Talking Points

university student packing for uni

The ultimate university packing list

September is just around the corner and with it comes the start of the new academic year. For some, this means a return to university for year two or three of their degree. For others, it is the start of a brand-new uni adventure.

If you are heading off to university soon, the chances are you’re currently worrying about what to take with you. After all, the majority of students have only lived at home until now.

As a student letting agent with many years of experience, we decided to put a packing list together for new students, to make life easier when it comes to gathering your belongings and heading off to your new town or city.

We’ve split the list up into handy sections. As everyone’s living situation will be a little different, you may not need everything on the lists below, but at least you won’t forget it if it’s on there as an option!

If you’re moving into a house share, make sure to chat with your housemates soon and sort out who is bringing what — especially when it comes to kitchen equipment.

Documents for university

  • Passport or another official form of ID
  • Driving licence
  • University acceptance letter
  • Accommodation documents
  • Student finance documents
  • A recent bank statement — useful for proving your home address & providing your bank details
  • Your National Insurance Number
  • Your NHS number

Clothes for university

university student

You may be tempted to treat yourself to a bunch of new clothes before you start your degree, but we’d recommend not doing that, as fashion and your tastes will change while you’re a student — even throughout the first year. Instead, consider packing the below and adding to your wardrobe as and when you want to:

  • Pyjamas or nightwear that you’re happy to be seen in by housemates
  • Slippers
  • Dressing gown
  • Everyday clothes and shoes — suitable for your country of study and your course
  • Sportswear — if you enjoy fitness or are considering joining a team or club when you arrive
  • Smart clothes — if you feel you might need them
  • Fancy dress — because you’re a student! You can wait and buy an outfit at the time, but you may as well take one with you if you already own one.
  • A bag for uni days — if you’re not living on campus, you’ll need a bag to carry around your books, lunch, etc.
  • A ‘going out’ bag for your essentials

Bathroom essentials for university

What you need for your student bathroom will vary depending on if you have a bathroom to yourself or share it with others, but bear the below in mind:

  • Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, moisturiser, flannels, sanitary items, contraception, make-up remover, etc.)
  • Prescription medication
  • First aid kit, including painkillers for hangovers!
  • Hairbrush/comb
  • Nail clippers
  • Towels
  • Toothbrush holder
  • Handwash
  • Bathmat
  • Toilet roll
  • Toilet brush
  • Bathroom cleaning supplies

Bedroom essentials for university

university friends in house share

Before you start packing for your student bedroom, check what is provided by the university or landlord. You don’t want to waste your money on multiples you didn’t need! Next, consider the below:

  • Duvet
  • Pillows
  • Bedding sets x 2 (duvet covers, pillowcases, and sheets)
  • Mattress protector
  • Mattress topper, if you’re feeling fancy
  • Blanket
  • Cushions
  • Clothes hangers
  • Mobile phone
  • Laptop/tablet
  • Chargers for electrical items
  • Extension lead(s)
  • Washing basket
  • Decorations (rug, bunting, photos, posters, fairy lights, etc.) and products for displaying your decorations (check with your landlord, as many don’t allow sticky tape on the walls, for example)
  • Hairdryer/straighteners/curlers
  • Speakers, if you like
  • Earplugs, in case of noisy housemates or neighbours

Kitchen essentials for university

If you’re living in halls, you may only require kitchen basics. However, if you’re moving into a house share, you’ll need most of the below items. Before you start collecting these things, speak to your housemates, and agree on who is bringing what — you don’t want to end up with five graters!

  • Oven gloves
  • Baking trays
  • Drinking glasses
  • Mugs
  • Plates & bowls
  • Cutlery
  • Frying pan
  • Saucepan
  • Sieve
  • Spatula & wooden spoon
  • Grater
  • Peeler
  • Sharp knives
  • Chopping board
  • Storage boxes for leftovers
  • Toaster
  • Kettle
  • Tin opener
  • Bottle opener
  • Draining rack
  • Surface cleaner
  • Washing-up liquid
  • Sponge/cloth for washing-up and surface cleaning
  • Kitchen roll
  • Bin bags
  • Laundry powder/liquid
  • Fabric softener
  • Tea towels
  • Scissors
  • Foil/cling film or eco-friendly alternative
girl packing student kitchen essentials for university

Study requirements

Depending on the course you are taking, there may be items you need to purchase in advance. These could include textbooks, specific clothing, a calculator, a dictionary, and so on.

Study essentials, depending on your favoured study methods, might include:

  • Pens
  • Notepads
  • Folders
  • Sticky notes
  • An external hard drive or USB stick, for storing your work safely
  • Highlighters
  • A student planner so you can stay organised

In addition to all of the above, we’d recommend taking a few food and drink essentials with you too before you do your first ‘big shop’, such as tea bags, coffee, milk, sugar, bread, pasta and pasta sauce.

Happy packing! We wish you a fantastic first year at university. Keep an eye on our student blog for loads of handy hints and tips for uni life. If you find yourself needing a student house in Leeds, check out our selection at any time of day or night, or drop in for a chat with our experts.

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