What to Pack for University

How do I pack my bag? What do I take to uni? What things should I buy? 

All popular questions every freshers student will ask. If only there was some sort of University packing checklist…

Freshers' Checklist: What to Take to University

What to Take to University
The Complete Checklist

If you’re a fresher, I bet you can’t wait to start the greatest chapter of your life– University! But moving away from home can be both exciting and complicated at the same time. Have you thought about packing for instance? The hardest part is deciding what you actually need to take with you.

Giving up the things you love can be hard sometimes, but there’s no need to pack the entire house. There’s some things you will need to buy for uni. However, if your parents are driving you, you could save a lot of money by taking certain things from home instead of buying them. Take a look at this list and don’t forget: pack only the stuff that can make your life easier!


Documents and Letters to take to university

Before starting uni, you need to get your paperwork in order. I suggest putting everything in a folder, which needs to be kept somewhere safe. University is not only about having fun, it’s also about learning how to be responsible and organised. So make sure you don’t forget any of the following items:

  • Passport (make sure it is valid! )
  • Forms (don’t forget to keep the forms from the Student Loans Company. You will need them when you arrive).
  • Passport size photos (at least 5)
  • NHS number
  • European Health Insurance Card (you’ll need it if you want to travel)
  • Map of the city
  • Bank account details
  • CV and references
  • Discount travel cards (very useful)
  • Exam certificates
  • Birth Certificate
  • Driving licence
  • Notebooks from high school

Kitchen appliances and equipment

What to pack for university list

If you can, you should bring some stuff for the kitchen from home. It will save you loads of money and it will help you avoid the long queues at the supermarket. There’s no need to take the entire kitchen with you though. If the house (or halls) you’re gonna live in does not provide enough stuff, you should pack the following items:

  • Cutlery
  • Mugs (at least 2)
  • Glasses (at least 2)
  • Saucepans
  • Chopping board
  • Recipe book
  • Tea towels
  • Small coffee machine
  • Frying pan
  • Kettle
  • Microwaveable bowl
  • Sieve
  • Oven gloves
  • Washing-up liquid and sponges
  • Tray
  • Bottle opener
  • Corkscrew
  • Baking tray
  • Chopping knives
  • Masher
  • Spatula
  • Measuring jug

Kitchen Storage

  • Tupperware (for storing leftovers)
  • Sandwich bags
  • Biscuit Tin
  • Boxes ( for tea, coffee, sugar etc)
  • Cling-film (for covering bowls in the fridge)
  • Tin foil

Basic (yet essential) Ingredients

NOTE: There will be supermarkets near to your university; so you don’t need to pack all this stuff at home! Once you’ve settled in at uni, go stock up with these basic ingredients.

  • Salt and pepper
  • Herbs and spices
  • Sugar
  • Rice, Flour and Pasta
  • Ketchup or BBQ Sauce
  • Hot drinks (tea, coffee, hot chocolate)
  • Cooking oil/spray
  • Spreads – honey, jam, peanut butter etc.
  • Pasta sauce
  • Tinned foods e.g. soup, tinned fruit and veg, custard, rice pudding, baked beans etc.
  • Cereal (for your breakfast)
  • Squash, Ribena or Vimto
  • Packet foods e.g. boil-in-the-bag rice, jelly, biscuits, crisps, instant mash etc.
  • Oh! And some chocolate!

Stationery and Studying Material

Stationery to take to university when studying

You’ll probably feel a bit overwhelmed at the beginning, as the amount of information is very high and the assignments are normally quite difficult. In order to feel as comfortable as possible while studying, we strongly advise you to bring the following stuff:

  • Desk lamp (you need good lighting for reading)
  • Book chair
  • Notice board – for timetables, numbers, appointments.
  • Message board with erasable marker
  • Diary/planner to keep track of assignments
  • Dictionary
  • A pad of lined paper
  • Ream of printing paper
  • A4 folders
  • Pens, pencils, paper, files.
  • Scissors
  • Sticky tape
  • Stapler, hole punch
  • Sticky labels
  • Post-it notes
  • Paper clips
  • White Tac
  • Stamps and envelopes
  • Highlighters
  • Loads of patience

Health and Well-being

Student list for university

Living alone for the first time is quite hard, especially when you get sick and there’s no one there to take care of you. Make sure you stay away from Freshers’ Flu, which can ruin your first weeks at uni. Wear appropriate clothes, eat healthy and hit the gym regularly. In case you feel bad, you can always go see the nurse from the University, she will tell you what you need to do. Pack the following items just in case:

  • Multivitamins (take once a day)
  • Painkillers
  • Condoms or contraception pill (protect yourself at all times)
  • First Aid Kit – Plasters, antiseptic wipes, bandages
  • Paracetamol
  • Some cold/flu remedy in case you are struck down by freshers’ flu
  • Pro-Plus
  • Anti-allergy pills (in case you have allergies)
  • A cold/ice pack
  • Disinfectant cream
  • Lip Balm or Vaseline 
  • Any specific medication you’re taking (DO NOT FORGET)
  • Contact Lenses


Bathroom things to take to university

Some bathroom items can be easily bought when you arrive there, but you could take some from home in order to save money and time. You’ll probably need the following items:

  • Bathroom mat
  • Bath and hand towels
  • Basket for shower supplies
  • Laundry bag
  • Toilet roll
  • Wet wipes
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Showergel
  • Your favorite shampoo/conditioner
  • Nail clippers
  • Deodorant
  • Cologne/Perfume/aftershave (whatever you wanna call it!)
  • Hair gel
  • Moisturizer or body cream
  • Acne treatment ( in case you need it)
  • Hair spray
  • Hairbrush/Comb
  • Razor
  • Shaving cream/gel
  • Lip balm
  • Makeup

Oh! P.S. Don’t forget the rubber duck for the bath! 😉

Electrical Essentials

Electrical Gadgets to take to University

Okay, lets face it. Your room is currently packed with electrical devices, right?
Well, your entire room won’t fit in your small uni room. So, there’s only room for the essentials.

  • Laptop or Computer
  • Ethernet cable (You’ll need it in some halls. Don’t rely on there being WIFI)
  • Mobile phone (well duh!)
  • Tablet or e-reader
  • Headphones
  • Portable Bluetooth speaker
  • USB stick or external hard-drive
  • Power extension cable
  • Printer
  • Small TV
  • Games console (if you play games)
  • Chargers (DO NOT forget the chargers for your electrical devices)
  • Mixer
  • Juicer
  • Hairdryer
  • Hair Strengthener
  • Vacuum Cleaner

Extra Tips

  • You won’t be able to pack all the stuff from this list (obviously), but if you really want to, you can use shipping services like Sendmybag.com and DHL that will bring your extra luggage right in front of your door.
  • If you have a very small room, try bringing only the essential things. Otherwise, your living space will be limited and you won’t feel comfortable enough.
  • Think about smart storage solutions (storage boxes, under-bed storage, keeping some clothes in suitcases under the bed)
  • Don’t buy too many stuff at the beginning. Some of them, won’t be useful, so don’t waste money on them.
  • Make a list anytime you go shopping and stick to it.
  • If you’re moving in with a Uni roommate, discuss the items and furniture you can share, to avoid having duplicates.

To conclude, think about all the details when you’re packing. The purpose is to make your room as comfortable as possible, so pack all the stuff that will help you achieve that.

You should now know everything you need to take to University this year!  We hope you found the university packing checklist helpful. If you think we’ve have missed anything, please let us know, so that we can add it to our list. 😉

Want more? The Complete Freshers’ Week Survival Guide

What to take to University: The Complete Checklist