Simple and practical moving tips for students in South Africa and how to store belongings during transit and while at uni.

moving tips for students

Moving into res or digs for the first time is exciting. Getting all your belongings safely there is less so.


These eight tips will help you make the move quickly, efficiently and hassle-free.


1. Find out about the new space

Before you start packing, there are questions you need to ask. Firstly, find out if your new room is furnished.


Does the room have security? Will you share a bathroom? Is there air conditioning? Are there kitchen appliances – a kettle, toaster and microwave?


Based on the answers, you’ll get a better idea of what to pack.


2. Pack for the long-term

When you’re studying at college or university, you must plan and pack for the long-term.


That usually involves packing clothing, sports equipment and recreational gear for the changing seasons.


If space is an issue and there’s nowhere to safely store the items not in use, it may be cost effective to hire a self-storage unit rather than going home to collect different items.


3. Co-ordinate timing and furnishings

When there are lots of students moving into the same accommodation, moving day can be hectic. Communicate with your housemates to stagger the arrival and unpacking times.


Discuss who’s going to bring what in terms of utensils, furniture, appliances and other shared items.


4. Protect your mattress

Taking your own mattress to digs may seem like a luxury but it will be more comfortable and hygienic.


The best way to protect your mattress during transit is to wrap it in plastic. You can use black refuse bags and tape them together or invest in a mattress bag.


Purpose-made mattress bags are your best bet. They’re durable, low-cost and available in a range of sizes to ensure a snug fit.


5. Make creative use of day-to-day items

When moving, try to lessen the load. Rather than buying cardboard boxes, use the items you already have. Cooler boxes, laundry bags, refuse bags and sports totes can be filled with various items.


Valuables can be slipped into pillow cases, fragile items wrapped in towels and glasses popped into socks to provide extra cushioning. Even a full-length mirror can be safely transported wrapped in a duvet or blanket.


6. Pack books and papers correctly

As a student, you’ll have plenty of books, folders and lecture notes. Documents and paperwork are less likely to be damaged when they’re packed in heavy-duty plastic boxes with sealable lids.


Books should be organised by size and stowed in small, durable, easy-to-lift boxes. They can be packed spine down, standing up or on their backs. For the best results, plug all the gaps in the boxes with T-shirts, socks or hand towels.


If you choose cardboard over more resilient plastic moving boxes, strengthen each box by securing the bottom seam with a double layer of tape.


7. Share a self-store unit over the holidays

Instead of taking your valuables home at the end of each semester, consider renting a self-storage unit.


The best storage facilities offer state-of-the-art security, month-to-month rental rates and convenient drive-in access for drop-offs and collections.


By teaming up with one or two students, you can cut costs by renting a large unit to accommodate all your goods.


8. Rent plastic moving boxes

If you want to move quickly, efficiently and with the least possible damage to your possessions, reusable plastic moving boxes are highly recommended.


Ecoboxes are durable, stackable and have a 70-litre capacity. They can store books, clothes, shoes, papers and fragile items. Each Ecobox is equipped with a sealable lid to provide optimal protection.


You can hire as many plastic boxes as you need online – at an affordable daily rate – and get them delivered at one address and collected from another.


How XtraSpace can help

At XtraSpace, we offer clean, secure self-storage units. These are ideal for students who need to store items during the academic year or when they go home during holidays.


Contact us for more information or browse to find a branch near you.


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