Deciding what to take to uni needs a bit more thought than shoving things into a suitcase and hoping for the best.

Moving out of home for uni? It's hard to know what you should pack for uni, and what you should maybe leave behind. To get you started, we’ve put together a big list of everything you need to take to uni, with some top tips from students who've been there, done that.

You can still follow this advice if you’re not going into halls of residence, but make sure to check what’s already included if you’re going into shared private accommodation.


Your room will usually be kitted out with some basics, including a bed and mattress, a wardrobe, desk and chair. But you need to pack the things that make it feel like home. You should take:

  1. Duvet, duvet cover and sheets

    Take a few of each so you don't get caught short on laundry day - and check what size you need!
  2. Mattress protector

  3. Pillows and pillowcases

  4. Things to spruce up your room

    Maybe a rug or some cushions.
  5. Decorations to make you feel more at home

    Photo frames, your favourite teddy (no judgement here) and fairy lights are some examples.

  6. Photos, posters (and Command Strips!)

  7. Stationery and books

  8. Laptop, chargers, portable speakers and whatever other tech you need

    Make sure you do your research to get the right laptop that you can take to the library and lectures, and has enough memory for all the years of your degree.

  9. Purse, cards, ID, passport, important documents etc

  10. Bags

    A small one for nights out, plus a bag big enough to fit your laptop and books in for uni.

  11. Clothes, shoes, and coat hangers

  12. A TV if you want one

    But most people use their laptop or a PC monitor (remember to get your TV licence sorted).
  13. An airer (heated if you can stretch to it) and laundry basket

  14. Medicines

    Paracetamol is a Fresher's must-have!

  15. A bedroom bin

    Double-check, as this might be provided!

Top tip
Packing tips for international students
"Remember, you can easily purchase items in the UK once you've settled in. Avoid overpacking clothes and unnecessary appliances - halls are often furnished." Solomon, First year Business, Management and Marketing student at Nottingham Trent University


Check whether your accommodation is en suite or shared. If it’s shared, you might end up wanting to split the cost of things like toilet rolls later down the line. To start off with, take:

  1. Shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel

  2. Toothbrush and toothpaste

  3. Hand soap

  4. Toilet cleaner, bleach, toilet brush

    Check if these are provided, as some halls are cleaned regularly.
  5. Towels and hand towels

  6. Toilet rolls

  7. A wash bag so all your toiletries are in one place

  8. A robe and sliders/slippers if you're sharing a bathroom

Top tip
Don’t pack your entire room off to uni
"Look at your tenancy agreement with your accommodation and see what they already provide and what you need to buy (cutlery/plates/bowls etc, laundry rack)." Toga, First year Law student at the University of Manchester


Most halls provide a toaster and a kettle (in addition to your oven), but check what you get before you go. Many won’t provide things like microwaves or air fryers, and you might want to club in together with your flatmates for this once you’re a bit more settled. The essentials you'll need are:

  1. A few mugs and glasses

  2. A couple of saucepans, frying pans and a wok - depends on what you like to cook

  3. A chopping board and some baking trays

  4. Cutlery and some chopping knives

  5. Plates and bowls

  6. Bin bags, sandwich bags, foil, and cling film

  7. Any utensils you like using

    For example, wooden spoons, a spatula, corkscrew and pizza wheel.
  8. Tea towels

  9. Tupperware

  10. Cupboard essentials

     Teabags, baked beans, and pasta are all good to get you through the first few days!
Top tip
Things to take
"Storage boxes, Dishmatic washing up sponge, slippers/sliders for the kitchen." Maisie Jones, First year Fashion, Communication and Promotion student at Nottingham Trent University

My top three uni living essentials

My top three uni living essentials

Unsure what to pack for university? George, from the University of Manchester, has you covered! He talks us through his uni living essentials for halls and shares his top tips to make sure you're prepared for university life. In partnership with Noah.

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