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Moving to University vs. Staying at home

University comes with the promise of exciting new beginnings, personal development and lifestyle changes. For many, it will also mark the first time they’ve moved away from the place they grew up and called home for the first 18 years of their lives – or even longer, in some cases. 

You don’t need us to remind you how exciting, or big, this step in your life can be. But, there are many things to factor in at this time: When are you going to go? What course are you going to take? How will you adjust to living on your own?

The last question around living arrangements may cause some sticking points. Do you rent a place and live with friends in your new city/town? Do you move into halls, or do you stay at home? It’s a big decision, and whilst there’s no right or wrong answer, it’s something that’s going to affect you for the next three years of your life, at least.

So, if you need a hand with your decision, we’ve drawn up some helpful considerations to help make your mind up.


The subject you’re going to study is why you’re at this crossroads of moving away or living at home. But, as not all universities offer the same courses, you’ll need to look around to find your available options and facilities. 

Once you know your potential list of universities, you can start narrowing down based on areas you either want to live or are close enough to commute to a few times a week. Do you want to go somewhere just enough distance away from home where you can have independence, or are you reliant on home comforts such as your own bed or your family’s cooking?


One of the sticking points for many moving to university is the state of accommodation you’ll potentially be calling your new home. For freshers, you’re likely, and really should, go into student halls if you move away. 

Not only will you meet a diverse mix of people from all walks of life, but you’ll also meet coursemates, new friends and even potentially a romantic interest (or two!). You’ll also learn to live independently, picking up valuable life skills such as how to cook (or at least how to put food in the microwave!), clean and do your own laundry.

However, perhaps understandably, not everyone is keen to live in a room that looks like a down-budget version of a Swedish prison cell, especially at the price of some rooms in bigger cities. Staying at home for some means you’re away from unclean flatmates, noisy neighbours and cramped living arrangements – although the repercussions could be that you’re missing out on social events and time bonding with your fellow students.

Social Life

Whilst your studies play a crucial role in shaping your future, for many, one of the main attractions of moving away to university is the social side of things. 

It might feel strange at first, but once you’re in and settled, you’ll find there’s nothing better than the newfound freedom of being in university accommodation with new friends. Not only do you have a world of independence, but you can live on your own terms, something you probably haven’t been able to do whilst living at home. 

However, if you’re a quieter person, or even someone who isn’t necessarily fond of new people and environments, living at university, particularly in halls, may not be for you. And that’s okay too – it’s not for everyone! 

In a place where you don’t know anyone, and are forced to make new ties, university can quickly become an isolated experience. Sure, it would be nice to finish your lecture and be in your room again a few minutes later or have a place to come home to after a night celebrating Freshers Week, but it doesn’t have to define your social life or time at university. 


As good as this all seems, you also have to consider the costs associated with living at university; it isn’t cheap, and your student loan will only stretch so far! On top of accommodation costs, you will need to buy food, pay for travel (buses to your campus or town), and have enough left for books, shopping and going out. 

Some people opt to stay at home for the sake of money, especially if they can get a job at home. That way, they only have to cover travel expenses and university fees with the odd social event factored in from time to time. In the current climate, more people may opt to stay at home to save extra money, but if you want the real university experience, living on campus is unparalleled. You’ll still get to meet new friends through your course, societies and extracurricular activities you choose to do, but you may feel left out when they’re spending evenings on campus together whilst you’re at home.

Ultimately, if you ask 100 people who have been to university for their opinions, you’ll likely get 100 different answers. It mostly comes down to personal preference; some people prefer to be at home, whereas others crave the freedom that comes with living away from home. It’s dependent on the type of person you are and the experience you wish to gain from this.

It can also be quite a hassle physically moving to university, but we can always help you with that part! Visit our website, www.anyvan.com and get a free quote for moving your things.

Whatever route you choose to go down, make sure you do it because it’s what you want to do. Don’t feel pressured or persuaded into a decision you may regret. University is a big part of your life and a great experience, so you want to make sure you enjoy the way that’s best for you; good luck!

AnyVan - Move Anything, Anywhere.
No matter what you are moving: from a King-Sized bed to a framed picture of the Queen; a Grand Piano to a classic Capri; we’ll take care of it all the way from Penzance to Peterhead and beyond.

Unpacking your New Home

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Unpacking in your new home is arguably more challenging, and time-consuming, than the original packing. For some, this is a chance to get the ball rolling in making your new place feel like it belongs to you, whilst others may recoil in horror at the size of the task at hand.

Regardless of whichever school of thought you may belong to, the task is going nowhere, meaning that like it or love it, those boxes need unpacking.

Getting started

Just like how we said to pack with a system, you need to unpack with one too. Pack an ‘Open First’ box for each room, in which you have the absolute essentials, such as phone chargers, a toothbrush or medicine. 

For your kitchen and bathroom, this first box you open should include cleaning products so you can wipe surfaces down before unpacking. Doing so also allows you to use shelf liners, which makes future cleaning that little easier. 

Carry out checks

Especially relevant for those renting a property, carry out checks of everything before you start to unpack and photograph any damage so you can protect your deposit. Ensure you do this before unpacking to remove the threat of any disputes.

In rare instances, accidents can happen. On the off chance damage has happened, and before your removal company has left, carry out checks on everything in the house they have brought in. It could be considerably easier to file a dispute – and resolve it – if an issue is immediately flagged.

Fragile box

Unpack the most important things first

By labelling boxes as you pack them, you give yourself the best chance of efficiently unpacking at your destination. Consider including an inventory inside each box, or taped to the outside, as a reminder of the contents. 

Where practical, and possible, after labelling boxes, pack your removal vehicle in reverse order. This approach allows you to prioritise getting the items you need soonest off the truck. It also removes the pressure to try and unpack everything in one go, as your first few boxes should contain whatever is necessary to get through the first few days.

Unpack one room at a time

The time you arrive at your new house may play a part in determining where you begin. But, regardless of if you start with your bathroom or living room, focus on one room at a time to speed the process up.

Once your surfaces are wiped clean, it may make sense to start with the kitchen. You will undoubtedly be spending a lot of time there, but are you going to spend hours making dinner after loading and unloading a van all day, or does a pizza delivery sound more reasonable? If so, a wise place to begin could be your bedroom. 

As anyone who has moved can attest, moving is incredibly taxing on both your body and mind – the last thing that anyone wants to do when exhausted is assemble a bed. 

Think sustainably

Chances are, you will have used a lot of boxes and packing materials to protect your valuables during your move. But, what are you going to do with it all once you have unpacked?

Packing boxes with materials such as newspaper or bubble wrap is a great way to be sustainable as you can recycle these.

If you use cardboard boxes, you have numerous options for being sustainable. You can recycle them or reuse them for things such as storage or keeping the shed organised. Failing that, why not give them back to your removal company so they can help another family move home?

Take your time

Moving home is stressful enough without adding extra pressure, or time-based deadlines, on yourself. Remember, the process of making a house a home is more of a marathon than a sprint. Take your time.

As long as you have a bed built, bathroom essentials stocked, and the capacity to use your kitchen, the rest of the unpacking process can move at your own pace. Label boxes correctly ahead of time and then go at your own pace. If you have a lot of belongings, why not put some in storage until the time comes to unpack them? 

Ensure your moving day comes and goes without a hitch by planning your big day – and, where possible, avoid these common mistakes. Or, why not trust the experts? AnyVan can help turn your move into a reality. 

Kickstart your move by getting an instant quote for a Home Removal, or call us on 020 3872 3050.

AnyVan - Move Anything, Anywhere.
No matter what you are moving: from a King-Sized bed to a framed picture of the Queen; a Grand Piano to a classic Capri; we’ll take care of it all the way from Penzance to Peterhead and beyond.

Everyday essentials for your student accommodation

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All those years of hard work have finally paid off, and you’re finally taking that big step to university in the hope of crafting a better future for yourself. But before this life-shaping journey, you have to prepare yourself for it – and the student accommodation that you’re about to call home for the year ahead.

Make a list of all the necessities you’ll need to bring, including items for activities outside of the dorms. But thinking about what to pack, what to leave behind – and how you’re going to move it all – can be confusing and stressful.

Image Credit: Gabriel Beaudry

So to ease that pressure, we’ve worked with one of our partners, AmberStudent, to create a list of everyday essentials for your student accommodation. 

Laundry basket

Regardless of whether your student accommodation is in Nottingham or New York, you’ll need to do laundry at some point. And, we can wager that you don’t want your dirty clothes lying around in your room – which means you’ll need somewhere to store them until you head to do your washing on the weekend.

All of this means that one of (if not THE) first thing you should buy is a laundry basket.

To continue with the maximisation of floor space, be sure to get a laundry basket that complements the design of your bedroom. While a standard and wide choice could squeeze into the bottom of your closet, a tall and narrow one will fit into a corner without taking up much space.

Make sure you purchase the appropriate laundry basket to keep your space clutter-free.

Bedding, Pillows and mattress

Image Credit: Spacejoy

Your bed will quickly become one of your closest companions. It’s a place to study, unwind, or rest. So, why not put your own spin on it? Combining blankets and pillow will encourage relaxation – and look great too. 

Because it’ll be your home for at least the year ahead, get a little creative and leave your stamp on your room. Additionally, stores, supermarkets or online retailers can offer mattress toppers, making your bed that little bit comfier.

Similarly, good pillows are a must! One or two decent-quality pillows can help get you through your time in student accommodation. Apart from comfort, any bed can be more comfortable with additional bolster pillows or bulkier cushions that are ideal for supporting you as you read or study.

Wardrobe essentials 

You don’t want to be the student that spent the first semester living out of a suitcase, so it’s crucial to get your wardrobe in tip-top shape ASAP. 

It doesn’t take much to bring some organisation here – regardless of if you’re a shopaholic or someone who doesn’t own too many clothes. But, if you’ve found your wardrobe door hides mountains of clothes, we can help. With some folding and hangers – which can offer additional vertical room – you can maximise the space available (which can be hard to come by in some student accommodations!). 

Equally, items such as pull-out wicker baskets can be the ideal storage space for underwear, sunglasses, hats or other smaller pieces of clothing.

Most of the time, the lower end of the wardrobe in student accommodation can seem like a dumping ground for shoes. But, why not consider fitting a shoe rack into the space available, utilising it nicely?


It makes sense that you would be sceptical given the previous two years that we’ve experienced. But with clear guidance and a little bit of planning, you can happily live through one of the best years of your life. 

To ensure you have a clear understanding of what you want and need to bring with you, obtain a complete checklist from your student housing owner or service provider ahead of moving in – which should make packing a doddle. 

How can Amberstudent help you?

Amber serves millions of students worldwide by providing the best options and rewarding experiences for booking accommodation. With a range of properties throughout the UK, all upgraded with the latest COVID protocols, they can be relied upon to assist you in booking your ideal home.

AnyVan - Move Anything, Anywhere.
No matter what you are moving: from a King-Sized bed to a framed picture of the Queen; a Grand Piano to a classic Capri; we’ll take care of it all the way from Penzance to Peterhead and beyond.

Curtains vs Blinds

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Your windows play a huge role in any room. Not only do they control the temperature and lighting of a space, but they can also offer some much-needed privacy. But, to do so, you need something to cover them. 

Whilst other methods exist, the most common way to do so tends to be either curtains or blinds. Each comes with its appeals and negatives, so to help you decide which option suits your home, we’ve put together five questions you may have – and outlined which fares better.

What’s better if I’m on a budget?

On the whole, the cost of curtains and blinds can quickly rise depending on the style and materials you choose. 

Typically, curtains are the pricier of the two options, with fabric prices ranging from £10-£100+ per metre. If you’re looking for a made to measure option, these can be even more expensive, and you shouldn’t be surprised to get a bill in the thousands – depending on how many rooms you measure up. Equally, you’ll need to purchase a pole to hang your curtains off. Those with a flair for the creative may try and craft your own curtains – if you have enough fabrics spare. Whilst this looks unique and can be great for the environment, don’t underestimate how much material you’ll need to cover a window or two! Why not take a look for some recycled – or repurposed – curtains?

On the other hand, blinds require less material and only need a couple of brackets to be fitted. Plastic blinds can come in at a much cheaper cost than curtains, whilst wooden or higher quality vinyl offerings may do more damage to your wallet. Unlike their curtain counterparts, getting blinds made to measure – especially when you’re looking to do several rooms in the house at once – can be the more affordable option.

If you’re looking for an offering that’s better for your wallet, check out retailers such as Argos or Dunelm. With blinds and curtains on offer, they’re likely to have something that falls within your budget.

What’s better if I’m installing them myself?

Installation is a vital point for either option, but these days they’re both straightforward. For the most part, window dressings are designed and sold with the intention that their buyer can hang them on their own without any specialist tools or skills.

Blinds of any type are quick and easy to install, although a curtain isn’t much more complicated either. Most blinds need fittings at the top of the window, and they’re good to go in minutes. 

Some curtains may require a batten, but mostly they need a pole, hooks/rings properly spaced and maybe some minor adjustments based on how you want them to look. 

Overall, blinds may be the easier option – especially if curtains are to go in a space such as a bay window.

What’s better for cleaning?

This question is especially prevalent for those with little ones running around. At some point, it’s not far fetched to imagine some grubby little hands getting ahold of your curtains or blinds and meaning you need to clean. But, even if you’re child-free, you’ll still need to clean and dust – so which is easier?

Cleaning curtains can be a laborious task. Removing dust can need a specific attachment for your vacuum cleaner, whilst dirt, stains and marks may require specialised solutions. Using the washing machine isn’t out of the question for curtains, but in some cases, it’s easier to take them along to a dry cleaner.

Conversely, most blinds are much easier to clean. Typically made to have a hard, slick surface, dusting can be carried out with any microfiber cloth and a spare 5 minutes. If you have any dirt or stubborn stains, a dampened cloth will do the job.

What’s better for blocking out more light?

Picture it: it’s a lazy Saturday afternoon, and you fancy a day watching whatever series is dominating social media this month. But, as the sunlight engulfs your screen, it can turn a bingewatch of Stranger Things into more of a strain-er things. 

Keeping that in mind, one of the primary functions of dressing your window is to block out light – so which option is best suited?

Both curtains and blinds can come in blackout fabrics. However, if installed poorly, light can escape around the sides. Blackout blinds can do a standup job of keeping light out, but curtains do much more. In fact, you can close them at any time of day and have no idea about what’s going on outside until you open them again. 

Regular blinds can also be prone to letting light through the slats, meaning that if you want the most light blocked out, you’re better going for curtains. If you really want to keep light out, an option gaining in popularity is a blinds-curtains combination, where blackout blinds go on the window and blackout curtains cover those too – although this can prove costly!

What’s better if it’s for a kitchen/bathroom?

Curtains, in their very nature, aren’t made to be waterproof. Sure, shower curtains may be a notable exception, but on the whole, curtains tend to fare better away from wet surfaces.

Keeping that in mind, if you’re looking to renovate a kitchen or bathroom – or any other space that has a window and deals with liquids and humidity – you’d be wise to opt for blinds. With the exceptions of Roman blinds and real wooden blinds (which may struggle with moisture), they’re much better in these rooms.

If you hang curtains in humid or wet rooms, don’t be surprised to see tidemarks on the fabric, mould and mildew growth, a loss of form, or even unpleasant smells. Although this may also occur for curtains hung over windows that get heavy condensation – even if the room isn’t particularly humid.

Ultimately, it all comes down to personal preference, and both come with their own perks and negatives – it’s entirely subjective. With a wide range of fabrics, materials and styles availabe, they can help turn a house into a home – it depends on what you’re looking for.

Which camp are you in, blinds or curtains? Let us know in the comments below!

AnyVan - Move Anything, Anywhere.
No matter what you are moving: from a King-Sized bed to a framed picture of the Queen; a Grand Piano to a classic Capri; we’ll take care of it all the way from Penzance to Peterhead and beyond.

Need to move
anything anywhere?

Get Instant Quotes