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Student Accommodation

What to take to university checklist

Off to uni? Leave the toastie maker behind, but you may need passport photos. This is the university essentials checklist on what to take and what not to take!

cat in a bag

You've probably arrived at this guide because you've nailed your A Level exams (congrats) and university admissions, but realised that your first uni assignment is already due. And the title is:

An investigation into WTF I need to take to university, and what I should leave behind.

Well luckily for you, we've done pretty much all the research for you. In fact, we've written the draft right here! It probably just needs a few tweaks from you based on your own personal needs...

Thinking about what to pack for university

pack for university

There are hundreds of things you might want to take to university, but remember: you're not moving to the moon.

They will have shops where you're going, and it could be easier (and cheaper) to wait until arriving at university before buying some items.

And while the moon has plenty of space (no pun intended), your new room probably doesn't.

Taking too much stuff is one of the 36 mistakes every fresher makes. As a rough guide, only take what will fit on the back seats of a car.

University checklist

There are several key categories of items to take to university. The full uni checklist is exhaustive so use it as a prompt so you don't forget anything you do need.

  • Important documents
  • Electricals
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Bedroom items
  • Bathroom products
  • Clothing
  • Stationery
  • Miscellaneous

You'll also find our Google Doc uni checklist at the end that you can download, edit and print off.

Right now you can get Amazon Prime Student free for 6 months! That gives you unlimited free next day deliveries (+ Prime Video).

Documents to take to uni

student documents

International students may also need to bring: visa documentation, travel insurance, proof of funds, pound sterling cash, English translation book.

Electrical items to take to uni

electric bulbs

Yup, there are SO many laptops out there. Choose the best one here.

Kitchen checklist

kitchen utensils

If you're in shared living, you'll no doubt end up with one toastie maker per person... in fact there will be multiples of lots of kitchen items.

You'll 100% want to take things like your own plates and cutlery, but most people are happy to share cooking equipment, and appliances like kettles and toasters are normally supplied.

Have this in mind if you're sharing a kitchen because below is an exhaustive list of things to take to university. To help we've roughly ordered items by priority!

  • Student recipe book (Nosh for Students is great)
  • Small cutlery set
  • Plate
  • Bowl
  • Mug
  • Glass
  • Sharp knife (general purpose)
  • Scissors
  • Tupperware (food storage tricks)
  • Multitool
  • Bottle opener
  • Chopping board
  • Kitchen tongs
  • Ladle
  • Spatula
  • Wok and/or frying pan
  • Saucepan with lid
  • Colander
  • Measuring jug
  • Can opener
  • Peeler
  • Cheese grater
  • Whisk
  • Baking tray
  • Oven gloves
  • Tea towel
  • AeroPress (for good coffee)
  • Washing up liquid
  • Washing up sponge or brush
  • Bin bags
  • Tin foil
  • Cling-film
  • Cupboard essentials
Love to cook? We've got 23 kitchen gadgets for you too.

Bedroom things to pack

student dorm

Basic bedroom furniture should all be provided by your university or accommodation provider. Typically this includes a bed, bedside table, desk, lamp, chair, wardrobe, mirror, curtains and a bin. Still, it's worth checking for sure, especially the bed size!

Not living in student accommodation? You may need to set up bills too, including student broadband and energy.

Bathroom checklist

bathroom hair dryer

  • Bath towel
  • Hand towel
  • Dressing gown
  • Hand soap
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Shower gel
  • Flip-flops (communal showers)
  • Toilet roll
  • Hairbrush or comb
  • Hair straighteners
  • Hair dryer
  • Make-up and remover
  • Nail cutters
  • Tweezers
  • Plasters (or small first-aid kit)
  • Razors and shaving cream
  • Sanitary products
  • Contraceptives
  • STI testing kit
  • Paracetamol
  • Medication
  • Personal supplies (e.g. contact lens solution)
Create and edit your own personal checklist using our free Google Doc.

What clothes to take to uni

clothes to take

Credit: Warner Bros.

You'll have plenty of clothes already, but if you need a wardrobe refresh these fashion retailers offer student discount. And remember to pack a smart outfit if you plan to apply for jobs!

  • T-shirts
  • Shirts
  • Tops
  • Dresses/skirts
  • Jumpers
  • Sweatshirts
  • Jeans
  • Smart trousers
  • Tights
  • Rain coat
  • Winter coat
  • Underwear
  • Pyjamas
  • Socks
  • Gloves
  • Hats
  • Trainers
  • Slippers
  • Smart shoes or heels
  • Suit jacket
  • Tie
  • Watch
  • Handbag
  • Gym kit
  • Swimming kit
  • Fancy dress outfit (22 cheap costume ideas)
Don't blow the budget! For easy and enjoyable budgeting, use Starling Bank's free app and transfer money across as you need it.

Stationery to bring to uni

university stationery

  • Pens and pencils
  • Ruler
  • Pencil case
  • Scissors
  • Stapler & staples
  • Highlighters
  • A4 or A5 writing pad
  • Student planner
  • Document storage folders
  • Ring-binders
  • Printer paper
  • White tack
  • Post-it notes
  • Calculator
  • Course textbooks (AmazonBlackwell's)
Win £250 voucher: Follow us on Instagram for details of our latest student competition! 🔥

Miscellaneous items to take to uni

overpacked car

Download university checklist

university checklist download

We've created a Google Doc checklist that contains all the university essentials on this page. You can download it, edit the list and then print it off to have with you whilst packing your stuff and preparing for uni.

Click the button below where you can find the link within our 'useful tools' page.

Important: Please read the steps at the top of the document on how to download the file!

Free editable checklist

Best online retailers for students

These are the places we typically recommend students look at for good prices, wide choices and helpful customer service.

With so much to buy, things can get expensive! Check out our Back to Uni deals and student discounts directory to save big money.

Once you finally arrive at uni, follow our checklist of what you should do first. Best of luck!


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