Packing For University: The Ultimate First Year Checklist 2023

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Calling all first year students, this is your ultimate checklist for what to pack if you’re heading to university in 2023.

If you’ve landed on this page then we’re pretty sure you’re stuck on what to take to uni – right? 

There’s SO much to think about when it comes to packings, like what to bring for your bedroom or even the essentials you’ll need for studying! 

To ease your worries, we’ve compiled a huge list of every single thing you could need whilst packing for university.

Forget feeling like you’re unprepared, ‘cos this list will make you feel like Mary Poppins if you stick to every item we mention – we promise!

Keep on reading and make sure to bookmark this page for future reference.

packing for university

Bedroom Essentials

Whilst staying in student accommodation or halls of residence, your bedroom will be your haven so we suggest making it as comfortable as possible. 

Your new room will be the place you chill after a stressful day of university, so don’t skimp out on making it your home away from home.

Below we’ve listed everything you need to pack for your student bedroom!

  • Duvet
  • Pillows
  • Mattress protector
  • Duvet cover
  • Pillowcase 
  • Bedsheets
  • Coat hangers
  • Desk lamp
  • Laundry basket
  • Dressing gown
  • Medicine (If you take any medication, ensure you bring it with you & keep it in a safe space)
  • Plug adapters (If you’re an international student)
  • Ear plus (Freshers week can be loud)

Bedroom (Non) Essentials

  • Blanket
  • Cushions
  • Under-bed storage boxes
  • Hot water bottle
  • Bin (check your accommodation doesn’t have one already)
  • Long length and small mirror (check your accommodation doesn’t have one already)
  • Alarm clock
  • Fairy lights
  • Photos
  • Posters / Prints
  • Diffuser
  • Mini Fridge (If you want to store snacks in your room)
  • Fitness equipment (yoga matt, dumbbells, resistance band)
  • Plants (If you want to decorate your room)
  • Rug
  • Umbrella (The UK weather is quite temperamental)
  • Door stopper (Might come in handy in freshers)
  • Mini sewing kit

Still yet to sort out your luxury student accommodation? Explore our properties today to see where you could set up home at university!


Bathroom Essentials

Depending on whether you’re sharing or have the luxury of your en-suite bathroom, your university checklist will fluctuate.

Make sure to chat with your flatmates to see what they’re bringing and find don’t double up on things you don’t need!

  • Hand towels
  • Towels
  • Bath mat
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Shower gel
  • Deodorant
  • Shaving cream
  • Razor
  • Aftershave/Perfume
  • Bin
  • Toilet brush
  • Toilet paper
  • Small first aid kit
  • Personal items (e.g. contact lens solution or contraception)
  • Makeup
  • Hairbrush and dryer
  • Hairstyling tools
  • Contact lens case and solution (unless you have 20/20 vision, we’re jealous)


Bathroom (Non) Essentials

  • Air freshener
  • Toothbrush holder
  • Flip flops (communal showers)
  • Shower mesh foam puffball
  • Indoor airer (or clothes maiden, whatever you call it)

Kitchen Essentials

Yes, this is the biggest list out of the lot and that’s ‘cos we’re planning you’re going to be chefs by the end of your uni year. 

If there are other utensils you feel like you could benefit from then deffo buy them!

Don’t just limit yourself to what we’ve put on here.

  • Cutlery (2x everything)
  • Chopping knives
  • Bowls and plates (2x everything)
  • Mugs
  • Scissors
  • Chopping board
  • Tupperware
  • Wooden spoon
  • Frying pan
  • Saucepan (2x)
  • Colander
  • Measuring jug
  • Garlic press
  • Can opener
  • Grater
  • Pizza cutter
  • Potato peeler
  • Baking tray
  • Oven gloves
  • Weighing scales
  • Tea towels
  • Kitchen foil
  • Cling film
  • Sandwich bags
  • Corkscrew (How else will you open a bottle of wine?)


Kitchen (Non) Essential

Your student life is going to be epic and being prepared is a weight off your shoulders you don’t even realise is there.

Below we’ve listed some of the non essential kitchen items you may want to bring with you for uni!

  • Blender
  • Egg cup
  • Spatula
  • Whisk
  • Coffee maker / machine
  • Rice cookers
  • Air fryer (You might want to ask if anyone else is planning on taking one first)
  • Slow cooker
  • Pack of cards (For drinking games in the kitchen, duh!)
  • Board games to play with your flatmates (Who could say no to a game of monopoly?)


Cleaning Products

It’s inevitable that if you’re living in a cluster flat, there will be one messy and dirty individual…don’t let that be you!

With our simple cleaning list, you’ll easily pass the flatmate test with flying colours. 

  • Furniture polish
  • Toilet duck
  • Toilet wipes and spray
  • Air freshener 
  • Kitchen cleaner
  • Baby wipes
  • Dusters
  • Bin bags


Studying Essentials

Did you forget you were going to uni to study too?

If so, this simple list will prepare you for all the work you’re going to be doing. 

  • Laptop
  • Laptop bag
  • Pens and pencils
  • Notebook
  • Diary
  • Stapler
  • Files
  • Blue/White tack
  • Course textbooks
  • Water bottle


Electrical Items 

  • Phone charger
  • Laptop charger
  • Speaker (You’ll want some tunes on at pre’s)
  • Headphones
  • USB memory stick
  • Webcam (online learning or video interviews)
  • Portable charger (This can be useful when you’re on campus all day)
  • TV (How else will you watch Netflix?!)
  • Games console – Xbox, PlayStation, Gaming Computer
  • Printer and ink (Some accommodations have printing facilities)


Important Documents

This section is super important and shouldn’t be overlooked, especially for international students packing for university!

  • Drivers license
  • Passport
  • Passport photos
  • Birth certificate
  • Travel card (If you have a railcard or something similar, bring it)
  • Student Finance documents
  • Insurance documents
  • University acceptance letter
  • Student bank details
  • Prescription copies (You’ll also need your NHS number to register to a doctors)
  • National Insurance Number (If you want to apply for part time jobs)
  • Copies of your CV (again, if you’re applying for jobs)


Final Point

Wowwee it’s crazy once it’s written down in plain writing how much stuff you’re going to need whilst packing for university.

And think, this is just the essentials for each room, we haven’t even dived into the fact you’ll have to pack all your clothes and fill your food cupboards.

Make sure that you plan how you’re going to get your things to uni too, are you getting a lift with family? Getting the train up? Even catching a flight? This is really important as you don’t want to overpack, be realistic!

Remember, everything you bring along with you, you’ll need to move back out again by the summer too.

A lot of things you can purchase when you’ve moved into your student home, by doing a big food shop and getting bathroom bits.


We hope this guide has been useful, remember you may be able to get some money off items that you need for university due to your student status, it’s always worth a try!

If you’re excited for your university life to begin, make sure to check out our blog on 8 Cosy and Homely Ways to Decorate Your Student Room.

We’ve helped you out with some hints and tips to help you decorate a student room to make it cosy and homely!