What to Take When Moving to University - The Checklist

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Exciting times… You’re about to turn a new chapter in your life and embark on a journey of learning, making new friends but most importantly, living away from home for the first time.

And of course, you feel thrilled about the prospect of going to uni and moving to a different city but admit it, there’s also the question: What do you absolutely need to pack for uni?

Well, this will naturally depend on what sort of accommodation you’re going to live in. You may decide to go private and find your own furnished flat, bedsit or room; get an unfurnished place to share with a few friends or resort to the uni’s housing services and move into a hall of residence, provided by the academic establishment.

Either way, there’s always stuff that is essential to bring with you.

So, we’ve made another more comprehensive student moving checklist for your convenience, as a follow-up guide to our last year’s post on what to pack for your first term at uni.

What documents you will need

Right then, you will need to get some important documentation with you that will help you make the transition to your new life smooth and stress-free. Gather those in a neat folder and back up all your original paperwork digitally, just in case.

Here’s a handy checklist of documents you should pack:

  • A form of ID /driving licence, passport, ID card
  • Financial documentation, related to your enrollment
  • Bank details, debit and credit cards
  • Your university letter of acceptance
  • National insurance card
  • A few passport-size photos
  • Accommodation documentation
  • Medical prescriptions, if needs be
  • A paper copy of all important phone numbers

The above list doesn’t claim to be extensive but you can get the gist of what you need to consider taking with you in terms of documentation.

For instance, if you have a specific medical condition or an allergy, it’s a good idea to bring all relevant medical information, such as an allergy card for an easier reference, if needed.

Of course, your medical record is transferred to your new GP. But until you register, it doesn’t hurt to have vital details about specific health issues you might have at hand.

Don’t leave home without these essentials

Let’s move on now to some of the essentials that you should or may want to pack and take to university, regardless of what type of accommodation you’re going to rent –  furnished or unfurnished.


  • Clothing and shoe wear for all weather
  • An umbrella and a waterproof jacket
  • Bedding, towels, coat hangers
  • Toiletries, shaving kit, hair styling tools
  • An extension lead, adapters, chargers, your mobile phone
  • A desk lamp, an iron, speakers
  • Medication, if needs be
  • Sports equipment (ex: bike, dumbbells, yoga mat)

We’ll stop here, as some essentials you can get when you move to your university town or city. Or in other words, you don’t need to pack and transport across the country any washing detergents, your shampoo or toothpaste unless you really want to.

Also, you can easily get some paracetamol tablets from your nearby supermarket or any other basic medication that you don’t need a prescription for.

Learning is easy when you’ve got these must-have tools

Of course, we can’t imagine you going anywhere without your PC, laptop and/or iPad. You’ll pack those by default. But what about the rest of the stuff you need if you are going to be a hard-working, conscientious student?

Again, you can top up your stationary pack with essential items when you get to your new location, but it doesn’t hurt if you arrive prepared for your academic studies. So, consider packing the following checklist:

  • Notepads, notebooks, A4 paper, USB sticks
  • Pens, pencils, markers, correction fluid, an eraser
  • Noticeboard, sticky notes, pushpins, a stapler, a hole punch
  • Folders, organisers
  • A laptop bag or a comfortable size rucksack

What else students need to take to university also will depend on what course they have been enrolled, of course. Or in other words, if you’re pursuing a Fine Arts degree, then packing a variety of art materials is a must.

Don’t live on sandwiches and takeaway meals

Most student types of accommodation are equipped with everything you need to prepare healthy meals and nutrition, especially for vegans. The first few months can be extremely stressful and the kitchen area is shared with others, whether you rent a room in a house or you’ve decided to live in a hall of residence with communal cooking and dining facilities.

In that sense, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to pack a cooker, a toaster and a kettle to take with you unless you’re renting privately an unfurnished house or flat.

Still, consider bringing some personal kitchen items and utensils, just to be prepared.

  • A saucepan, a baking tray, a frying pan
  • A chopping board, knives, cooking utensils
  • A couple of plates, bowls, a cup/mug/glass
  • Cutlery, a tin opener/bottle opener, a veggie peeler

Of course, nothing is stopping you to take to uni some small kitchen appliances that you’re used to preparing food or drinks with, back at home, such as a sandwich grill/maker or a smoothie blender.

Also, it’s a good idea to grab basic food supplies to keep you going for the first week, especially if you’re arriving late and starting your studies straight away. Essentials like coffee, honey, sugar, tea, tins of soup, tuna, as well as some ready dry meals, cereal breakfast, biscuits, jars of jam, etc. will save the day when feeling hungry and too exhausted to go shopping and then, cooking an elaborate meal.

Comfort furniture makes student life much easier

Again, you should check what your new accommodation has to offer but this doesn’t mean that you can’t disassemble and pack your favourite swivel chair, bring a portable, light-weight, rolling clothes rack and a plastic drawer cart/organiser. This way, you won’t be guessing if you’ll need to fight over storage space with your roommate or settle for studying daily on an uncomfortable chair.

Furthermore, don’t forget to pack some family pictures and personal stuff to decorate your space. Just make your new place feel like home to alleviate the uneasy feeling of starting your new life in a strange place, away from loved ones.

How to pack your stuff – 7 proven packing tips

Packing doesn’t need to be stressful if done right, commented a professional from the men with van department at the professional moving company Fantastic Removals (London). Follow the tips below and turn the music on while at it:

  1. Get yourself a good selection of packing materials:
  • Different size sturdy cardboard boxes
  • Labels
  • Permanent marker pen
  • Packing tape
  • Bubble wrap
  • Heavy-duty bin bags
  • Packing paper/newspaper
  1. Pack books, appliances, kitchen items and dismantlable furniture in individual boxes and fill the gaps with paper.
  2. Fragile pieces should be first well-packed in bubble wrap, of course.
  3. Tape securely all the boxes and make sure that they are not too heavy.
  4. Bedding, duvets, sheets and winter jackets can go in a few bin bags. Get the air out of the bag and tape securely.
  5. Label all boxes and packages appropriately and note clearly breakables.
  6. Pack clothes, stationery and personal items in your travel rucksack or suitcase.

Any food items you’re taking with you can go in a sturdy carrier bag or a large clear plastic storage box.

As you can see, moving to uni doesn’t have to be an experience full of anxiety, fearful thoughts and worries. It’s a time of excitement and you should make the most of it. And if you want to make things even easier for you, you can always discuss with your parents the option of using a reputable student accommodation provider like us and have everything taken care of for you from the start.