What to take to uni? Packing checklist for first-year students

It’s such a good idea to plan what to take to uni. In the whirlwind of moving into student accommodation, first-year students forget all kinds of essential things – from toilet roll to food!

Don’t be the one running to Tesco on day 1

This is your what-to-take-to-uni checklist. Feel free to grab this list to help you pack for your uni adventure. There might be other things you’d like to take, but you’d be surprised how many people forget the following basics.

You can use our accommodation search to check what’s already at your accommodation – so you don’t end up buying something that’s already provided. Or perhaps take a virtual tour of your accommodation to check, or just get in touch with your uni or college to ask.

1. Where you sleep

Check what’s already provided for you, but you’ll likely need to pack some or all of these. If you’re in student halls of accommodation, the heating might be controlled automatically – so it’s worth taking extra blankets if you’re someone who likes it warmer or likes lots of fresh air.

  • Mattress protector/topper
  • Fitted sheets
  • Pillow(s) and pillowcase(s)
  • Duvet and duvet cover
  • Blankets/throws
  • PJs
  • Spare bedding for laundry day?
  • Bedside lamp?

2. Where you eat

See what’s already available to use in the kitchen. Usually the big appliances are already there and you’ll just need some things to eat with/from. You shouldn’t need much of each, though maybe get some spares for when your friends or family come round.

  • Plates and bowls
  • Cups and mugs
  • Cutlery
  • Some food to get you started
  • Storage boxes or empty jars
  • Washing up liquid (you might all bring some – but that’ll save you running to the shop for a while)
  • Cloth, washing up brush (ditto)
  • A reusable water bottle (stay hydrated on campus)

3. Where you get clean

This depends on whether you’re sharing a bathroom or you have your own en-suite – either way you’ll need some of these.

  • Shower gel / soap / shampoo
  • Toilet roll
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Bath mat and toilet brush (if they’re not provided)
  • Towels
  • First aid kit and after sun

4. Where you learn

You might have your own desk and chair in your room – maybe a desk lamp too – but don’t forget to bring whatever else you need to start your course and go to lectures.

  • Desk, chair, lamp
  • Laptop and charger
  • Phone and charger
  • Books recommended for your course
  • Pen and paper
  • Post-it notes and highlighters
  • Anything to go on your notice board, if there is one?
  • Calendar (or just use a digital one?)
  • Clothes you’re comfortable to go to lectures in

5. Where you relax

It’s a good idea to personalise your room so it feels like a home away from home – and to have some stuff with you for fun, exercise, hobbies etc.

  • Some ornaments, photos or art from home
  • Magazines, fiction books or comics
  • A football, tennis rackets, frisbee
  • Sports, running, walking and/or gym kit
  • Clothes for social events
  • Computer or board games
  • A Netflix, Amazon or AppleTV account?

If you’re not sure about what to take – or whether you’re taking too much or too little – have a chat with current students to see what they packed. (Or what they forgot to pack!)

Also check out our advice on things you don't need to take to uni, and how to do the student food shopping.

Or start your student accommodation search here