What do you need to take with you to university?

It’s never too early to start thinking about that big move – whether it’s a short trip in the car or several hundred miles away. Luckily, you still have a month or so before the big day – but preparing for packing for university now will save you some tears in the long run.

So grab yourself several cardboard boxes, bin liners and a notepad and read on…


When to start packing?

It really depends on how organised you are. Now is the time to start putting together lists of items that you use every day. And sorting out how you will transport everything (that’s why we mentioned boxes and bin bags). How will you be bringing your stuff to uni? If you live close enough, you could manage a few different trips. But if your university is far away that might not be an option.

Put everything in your room away so there’s space and make a list of what you will need with you. Then list what you would like to take in addition to that. Then lay it all out on your floor or bed.

It may be that you can no longer see the floor, but don’t panic. It’s not necessary to take your whole room with you, and your student room might not be as big as your one at home, so be practical.


Kitchen

Depending on where you are living – your university or private accommodation should provide you with certain items but not all of them. Any other items that you might need you can buy with your flatmates and split the cost between you.

If you are particular about what you will and won’t want to eat – it will be worth thinking about equipment you might need to bring for that. Also, how to store meals – think about Tupperware to seal away for later.


Bedroom

For the main attraction of your room – you will need to bring or buy a duvet, sheets and pillows. You can also buy a mattress protector/topper, and items like cushions and throws for decoration.

Making your new room feel comfortable and homely will go a long way in helping you transition to living away from home. Take the throw from your bed, pictures from your wall and maybe even your favourite stuffed bear.

For decorating your space, we recommend you bring with you your plants, photos, folders, a basket for rubbish/laundry, a lamp, books, and white board. Don’t bring your whole wardrobe with you; you don’t know how much space you will have – and you probably won’t wear them all your clothes anyway.

Tip! – If you have all your clothes hanging up in your wardrobe that you want to take – instead of folding them and putting them into bags, collect the clothes together on the hangers, grab a bin bag and wrap that around the hangers – leaving a hole at the top so that you can carry them easily.

Additional items you might want to bring:

  • Formal wear – you may attend society balls/dinners depending on which university you choose to study at. Check first with your university.
  • Backpack or laptop/tablet bag – books and notebooks, along with gadgets can be heavy. You may also want to pack a small purse for when you are exploring your new city.
  • Appropriate shoes for walking/exercising.
  • Books/stationary/pencil case/laptop/tablet.
  • Deck of cards/card games/board games/game console.
  • Documentation – Passport, ID, NHS number and other important documents – bank details/university and accommodation letters.

Bathroom

It doesn’t hurt for the first few weeks to bring your essential toiletries, but some smaller items can be purchased locally if you don’t want to think about bringing too much.

If you’re not sure about something being provided by your accommodation, you can always contact them and ask.


It’s not the end of the world if you have to leave stuff behind – and wherever you are you will always be able to shop for things you need, so don’t work yourself into too much of a panic about it.  If you aren’t sure what you think you will need, starter kits may be the way to go.

Not sure what you need to do ready for September? Read our Getting Ready for Uni Part 1 blog.

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