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Going to university is usually the first time students move out of their family home. This makes packing overwhelming and many students bring more than they really need. It can be hard to pack and move out, so we have created our ‘what to take to university checklist’ to help you in your process.

The list is based on student experience, including everything in one list and splitting the essentials from the optional extras. Depending on your budget or space, you can just bring the essentials or include a few of the non-essentials.

Packing for university can be outlined within the following categories: bedroom, clothes, electronics, study essentials, bathroom, kitchen, miscellaneous and important documents. This packing list breaks down each category in greater detail below.

The Ultimate Packing List for University

Bedroom Checklist



- Duvet, duvet covers, sheets, mattress protector

- Pillows, pillowcases

- Blanket

- Coat hangers

- Laundry basket 

- Clothes airer (the tumble dryers can be expensive)



- Cushions

- Small rug

- Houseplants

- Photos, posters and blu tack

- LED lights or fairy lights (some universities only allow battery operated lights)

- Small mirror


Clothes Checklist


- T-shirts, tops, long sleeves, shirts

- Hoodies, jumpers & sweatshirts

- Dresses, skirts

- Jeans, smart trousers

- Joggers, leggings

- Shorts

- Dressing gown

- Pyjamas

- Gym shorts & top

- Pants, socks, bras (as many as you have, will help reduce the number of washes you need to do)

- Raincoat, warm winter coat

- Casual & smart shoes, trainers

- Sliders or slippers (essential for going around your halls)

- Gloves & hat 



- Swimming kit - unless you are an avid swimmer!

- Fancy dress - bring a couple of items for freshers week


Electronics Checklist


- Laptop & charger

- Phone charger

- USB cables

- Headphones

- Extension cable with 3+ sockets (you may have limited sockets / may not be accessible)

- Hair dryer, hair straighteners



- USB stick (some printing services may require it)

- Printer (if you wish to print from your bedroom, instead of the library)

- Portable speaker

- Desk lamp (there may not be one at all, or you may want one for the bedside)

- Torch (useful backup)

- Ethernet cable (if your laptop supports it)

- Small TV/monitor

- Desktop fan (for summer)

Stationery Checklist


- Pens, pencils & sharpener

- Rubber

- Ruler

- Scissors

- Highlighters

- Calculator (check if your course requires a specific model)

- Lined A4 paper, notebook (if you intend of taking written notes or revising this way)

- Post it notes

- Sellotape (always needed for something)

- Ring binders or folders (one each module per semester, you may decide to organise your notes digitally)


Bathroom Checklist


- Toothbrush & toothpaste

- Towels

- Hand towel

- Razors (and charger if electric)

- Hairbrush, comb

- Nail clippers & tweezers

- Makeup

- Deodorant / aftershave / perfume

Kitchen Checklist

To decide which kitchen items to pack for uni, find out whether your accommodation is catered or self-catered. If you are in catered accommodation, you will not need to purchase most kitchen items until your second year of university. 


- Plates

- Bowls 

- Glasses (at least 2-3 as they will break)

- Mugs

- Cutlery – knives, forks, table & tea spoons (at least 3 of each as they’ll go missing)

- Chopping knife

- Scissors

- Tea towels

- Bottle opener

- Frying pan

- Saucepan with lid (bring a larger size if you intend to bulk cook)

- Chopping board

- Wooden spoon

- Spatula

- Can opener

- Tupperware (essential for batch cooking)

- Sieve

- Grater

- Baking tray

- Whisk, scales, measuring jug & mixing bowl (optional, depending on how hands on you are with cooking)

- Toastie maker

- Hand blender


Miscellaneous Checklist


- Backpack (for taking your laptop/books to lectures)

- Reusable water bottle (for lectures)

- Earplugs (if you struggle getting to sleep)

- Basic first aid kit

- Glasses / contact lenses

- Medication, allergy relief

- Tote bags for shopping



- Umbrella

- Hot water bottle (for winter)

- Games to play with flatmates – cards, board games

- Books (for leisure)

- Bike and bike lock (for commuting to university)


Important Items & Documents Checklist


- ID – either a passport or a driving licence

- Acceptance letter (some unis require it)

- Debit card

- NHS number (to enrol at your universities’ medical centre)

- Railcard

- Visa (for international students)

What NOT to bring

- Candles

- Pets

- Electric heaters


- Desk chair

- Vacuum cleaner


- Your car (not all student accommodation has parking but check before you arrive)

- Massive suitcases (difficult to store in halls of residence)

- School notes or A-Level text books (you won’t need them)

- Food, shampoo, hair gel (It's a good idea to buy it at uni as it gives you a chance to check out the local shops)


Easy to forget items

- Laptop case

- Phone charger

- Glasses & contact lenses

- Different shoes

- Towels

- Medication / allergy relief

- Bank card

- Home keys (for end of term visits)

What to organise before you arrive

- Student bank account

Research who offers the best benefits and have it ready to go with your interest-free overdraft


- Student discount cards

Check out our list of discount codes for students


- Register with your university

Make sure they have all the right information and contact details


- Download Life 360 / What 3 Words

Can be really helpful if you’re lost or want to meet up with your friends but have no idea of the specific location.


What to buy when you arrive:

- Shampoo

- Deodorant

- Soap

- Toothpaste

- Toilet roll

- Tea / coffee

- Bin (if there isn’t one)

- Drinking glasses (if you can’t safely pack them)

- Snacks

- Surface wipes

- Cling film & tin foil

- Food

Downloadable PDF lists:



Image Credit



Download our Catered halls packing list PDF 

Download our Self-Catered halls packing list PDF 


If you're an international student, check out our article on preparing for university: international edition, here.

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