Image may contain: Terminal, Airport Terminal, Suitcase, Luggage, Person, People, Human

What to take with you to uni: The ultimate checklist

The Tab guide to packing for uni


One of the biggest obstacles you'll encounter in the weeks leading up to leaving for university is figuring out what to pack. Do you bring your entire wardrobe? Will you need a George Foreman grill? Is it acceptable to bring a teddy to uni?

Well worry no more, we're here to answer all your worries and anxieties about moving to university for the first time and we know exactly what you need.

How to pack for university

You might want to bring absolutely everything you own to make sure you don't forget anything, but remember, you uni halls aren't your permanent home and you've got to get it all there somehow. Take only what you need, but things that make you happy such as photos of your family or a teddy might be essential to you. So take them.

What you need to pack is totally subjective, so give it some thought. But if you forget anything it's not like you can't just pop to Argos to get it.

Important documents to take to uni

Considering that you're literally moving house, taking your whole life with you to university and leaving the safe confines of your parents' house, it's probably a good idea to take your important documents with you. Keep these safe, though. They're pretty essential.

What to bring:

Passport/driving license or some form of ID

All official university documents, including your acceptance letter

All your Student Finance documents

Accommodation documents

Your course acceptance letter

Your bank details and bank card

Passport photos

National Insurance card

Student shopping list

Before you head off to uni it's essential to convince your parents to buy you as much food as possible. Take them on a trip to the supermarket with a big trolly and an empty car boot so you can seriously stock up. Think non-perishable items.

What to get:

Salt and pepper

Herbs and spices

Cooking oil

Dried pasta


Tins of chopped tomatoes

Tomato purée





Baked beans




Soy sauce

Tinned tuna

Stock cubes



Image may contain: Wok, Frying Pan

Uni kitchen essentials

While you might be in catered halls where you won't need most of these items, if you're in a flat with a kitchen where you'll be cooking for yourself, it will be empty and you'll have to bring everything you need to feed yourself.

What to bring if you're in both catered and uncatered halls:

Mugs and glasses

Bottle opener

Water filter

Dish cloths/sponges

Travel mug

What you'll need if you're in uncatered halls:

A couple of bowls and plates


Reusable food containers/tupperware

Tin opener



Sharp knife

Baking tray

Frying pan

Oven gloves

Tea towels

Cheese grater

Vegetable peeler

What to take to uni lectures

When you head to your first lecture, you better be prepared. While it's a great conversation starter if you forget a pen and ask the guy next to you if you can borrow one, if he doesn't have a spare then you're stuck.

What to take to lectures:



Pens and pencils

Image may contain: Paper, Marker

Other items you'll need for studying:

Sticky notes

Paper clips

Stapler and staples



What clothes to take to university

The most important thing about fashion at university is to be yourself and have your own style. That being said, there are essential items you need to bring with you, for the sake of practicality.

What to bring:

Comfortable clothing

Everyday clothing

Everyday shoes

Formal clothing

Formal shoes

Smart-causal clothing


Old trainers for dirty nights out

Seasonal clothing (hats, scarves, gloves, sunglasses)

Costume clothing (for themed parties!)

Dressing gown



Gym Bag

Clothes hangers


Winter boots



Image may contain: Saddle

Electrical items to take to uni

You should have plenty of plugs in your new room at uni so you'll be able to use all the electrical items you would at home. It's not recommended to use electric heaters as they're not particularly safe and your room should have heating.

What to bring:

Laptop/computer and charger


Phone and charger

Hair dryer and hair styling tools

Extension leads


External hard drive

Ethernet cable, HDMI cable, etc

Cable adapters


Image may contain: Poster, Collage

Uni room ideas

For ideas of how to decorate your bedroom at uni, check out Pinterest and Instagram. You'll immediately feel more at home if you decorate your new room with personalised items and pictures of your friends and family. Plus people will be much more likely to want to hang out in your room.

What to bring for your uni bedroom:




Pillow cases

Mattress protector

Clothes hangers

Laundry bag or basket

Clothes horse

Door stop

Ear plugs

Hot water bottle

Waste basket

Mini sewing kit

A wall hanging



Jewellery box/stand

Small boxes to store make-up/hair ties etc.

Image may contain: Indoors, Housing, Building, Apartment, Furniture, Bed, Bag, Toy, Teddy Bear, Vase, Pottery, Potted Plant, Plant, Jar, Flora

What bathroom items to take to uni

You might be lucky enough to have an en suite room where you can personalise your own bathroom. If you're among the masses in a communal bathroom, we'd recommend having flip flops or shower shoes to keep your feet clean and safe.

General bathroom stuff:

Towels (for hands, face and body)

Toothbrush and toothbrush holder


Shower shoes


Personal prescription medicine

Allergy medicine

Paracetamol/cold & flu medicine (you’ll need it for Freshers’ Flu!)



Antiseptic cream

Antiseptic wipes

Birth control pills


Tampons/sanitary pads

Nail scissors





Hair ties

Bobby pins

Toiletries bag

Miscellaneous items to bring to uni

What's gonna happen if all the power suddenly goes off? Or pre-drinks is at your flat and you want to play Ring of Fire? That's where you come in. These are the miscellaneous essentials for uni life.

What you need:

A torch

Swiss army knife

Blu tac or pins


Playing cards

Alarm clock



Tool kit

Unexpected uni essentials

Just before you pack up everything in the car thinking you've got it all, here are the unexpected things that we guarantee you'll wish you'd brought.

What to bring:

Photos of family and friends

Throw blankets/cushions for decoration


Fairy lights

Full-length mirror

Bulletin board

Fancy dress items

Bottle opener

Coat hangers

Clothes horse

Storage boxes

What not to take to uni

While it's super important you get everything you need, there are a few items that are totally pointless and will never get used when you're in halls.

Don't bother with:

Iron – you'll never use it

USB – you'll get given hundreds at the Freshers' Fair

Notes and books from school/sixth form – you won't open them, seriously

School leavers' hoodie – it's like fashion crime to wear this around campus

Image may contain: Smoke, Tablecloth, Linen, Home Decor, Pot

Thing's you might not need or might not be allowed to bring

There are a few things you might be considering bringing but aren't sure if you should bother or if they're allowed in halls. Check with the halls of residence before you pack these items as they might already be installed or they might be banned.

Check before you bring:





Toastie maker

Coffee maker





Unsure about which uni you're going to?

If you're unsure which uni you're going to, read our guides to choosing which uni you should go to, how to use UCAS, A-Level results day 2018, UCAS clearing and the ultimate guide to Freshers' Week.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

1) How to deal with anxiety at uni

2) How to make friends at uni

3) How to deal with relationships at uni

4) How to budget at uni