – Sweep and mop the floor, clean the oven, clean the worktops including the hob and around the sink, wipe outside the cupboards. Wipe the inside of the cupboards once they have been emptied.
  • Bathroom – Clean the toilet inside and around the seat and cistern. Clean the bath and wash basin including around the taps. Give the tiles and shower panel some shine. Sweep and mop the floor.
  • Utilities – Decide who is going to speak to your electricity supplier and internet provider to terminate the contract.

Find a way to enjoy it

Whether cleaning can ever be considered fun is still up for debate, but you can create a sense of camaraderie by all everyone doing their agreed chores on the same day. Decide what time you will all be finished and then go out for the evening as a reward/good bye drink.



Now your things are organised, you need to do some last minute jobs before leaving the house.

  • Strip the bed and pack the sheets.
  • Put away the towels, pyjamas toothbrush and toiletries.
  • Freshen up the bathroom one more time: clean the loo and wash away any toothpaste in the sink.
  • Check under your bed, inside drawers and around the place to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.
  • Leave your key with any remaining housemates or return it to the landlord as agreed.



If you are between student accommodation, why go to the effort of taking everything back home only to return it all in September? Take out a storage unit instead and save yourself the hassle.

Find out more about the storage units you can rent with Rent A Space.


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