Your comprehensive uni packing checklist: what to bring to university

a successful move after students followed a uni packing checklist

Congratulations! You’re on the brink of an exciting new chapter in life as you prepare to dive into the world of university. Your upcoming adventure promises to bring transformative experiences and the chance to forge lasting connections. However, to make sure that you have the best possible time, especially in those first few settling-in weeks, you want to guarantee that your move to university goes as smoothly and seamlessly as possible. This uni packing checklist will ensure that no stone is left unturned and that you go to university with everything you could possibly need.

Download our printable uni packing checklist here.

Split the rooms!

The best approach to any list for university packing starts with breaking the chore into more manageable segments. Firstly, divide your accommodation into 3 essential rooms; this will be kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. This method allows you to focus on each space individually, making sure that you don’t forget anything necessary!

Once you’ve covered the bare essentials, you can start thinking about accessories, room decorations and, more importantly, your documents. Let’s dive in.

Your go-to list for university packing

a young student following a list for university packing


Probably the most important room on your list for university packing. You sleep here and will likely study here, so you want to make sure it is comfortable and has a homely feel to it.

  • Duvet cover – Don’t just settle for a duvet cover suited to one season; remember, you’re embarking on a year-round journey, not one semester. Your new home-away-from-home will be your sanctuary for most of the year, so be sure to pack bedding that can keep you comfortable no matter the weather.
  • Pillow and cases – Make sure to have a super comfy pillow and multiple cases – sleep is super important, even in uni!
  • Bed sheets – Check the size of the bed first; you don’t want to bring the wrong size bedding. Ensure you have a supply of them, as university life can be tough on linens. Having extra sets on hand is a smart move.
  • Mattress protector – Definitely a wise choice as it’s easy to spill something on your bed when you’re munching and drinking in your room in front of Netflix. You also don’t want to be charged by the landlord for a stained mattress. Mattresses aren’t cheap these days!
  • Coat hangers – Asses your room, might not be a necessity if you can hang it on the door. Also, depends on how many coats you have too!
  • Laundry basket – Now this is a necessity, you don’t want to be carrying around a ball of dirty or clean washing. It’s much easier to carry in a basket.
  • Small mirror – If there isn’t a mirror already in your room then you’ll need this. You’ll be going out a lot, so you want to make sure you’re looking on point.
  • Desk fan – Excellent addition to any uni bedroom, when it gets warm and you’re in your room studying you’ll thank this blog.
  • Photos of friends and family – This will give your room a homely feel which is important in your first few weeks. The last thing you want is to feel homesick.
  • Vacuum – Make sure to keep your room clean and tidy. It’s guaranteed you’ll be making a mess, so a vacuum is a definite need.

students congregating in their kitchen after following a uni packing checklist


Now with the kitchen, there’s a lot of things on this list you can bring with you, or you can buy when you’re there. However, the bank of Mum and Dad is always cheaper!

  • Recipe book – Your parents won’t make all your meals now and without some go-to recipes, you’ll be living off microwave meals for 3 years.
  • Crockery and cutlery – A necessity, no explanation needed. It would be terrible without plates, mugs and cutlery!
  • Tupperware – A great money-saving hack is to make food at home and bring it out with you. If you pre-make food and bring it in Tupperware, you’ll save yourself a bunch of money.
  • Bottle opener – This will get an awful lot of use, much better than using your teeth.
  • Chopping board – Don’t be damaging the worktops, you’ll end up with a fine. Just get a chopping board.
  • Kitchen equipment, pots pans, tongs, spatulas, ladles the lot – Make sure to have all the necessary equipment to cook and serve those beautiful meals you’re making thanks to the recipe book you brought with you.
  • Oven gloves – Way better than using a tea towel.
  • Tea towels – You’ll need this for cleaning up mess and there could be a lot!
  • Cling film and tin foil – A great investment, you’ll be able to preserve all your food with this which will be great for your food budget.

a uni student getting ready in a bathroom


In this section of the university packing list, we’ll cover essential personal items to ensure a comfortable and hygienic dorm life.

  • Bath and hand towel – You definitely don’t want to be borrowing towels, especially in your first few weeks. Make sure to bring one.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste – If you want to get lucky then this will be needed, or if you just want to stay hygienic. A fresh breath and a confident grin are always in style!
  • Shampoo and shower gel – There’s nothing more annoying than when you get into the shower to find no shower gel or shampoo. Make sure to bring some!
  • Dressing gown – Great for when you can’t be bothered to get dressed or want an extra layer of warmth. You won’t regret bringing one.
  • Toilet roll – It’s even worse than finding no shampoo or shower gel…
  • Hairbrush, comb, straighteners, curlers – Not too important for short-haired babes, but an absolute necessity for the long-haired girlies out there.
  • Razors and shaving cream – Trust us, it’s always important to keep yourself looking your best.
  • Contraceptives and STI testing kit – Stay safe kids!

a uni student wondering what to bring to university on her list


Once you’ve got everything you need for your room, you can start picking and choosing your clothing. Remember you are going to be there all year so pick clothing for all conditions.

  • Coats – Pick a variety of coats, some thick and some thin. You don’t want to be freezing in winter or boiling in summer.
  • Loungewear – Pick some more comfortable clothing that you can lounge around in. Informal clothing such as trackie bottoms, hoodies, t–shirts. You’ll want to feel comfortable when you’re staying in.
  • Going out stuff – Don’t forget your going out stuff, you’ll be wanting to look your best and you need to bring your best clothing to do that!
  • Formal clothing – Another item not to be overlooked on the uni packing checklist. If you end up going to any formal events or a job interview, you’ll want to make sure you look professional. Bring some suit trousers and a shirt or a nice dress with a blazer.
  • Underwear and socks – Don’t forget these and bring plenty of them. You’ll be surprised how fast the sock goblins can get to you!
  • SportswearIf you’re going to the gym or joining sports clubs, you’ll want to have the right kit for it.

a uni student seeing which electronics are on her uni packing checklist


You’re in the modern era and electronics are one of the most important things you’ll be bringing. You won’t be able to study without them!

  • Mobile phone – Very important these days to anything. You won’t even be able to find your way without Google Maps on your phone, so don’t forget it as you’ll be turning back.
  • Laptop – It’s not like school, you don’t have computers to use for your work. You’ll need to bring this for studying and writing all your assignments. Otherwise, you’ll be trekking back and forth to the library every other day.
  • Headphones – When you need to focus and get in the zone these are a necessity. You’ll also probably be doing a few trips on a train and it’s always nice to listen to music on the train.
  • Chargers – Don’t forget your charger otherwise you’ll have to buy one when you arrive, and they are not cheap. Here’s another secret: portable chargers are lifesavers for when you’re out and about, so consider adding one to your uni packing checklist.

a university student checking their documents for moving


Within this last part, we’ll focus on essential documents and identification you’ll want to have prepared for a seamless transition to university life.

  • Valid ID – We wouldn’t recommend taking your passport as you might lose it. If you have a provisional or full driving license this would be best. You’ll need it for nights out and signing up for things.
  • University admission acceptance letter – You might have to show this when showing up to uni on the first day. Take it to the registration building and you’ll be able to swipe your shiny new student ID.
  • Course acceptance letter – You might also have to show this when turning up to uni for the first day.
  • Student finance documents – Good to have in case you have an issue with your loan as you can go into the bank with these.
  • Bank cards – You’ll need this if you want to buy anything at all so definitely need to bring them.
  • Student discount cards – Great to have these to save your pennies when on a tight budget. A rail card, in particular, can be a game-changer, especially if you’re a regular train traveller – it’s like having a treasure map to savings!

Packing your items

You can get loads of tips on making sure you prevent any of your belongings from getting damaged by checking out our packing blog!

Some quick tips include making sure everything is boxed up and labelled with what room it’s going in. This makes unpacking easier. Make sure everything is snug during transit and not knocking about as this can cause damage. Lastly, make a note of the items you’ve packed as you go so nothing is missed!

Set sail for an unforgettable freshers’ week!

As you wrap up our comprehensive uni packing checklist, it’s time to ensure you’re well-prepared. Download your free, printable checklist to keep it close at hand and guarantee you don’t forget a thing. Now you can spend that brain power doing what you do best – acing your coursework and having the time of your life!