1 September 2023
What to Bring to University
So you’re off to university. Congrats! If you’re moving into halls, there’s lots to look forward to.
Campus living is a vibe. You’ll create lasting memories with great people and get a taste of independent living.
Moving out for the first time is scary, proper adulting stuff. However, there are ways of making the move simpler. A helpful way of doing this is by creating a list of everything you need to bring with you to survive your first year at university.
We’ve put together the ULTIMATE mega packing list to make your job easier before move-in day. Plus, it’s downloadable! Click below to print and stick it on your fridge.
What should you NOT bring to university?
Before you even begin to pack for university, the best way to start is to think about what you won’t need to bring and take it from there.
Your university will have a list of items that they don’t allow, so get in touch with your university accommodation services to get a full list.
- A printer
- Incense burners
- Massive club-sized speakers
- Candles or anything that can cause a fire
- Books – you’ll become besties with the library
- Kitchenware such as coffee machines and waffle irons etc.
Now that’s out the way, let’s get packing.
The ultimate university packing list
University halls will already be kitted out with essential kitchen appliances, so there’s absolutely no reason to bring a fridge with you.
Before you pack anything, check what your kitchen already has, the type of cooker they have (loads of unis use induction hobs) and what isn’t allowed (e.g. a deep fryer).
Some universities are very kind and already provide some of the below for you (how nice), so you might need to pack them at all.
Of course, exceptions can be made. Say you need a mini fridge to keep your medication in; speak to your accommodation services in advance, and they may be able to provide it for you. This will also save you a ton of car space.
Things you will need:
- Water jug
- Tea towels
- Baking trays
- Cooling rack
- Mugs, glasses and cups
- Cooking knives and a chopping board
- Tupperware boxes (your leftovers will adore you)
- Tableware and cutlery: microwave-safe bowls and plates, knives and forks
- Cooking utensils: saucepan, frying pan, colander, ladle, cheese grater, peeler, masher, pizza cutter, large spoon, slotted spoon, whisk, rolling pin.
There might be some items that you won’t think about but will be super helpful to bring with you. YouTuber Alice Preece takes you through all the weird little bits you NEED to pack for uni.
Bedroom and bathroom
Your bedroom will already have basic furnishings, including a single bed, chest of drawers, wardrobe, desk and desk chair. Again, it’s best to check with your accommodation services about what you’ll get in your room.
You’ll also be provided with very basic bedding, so it’s 200% okay to bring your own set – duvet included.
- Coat hangers
- Laundry basket
- Desk fan and lamp
- Mattress protector
- Duvet (for all seasons)
- Bedding (including a duvet cover, fitted sheet and pillowcase covers).
For all your hygiene needs, uni bathrooms will typically include a standalone shower unit, sink and toilet.
- Toilet roll.
- Bath mat
- Toothbrush holder
- Non-slip shower mat
- Towels: body, hand and flannels
- Toiletries: Shower gel, shampoo, body moisturiser, deodorant.
Although your room and kitchen will be cleaned routinely, it’s a good idea to pack some cleaning products so you can be respectful of those around you.
Some things you can bring:
- Anti-bacterial spray
- Cleaning wipes
- Rubber gloves.
If you’re getting ready for your second year and need a bit of help deciding where you’re going to stay, read our guide to finding accommodation for your second year. Click below.
This will be hard to hear — you don’t need to take your whole wardrobe with you.
It’s tempting to turn lectures into runway shows, but wardrobe space at uni is less Kim Kardashian closet and more Harry Potter broom cupboard. Space is minimal, so pack smartly.
It’s entirely up to you as to what you bring, but think about packing the following:
- Dressing gown
- A mix of t-shirts
- A couple of pairs of trainers
- Lots of underwear and socks
- Three to four pairs of trousers
- Winter jacket and an ‘all-season’ jacket
- Sliders or slippers (because uni kitchen floors can be really gross)
- Accessories (watches, inexpensive jewellery, caps)
- Smart clothing (shirt, trousers/skirt, blazer, tie and smart shoes).
Halls will be your home for the next year, so why not make it your own?
Bring the following:
- A rug
- Photo frames
- Cushions and pillows
- Small Bluetooth speakers
- Reed/electric diffusers.
- Battery-powered fairy lights and replica candles.
The great thing is, a lot of this can be bought whilst at university! Thank you, Amazon Prime.
It’s absolutely fine to pack your socket-powered items. After all, you’ll be bringing your laptop and phone with you — and they’ll need to be charged, right?
The trick is to be smart with the kinds of electricals you’re packing by making sure the plugs are electrically compatible with the sockets in your halls (wattage and all that exciting stuff).
Don’t bring anything that might start a fire or items with broken plugs and exposed wires. (If in doubt, check with your halls and flat guidelines.)
You can bring:
- Laptop and phone, plus chargers
- Straightener, hairdryer and curler
- Personal grooming items, such as electric shavers.
As a side note, if you want to bring a TV — you’ll need to pay for a TV licence, which costs £159 per year. (Yes, even as a student. No discount here).
Finally, make sure you pack everything you’ll need to get your work done.
Besides your laptop, this includes:
- A diary/calendar
- USB stick/external hard drive
- A bag/rucksack (with enough space to fit your laptop, notepads and books)
- Simple stationery (bear in mind that you’ll pick up a lot of pens and other bits at your Freshers’ fair).
Although it might seem like a lot, you don’t actually need to bring that much with you when you move to university.
If packing stresses you out, you can always look into purchasing a university starter kit to make things easier. They range in price but will include everything you need. You can get them from any homeware retailer or your university accommodation services.
Written by Melchi
Melchi is a stan of the written word and joined the RateMyPlacement team as a Content Executive in 2021. Melchi started his career writing culture content for WeAreCollision magazine before completing an MA in International Journalism at City University and interning at Insider Inc. He now uses his head-thesaurus to write inspiring content to help young people make great career choices. These include everything from blogs about how to survive your placement year to industry guides outlining the latest placement and internship opportunities. Outside of writing, Melchi loves all things music and is currently learning how to DJ.