Packing For University: The Ultimate First Year Checklist | [Updated 2022]

Table of Contents

Hey First-Year Students, This is What You Need to Take To University!

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

Well firstly, well DONE for getting in, that in itself is an achievement you should be chuffed about. Huge congrats from all of us at Prestige Student Living <3 

If you’re still awaiting your A-level results, then don’t worry! We believe in you.


And secondly…we feel your pain. 

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.

*PS each room has been split into two sections. 

  1. Essentials – Items you’re going to need to pack for university. These are must-haves for a comfortable time in your student accommodation.
  2. Non Essentials – These are items you might want to take as extra luxuries. 

Bedroom Essentials


Your bedroom in your accommodation will be your haven and 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.

  • 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)

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)

Bathroom Essentials

bathroom for university bedroom

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 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

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

packing for university

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

Kitchen (Non) Essential

  • Blender
  • Egg cup
  • Spatula
  • Whisk
  • Rice cookers
  • Air fryer (You might want to ask if anyone else is planning on taking one first)
  • Slow cooker

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

studying whilst at university

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 

girl with laptop and phone which she packed for uni

  • Phone charger
  • Laptop charger
  • Speaker (You’ll want some tunes on at pre’s)
  • Headphones
  • USB memory stick

Electrical (Non) Essentials

  • TV (How else will you watch Netflix?!)
  • Games console – Xbox, PlayStation, Gaming Computer
  • Printer and ink (Some accommodations have printing facilities)

Important Documents

important documents to use whilst at university

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)

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. Don’t worry though, a lot of these things you can purchase when you move in by doing a big food shop and getting bathroom bits – whatever floats your boat!

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

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!

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