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What to Pack for University: The Big List


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packing list
what to pack

Where do you start when you’re trying to pack for university? Especially if you don’t know where to start! You’ve got into university and you’re wondering what to pack. We’ve got you covered with our big list of things to bring with you.
Quick disclaimer: you don’t need everything on this list, these are just ‘what to pack’ suggestions to help you get started if you’re moving to university for the first time.

The Important Bits

Passport/driving licence: It’s likely that you will need to identify yourself at some point during your time at university. You’ll probably need your ID when you register at university, when you move into your accommodation, and of course when you’re ‘out out’.
Acceptance letters: Make sure that you check out your university’s official website to see if you need to bring your acceptance letter to register.
Student finance documents: You might also need these documents for registration (depending on the university). Plus, if you run into any issues or need to know when your next student loan drops, it’s good to have them with you for reference.
Passport photos: You’re going to be signing up for a lot of identity cards when you start university – student cards, bus passes, rail cards, and societies, so it’s handy to have some spares in your purse.
Payments: We’d recommend looking into your accounts before starting university. Sign up for a student bank account, create an account with Monzo so that you can easily split bills, and set up Apple Pay on your phone in case you lose your bank card.

For Your Room

Bedding/mattress protector: Your bed is going to be your place to relax and unwind so it’s important that it’s as comfortable as possible. Invest in some comfy pillows, a nice throw, and some bed sheets. Make sure you buy at last two sets of bedding so that you have a spare set whilst the others are in the washer.
Hangers: Hanging stuff up in your wardrobe is half the battle so make sure you bring more than enough hangers with you. Look at multi-hangers and ‘magic’ hangers as well for extra storage space.
Storage spaces: Our rooms tend to come with great storage spaces and shelving, but storage boxes are always a great necessity for all your random bits. Small decorative plates and stands are always great for keeping jewellery tidy and safe.
Shoe rack: There is nothing worse than rummaging around your room for a missing shoe. Shoe racks are great for keeping footwear organised and together.
Extension lead: There will come a time when you want to watch TV, browse the Internet, and charge your phone – bring an extension lead!
Speakers: Flat parties. Need we say more?

Adaptors: If you’re travelling from another country, then make sure you check whether you need an adapter before you arrive.
Laundry basket: Make sure that you bring a laundry bag or basket with you, so that all your dirty clothes don’t end up on the floor.
Batteries: Batteries are such a handy thing to bring to university with you. If you don’t need them, then your flatmate might!
Clothes horse: Great for drying your clothes if you don’t want to use the on-site dryer. Just make sure you open your windows to avoid getting any damp.

Study Essentials

Desk lamp: Good studying requires great lighting. Invest in a desk lamp to help avoid any headaches or eye strain.
Laptop: Probably the most important thing you’ll bring to university. Have a think about what your requirements are. If you’re going to be carrying your laptop around then go for something light and compact. If your course requires a lot of internal memory, then you might need something slightly more robust.
Stationary: You will definitely need the basic study essentials whilst at university. Pens, highlighters, notepads, and post it notes are highly recommended. You might also need a calculator depending on your course.
Desk fan: During those hot summer days you’re going to need a fan. Your working environment and temperature has been proven to affect studying so make sure it’s well optimised.
USB: Buy a couple and keep them in a safe place for when you need to transfer files or create back ups for your university work.
Printer and ink: Printing queues at university can be busy during deadlines, so it’s always handy having your own personal printer in your room.
Headphones: Essential for blocking out noise during late-night study sessions, and you don’t have to disturb others. Noise cancelling headphones are the perfect addition to your university packing list.


Towels: You can get bathroom towel sets for a really good price from most supermarkets, IKEA, Wilkinson’s and other home shops around the country.
Toothbrush/toothpaste: Stock up on a couple of tubes so that you don’t run out unexpectedly. Don’t forget to grab a holder for your toothbrush too.
Toiletries: This is just a general idea; you’ll know what you need:

  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Bodywash
  • Soap
  • Face wash
  • Hand soap
  • Deodorant

Hairbrush: Another essential item. We’d recommend bringing two with you; one for your room and one for your bag.

First-aid kit: One of those things that we hope you don’t need, but you never know.

Here are some suggestions of what to bring

  • A variety of plasters in all shapes and sizes
  • Bandages
  • Alcohol free cleansing wipes
  • Sterile gloves
  • Paracetamol and/or Ibuprofen
  • Antihistamine

Toilet cleaner/toilet brush: One of those boring but essential items!
Toilet roll: An essential! Make sure you stock up.


Bowls/plates: Buy a small set of 2-3 bowls and plates. You might want to buy a few more if you plan on having friends or family around regularly.
Oven gloves: Don’t just settle for a tea towel, oven gloves are much more protective and help to avoid burns.
Dish towels: Bring a few, they’re essential and you’ll need some spares for when the others are in the wash.
Washing up liquid: Bring one big bottle to university with you. Your flatmates will probably bring one too so just share one and put the others in storage – they should keep you going for a while.
Sponges/scrubbers: Essential for getting rid of tough marks and stains. Bring long handled sponge brushes, and metal scouring brushes, just check which surfaces they can be used on before putting them to practise.

Kitchen Utensils

  • Big wooden spoon
  • Spatula
  • Scissors
  • Bottle opener
  • Corkscrew
  • Measuring jugs/spoons
  • Cheese grater
  • Sieve
  • Whisk
  • Straws
  • Baking trays
  • Sharp Knives

Chopping boards: Not only do chopping boards stop you from damaging the surfaces, they’re also easy to move food around the kitchen. You’ll need more than one for different things e.g., fruit, fish, meat.
Cutlery: You might not think that you need a twelve pack of cutlery just for feeding yourself, but it’s sort of a university right of passage to come with a big set of knives and forks and leave with the one teaspoon. We’d recommend choosing cutlery with bright coloured handles, so you know which are yours!
Pots and pans: You might not be the best cook in the world, but a set of pots and pans will take you a long way. Having a couple of pans is necessary for cooking most dishes, and don’t forget a frying pan so you can whip up a Sunday morning fry-up for you and your flatmates.
Food containers: Make big batches of food and keep them in the fridge for quick lunches and dinners at a later stage. It’s seriously underrated and a great money saving technique, pack them to make your life easier.

Don’t forget:

  • Sandwich bags
  • Tupperware
  • Clingfilm
  • Tinfoil

Drink’s containers:

  • Mugs – for hot beverages
  • Glasses – for cold beverages
  • Disposable cups – perfect for when you’re having people around (and beer pong).

Food for the first week: You’ll probably order a takeaway but it’s important to pack some essentials with you for that first week in university accommodation:

  • Coffee/tea
  • Tins of soup
  • Tins of beans
  • Cereal
  • Instant noodles
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Jars of sauce
  • Essentials herbs like garlic & chilli
  • Chocolate and sweets


What clothes you pack with you comes down to personal preference, but we’re sharing our ideas of the kind of things you’ll need:
Casual wear: Think of a handful of outfits that you can wear to lectures, coffee with friends, or supermarket trips. They don’t have to be the smartest of outfits, just something that’s comfortable.
Going out clothes: You’ll probably go to a lot of parties and nights out during Fresher’s so invest in a couple of ‘out, out’ outfits to impress. Also don’t forget fancy dress as we’re sure it’ll come in handy!
Shoes: It’s best to have all options covered, bring nice shoes for going out, some comfy flats, trainers for the gym, and shoes that are easy to throw on when you need to meet the Uber delivery driver.

Remember, this is just a guide of what to pack for university, with some advice on how to make the transition of living on yourself easier. If you need any help or advice, then give us a call on 01484 270145 or visit our contact page – we’re more than happy to help!

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