What to take to uni: everything you’re going to need

Everything you’re going to need as you head off to university

Has the time come to start packing your life to move into halls? Unsure what stuff you should cram into your suitcase and what you should leave out? We've got you covered.

You'll find the car heaving with everything from your shoe collection to your new set of speakers. If you're the oldest or an only child then it's probably something you haven't experienced before, making the whole ordeal even trickier.

To help get your university packing off on the right foot we've put together a list. There are obviously items that aren't on the list personal to you. So don't take this as gospel. Just a rough guide.


The things that are most often forgotten are documents. You might think you have all of them, but there's always one slip of paper that gets left behind. So purchase (or borrow from your parents) a folder in which you can keep all the important documentation you're going to need.

  • NHS Number
  • Passport photos
  • TV License
  • National insurance number
  • Passport/driving license – your ID. You'll need it to get served at the bar
  • Bank details
  • CV & references
  • Exam certificates

Some of these documents are full of private information, so don't just chuck them all on your bed when you arrive. Keep them secure!

The bedroom

The room your allocated is going to be your home for the next year. That's where you'll find yourself stumbling into bed after a few too many, watching a film with friends, and knuckling down to work. It needs to be able to meet with all of your requirements and feel comfortable to live in.

Here are some items you'll want to take with you:

  • A mattress protector – you have no idea what's gone on with the mattress you've been lumped with
  • Bed sheets – two pairs. It'll make washing day a whole lot easier
  • Pillows – the one's given won't be good enough
  • Alarm clock
  • Coat hangers – bring extras. Your wardrobe will expand over the course of the year
  • Door stop – you're going to make more friends with an open door
  • Laundry basket
  • First aid kit
  • An extension cable
  • Cleaning products – no one likes a smelly flatmate

The bathroom

Personal hygiene isn't often on the top of a student's priority list, but if you want to meet nice people, you'll have to look and smell reasonable. Oh, and don't neglect cleaning your bathroom. They can get really grimy in halls.

  • Towels – two big ones, two small ones
  • Personal medication
  • A washbag – fill it with your toothpaste, shower gel etc...
  • A pack of toilet rolls – because you aren't going to get round to buying any for a while
  • Bleach – hint, you can clean your toilet with it without actually having to touch your toilet

The kitchen

The kitchen. It's probably not a place you've spent a lot of time, but trust us when we say that you're going to have to get to grips with using it. You never know, cooking might be your thing. Your hidden talent.

You don't need to take nine plates, eight saucers, and some martini glasses though. Keep it minimal for the time being. You can always purchase other stuff you might need as you go.

  • A comprehensive recipe book – if you can't cook, you're going to want to learn
  • Sauce pan
  • A small set of cutlery
  • Kitchen tongs
  • One glass and one mug – you don't need to take a collection of glasses and mugs to drink from
  • One bowl and plate – You're going to be cooking for yourself, not having dinner parties... yet
  • A baking tray – because chips!
  • Tupperware – if you make a great meal, why not keep it for dinner the next day?
  • A cheese grater

For studying

It's easy to get so excited about moving to a new place and meeting new people that you forget that you're actually going there to study.

You're going to want a few items to make studying easier too. Just don't go overboard in Staples.

You'll just need:

  • A diary – unless you're Rainman and can remember where, when, and who is giving everyone of your lectures this year
  • A laptop – because this is the 21st century, and let's face it, you can't read your own handwriting
  • Plenty of pens – if your mind wanders mid-lecture and you start chewing through to the ink, you'll want a spare handy
  • A day bag – purchase one that protects your laptop and can carry all your other junk
  • USB stick
  • External hard drive – unless you're cool with re-writing those 10,000 words...
  • A notebook

For being social

You aren't going to make friends because of the contents of your suitcase, but there are a few items that are going to make socialising a lot easier. Unless you don't want to make any friends. In which case just get yourself a Netflix account and a padlock for your door.

  • A Frisbee – great for meeting new people outside halls on the first day. Plus, if you break your plates, you have a backup!
  • Playing cards – because no one else ever has them
  • A fancy dress costume – You will be persuaded to dress up at some point. May as well be prepared
  • A bottle opener
  • A few beers – because it might be the only way to get people to talk to you...

What you don't need

In your mad packing frenzy, you might pick up a few items that you can definitely leave behind.

You won't need:

  • A kettle or toaster
  • Your TV – you can watch everything online nowadays
  • An address book

If you're getting ready to pack, print off this list!