Moving and Packing Tips

Moving to University – What to take to Uni

Congratulations! You are now accepted in University and things just got a bit more serious. For some people, this is the beginning of their “grown-up life”, while for others it is just another step in it. Either way, you most likely need a bit of help on packing for university. More specifically, what to take to uni. Moving to university is one of those things that you only do once, so do it right. Today we are presenting this uni packing list which, if you follow you will have everything you might need for life in your student accommodation. So, without further ado, here the things to take to uni.

In the following paragraphs, we will list items from different categories and we will explain a bit why you would want to take those items with you, as well as how to pack them properly.

Table of Contents:

Who is this post for:

  • First-year students;
  • People that were not prepared the first year and want to get a hold of things now.

Important documents you might need

You might want to take some important documents with you. (Make copies, don’t carry originals around to avoid losing them.)

  • Copy of your ID;
  • Copy of your driver’s license (if you have one);
  • University documents, such as your acceptance letter;
  • Accommodation documents, if you are benefiting from student accommodation;
  • National insurance card;
  • A couple of passport-sized photos;
  • All other letters and documents that were sent to you by the university.
Packing tip: Arrange the documents in a folder and keep it somewhere safe. Keeping them in pairs (original+copy) might save you some hassle if you realize you need a copy of the document in the last minute.

Uni stationery

This largely depends on your major. You might need additional uni essentials stationery like rulers, different-coloured pens and others.

The following are your basic stationery:

  • Sticky notes – Mark important pages in textbooks and leave notes to yourself and flatmates;
  • Scissors – Not one an essential, but it might come in handy in opening different packages;
  • Tape – It might save a pen or even a mug handle. Plus, you can hang posters with it;
  • Notebooks – Bring one with you to the lectures, even if you plan to take notes on your laptop;
  • Pens and pencils
  • Pencil case – Especially if you are drawing, you will need to protect the tips of your pencils while in your bag and they will be organised;
  • Highlighter markers – Highlight important paragraphs from your notes. You can also tick off, everything that you packed already according to the “University Checklist”.
  • Folders – You can save your notes in them and any printed materials. Later on, it will be easier to study from those files.
Packing tip: Put them all in a single box with some paper to fill in the gaps.

Clothes to pack for your move to uni

Pack all the clothes you want but keep in mind the storage you will have in the room. Often times people pack way too many clothes and buy even more once they get there. The important thing is to pack warm clothes alongside your shirts and shorts. You don’t know what mother nature has planned for your stay, so be prepared.

Here are a couple of things that you should take with you:

  • Slippers or slides – Occasional sauce on the floor and maybe even a piece of broken glass from last nights pre-drinks are not something uncommon. Don’t go bear feet;
  • Formal outfit – Often there is a formal ceremony for the freshmen to be enrolled in the university.
Packing tip: Pack your clothes in vacuum bags to save space. Your formal outfit should be in a suit cover.

Additional items for your clothes

  • Laundry basket – A cotton bag type one would be best, especially if it has hangers, so you can carry it to the washing room;
  • Airer – Most laundry rooms will have a dryer as well but often the queue for those is way longer. Bring an airer with you so you can hang your freshly washed clothes in your room;
  • Pegs – Get a pack of pegs just in case. If you have somewhere to hang your clothes on the outside they will dry out faster. If not, you can always be creative and use them for hanging pictures, fairy lights and others;
  • Door hanger – It will come in handy for your towels, hoodies and jackets;
  • Hangers – to store your clothes in the closet.

Electrical items that you should take to uni

  • Laptop – You can bring your PC but you will be better off with your laptop;
  • Extension leads – Get two and use them on different sockets to avoid overloading;
  • Speakers – Portable or not, but do pack some;
  • A good set of noise-cancelling headphones – This item will help you so much while studying. The walls are usually not so thick and people tend to be noisy so you will have to find a way to deal with it;
  • Two USB’s – One for personal files, the other for uni materials and official documents. Keep the second one somewhere safe. Maybe on your University pass if you are using it often;
  • Ethernet / Lan cable – so you can connect your PC or TV to the internet, plus if you are connected via a cable you won’t have to worry about Wi-Fi coverage;
  • HDMI cable – it might come in handy, especially if you gather for a gaming session or you need to connect a device to an external monitor;
  • Toast machine – a toast machine could be a real lifesaver in uni. Ass long as you have bread, cheese and ham you are all set.
Packing tip: Your laptop should be in a bag of its own, alongside the USB drives and additional cables. Any other electrical items should be well wrapped in bubble wrap and in separate boxes. More on how to pack small appliances.

Student kitchen essentials

  • Snacks – It may not be a utensil but you will need some. You will most likely arrive at your new home late and you will start with the unpacking right away. Grab a couple of chocolates or something else that will give you energy fast and get you through the night. You might want to pack instant noodles or something like that, just in case you are in need of a quick meal;
  • Mug – your favourite mug, which will remind you of your home;
  • Glasses – Bring at least two so you can have a spare if needed;
  • Spatula, slotted spoon and a wooden spoon – Those are your main three weapons for battling almost every recipe;
  • Frying pan – Make sure it is a non-stick one;
  • Saucepan – You can get two of those if you plan to cook on a regular basis. It can really save you a lot of time in some cases;
  • Colander – Let’s be honest, most of your meals are probably going to be pasta based from now on. A colander will also come in handy when you wash some fruits and you should get some because the university diet of most students is not so healthy;
  • Cutleries – Teaspoon, fork, knife and spoon. You can double down on those just to have a spare for a friend, or if you lose something;
  • Sharp knife – Get something decent in size, but not too big;
  • Chopping board – Get a bigger one, but just like with the knife, don’t overdo it. You should be able to cut two different things in both ends of the board without much of a hassle;
  • Bowls and plates – Two of each will be more than enough for your needs. Bring a big salad bowl as well, you can also serve chips and popcorn in it;
  • Dishwashing brush – You are bound to burn a meal or two in that frying pan and washing it will be hard. A dishwashing scrub will save you a lot of time, nails, and effort.
  • Oven glove – Students often forget this important utensil;
  • A couple of plastic storage boxes – they will come in handy if you want to pack some food for the go or save some of your meal for tomorrow. (Ice cream boxes work just fine.)
Packing tip: Snacks should be easy to reach. Everything else should be in bubble wrap. Duct tape cardboard around the blades of knives as a safety measure.

Tip: Don’t go and buy ready student kitchen starter packs. You will probably not use most of the items that are inside those packs.

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Bedroom essentials for uni

  • Pillows and Duvets – Grab a set of two, so when one is in the laundry you have a fresh pair to use;
  • Throw – You can snuggle under it in cold nights while binge-watching something with your flatmates;
  • Doorstop – You would want your door to be open, at least for the first couple of days. This way you can pass the “meet and greet” period with flying colours. If your door is closed, most people won’t bother to knock and disturb you.
Packing tip: Pack your pillows and duvets in a vacuum bag to take less space while being transported. If you are using a professional student removal, that won’t be an issue for you but if you are relocating on your own, you should save as much space as possible.

Bedroom Decoration

It is important to decorate your room so you can feel comfortable. A lot of students get homesick, especially in the first semester. Some of them even drop out for that reason.

  • Fairy lights – The light will make your room feel cosy and warm. It is amazing how a set of fairy lights can transform a room with plain white walls and no decoration at all;
  • Bed cover – Get something to match the interior of your room, or at least other things that you have bought;
  • Artwork – If you have some drawings of your own or those of a family member, even better;
  • Favourite posters – Something with motivational texts, your favourite car or your dream house, anything that will get you through a tough day and motivate you to keep moving forward;
  • Corkboard – You can organise everything on it, print your schedule and put in there so you can see it constantly. You can also pin pictures on the corkboard as well;
  • Command strips – In most student accommodations making holes in the walls is forbidden. Those strips will help you hang all of your decorations without damage. Just peel them off slowly when moving out, not to strip the paint.
Packing tip: Keep artwork and pictures in frames on top of everything to prevent damages. Drawings could be transported in art tubes.

Bathroom Items

  • Flip-flops – You should have a pair so you won’t take your showers barefooted. It is not advisable, especially in shared bathrooms. You may develop feet fungus and an odd smell and it won’t be the fault of your flatmates;
  • Dressing gown – Or towels, whatever you prefer;
  • A couple of face towels – Keep those in your room and take them with you when you are going in the bathroom. You don’t want people to dry their hands in it. These towels should be used only for your face.
Packing tip: Pack those alongside your clothes in vacuum bags.


A fundamental part of any student starter kit. It all depends on your habits and needs. We can advise you to gather all of your toiletries in a basket (shower caddy), which you can take with you to the bathroom because it could be quite a handful.

We will list some essential toiletries that you need to pack and you can add your own personal preferences:

  • Soap;
  • Shower gel;
  • Shampoo;
  • Deodorant;
  • Parfume;
  • Face wash;
  • Toothpaste;
  • Toothbrush;
  • Nail clippers.

Honourable mentions:

  • Shower caddy;
  • Travel soap case;
  • Toilet paper – pack at least one roll for emergencies.
Packing tip: Put shampoos, shower gels and other liquid toiletries in separate plastic bags and make sure that the tops are well closed. Make sure that the box with your toiletries is somewhere on top of other boxes.

Meds for your university survival kit

Meds are very important. Acquire everything you usually take when you catch a cold and add something for hangovers and muscle pain to complete your university survival kit.

A couple of valuable options for your medkit:

  • PARACETAMOL – Also helps with headaches 😉
  • Ibuprofen
  • Plasters
  • Disinfectant

Pack extra medication if you are on a prescription. Some meds can’t be bought in advance because they are dispensed monthly. For those, you will have to clear things out with your doctor. However, if you can stock-up your meds, do it.

What should you buy there

Those items are definitely uni must-haves, but can easily be acquired in a couple of days after you move in. We leave the decision on whether to pack them or not to you.

  • Air fresheners – note that you will not be able to use scented candles because of the fire hazard;
  • Pack of batteries;
  • Plants for your room – fake ones will do just fine;
  • Spare light bulbs.

Additional tips

Search for your flatmates on social media. There is a chance they have already created a group chat in which they can add you, and if not, go on and create one. Talk with them, get to know each other and see what will they bring to the accommodation. You can share the weight of ordinary household items like brooms, mops and buckets. Everyone can bring a different item that all of you will use.


  • Bring some cleaning solutions with you for your room;
  • A deep clean of the room should be the first thing you do before settling in;
  • If you don’t want to go through all that again next year consider the student storage options around you;
  • Don’t overpack on clothes;
  • You won’t use all of those kitchen utensils.

Good luck and have fun! You are in for a treat. It might be scary at first but time in the university is considered to be one of the most amazing times in a person’s life. Enjoy it!


Do you have personal experience that you would like to share? Please, do so in the comment section below. Have you forgotten something on your move to Uni that you really needed?

Image source: depositphotos / HighwayStarz

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