This is one of the most exciting moments of your life. You are embarking on an adventure, you will have a greater level of autonomy and independence. But, more importantly, you have a great excuse to walk the aisles of Staples goggling at all of that stationary you may or may not need, but you best have just in case! 

It might be a stressful moment at times. You might not be moving that far from home but the pressure to take everything you need on the first run can prove trying at times. By the time I got there I was fed up of going over everything in my head deciding whether I had forgotten anything or not (I still don't know to this day). So, we have collated a checklist for every aspect of university life. Let us know if it helps! 

We will help you pack exactly what you need so you don't get carried away or head off under prepared for your new digs. If you are not going to halls and are heading into student housing or accommodation away from Halls then you want this blog: Checklist: Essential Items for Student Housing & Accommodation. 



This is your minimum requirement list for a good first year at University. 


  • Bedsheets, Duvet & Pillow Cases 
  • Blankets for snuggling up when it gets cold
  • Dressing Gown & Slippers for rare middle of the night fire alarm tests or burnt toast affairs!
  • Towels 
  • Coat Hangers 
  • Extension Leads so you can hook up all of your tech 
  • Toiletries - Shampoo, Conditioner, Shower gel, Soap, Flannel, Face Wash, Body Spray, Perfume, Toothbrush & Toothpaste, Handcream, Make-up removers, Toilet roll, Tampons/Sanitary Towels, Razor/shaver, Hairbrush
  • Wet Wipes - Always good in a messy emergency 
  • Hair Dryer/ Hair Straighteners and any wax/gel/mousse/hairspray needed  
  • Clothes for hot and cold weather - the UK is changeable at best - don't forget swimwear and sportswear if you are active 
  • Underwear - pants, socks, bras 
  • Mobile Phone & CHARGER - well it is important! 
  • PC/Laptop and any cables & chargers (printer is really useful too)
  • Headphones - Nobody wants to listen to your recorded lectures, trust me! 
  • TV - If you like TV I would class this as an essential item (check with the Halls if you might need a booster for signal & TV license)
  • Stationary - Pens, Pencils, Notepads, Highlighters, Rubber, Ink Refills 
  • USB Stick - for transport work to and from libraries & backing up your work continuously (use the cloud too so you have three copies of everything) 
  • Any medicines you need - box of painkillers like Ibuprofen/Paracetamol 
  • Washing Detergent & Fabric Softener 
  • Cleaning Items - Carpet Cleaner, Polish, Duster, Washing up liquid, Scourers, Tea towel, Dishcloth 
  • Wet Weather Items - Umbrella, Waterproof Jacket, Waterproof Boots - Chances are you will be walking more so you won't be able to avoid the rain and nobody wants to get soaked 
  • Cold weather Items - Gloves, hat, scarf 
  • A couple of smart outfits 
  • Games & Sports Equipment - If you are into a sport then you will be able to join a club and if you are a gamer you will need your tech 
  • Contact Details for friends and family in case you lose your phone 
  • Cash - Take a bit out of the bank so you have some on you for emergencies or a taxi - it will take you a while to get to know your way around
  • Snacks - Just in case Hall meals do not cut it take some noodles, tinned food and other non-perishable items so you never go hungry. A nice goody bag for your first week of independence 
  • Tea, Coffee and Hot Choc - whatever you fancy, and don't forget a carton of milk
  • Kitchen Items - Bottle opener, can opener, microwaveable containers, bowls, plates, glasses, mugs, cutlery, freezer bags 
  • Carrier bags - handy for storage, preventing spillages, dirty washing etc 
  • Study Backpack or Satchel capable of carrying all the books you need 


This can be the most stressful part of joining University, the enrolment process when you arrive. It is much slicker than in my day now but there are still a lot of students so the more you are prepared the easier it will go. You will most likely need:

  • Passport (or alternative ID)
  • All official uni correspondence including acceptance letter 
  • Driver’s licence if you have one 
  • Student loan documents - you will want to track when to expect it so you know if it doesn’t arrive and needs chasing 
  • All of your accommodation documents so you can enrol into your Halls of Residence 
  • You bank card
  • Bank account details - a last statement might be useful for recent transactions too
  • NI (National insurance) card or number 
  • Any Student discount cards you have enrolled onto or be ready to find those and hook yourself up to the best discounts you will see until you hit pensioner age! (NUS Card, Railcard)
  • Any prescriptions you have 
  • Details of your current GP and doctor’s surgery as you will have to enrol in a local campus or town GP while you are at university 

Keep these documents in a safe place so when you need to do enrolment or loan stuff you can organise yourself in a jiffy. 



Space is usually limited in Halls of Residence so what you want to take and what you can store practically might be a little different. You also do not want to be underprepared! In the first instance I would go for the bare minimum with a treat item added in (perhaps you can't live without a sandwich maker or a smoothie maker) and then once you assess space you can always plan for more kitchenware to come and stay with you. Imagine owning a cupboard because chances are that is what you will get - what needs to go in that cupboard besides food and essential snacks?

This is what we have so far:

  • Kitchen Items - Bottle opener, can opener, microwaveable containers, bowls, plates, glasses, mugs, cutlery, freezer bags 

You might want/need to add:

  • Knives for cutting, chopping and dicing 
  • Chopping board 
  • Saucepans & a frying pan 
  • Baking tray - pizza tray
  • Peeler 
  • Measuring Jug - handy for microwaved scrambled eggs & Angel Delight
  • Grater 
  • Cling film 
  • Tin foil 
  • Recipes (you could take a book or just transcribe your mum or dads top meals that you can then add your own twist to) 

You probably don't need quirky salt and pepper shakers...try not to get carried away! 

If you are not in a Halls of Residence the chances are you will need a lot more than that in the kitchen. Don’t worry we have you covered - check out our blog called Checklist: Essential Items for Student Housing & Accommodation  



  • Photos of friends and family 
  • A sewing kit 
  • Over door hooks for extra areas to hang clothes and towels 
  • Matches or a lighter  
  • Box sets for evening and weekend viewing 
  • A Bike to make getting around campus easier and into town for supplies - don’t forget your helmet and a strong lock 
  • Alarm Clock - For that horrible moment when you drop your phone down the hall staircase or in a puddle
  • Laundry bin - you can use carrier bags (easy transport to the laundry room) or you can opt for a home from home and a touch of style 
  • Post-it notes, paper clips, stapler, sticky tape - they can all come in handy but you won't expect to use then until you really need them
  • Speakers - Sometimes headphones can get annoying and you might want background music on 
  • Camera - sure we have great phone cameras now but this is an important year for you - make sure you capture it
  • A fan for hot weather - even if that is just a desk fan (you never know!)
  • Desk lamp for last minute late night essay writing (no I know - you will be way more organised than that - me too...mostly) 
  • Torch - if the electric goes off you will be the corridor champion when you emerge with a torch out shining all of the phone torches around you 
  • Drawing pins or blue/white tac for putting up posters (if they are allowed, many Halls now have areas for posters to go up)





  1. Pack your stuff for transport into bags and boxes that are easy to carry in case you have to trek to get to your new room. Big suitcases will be in your way, so think about what you will do with the bags/boxes once you have emptied them. 
  2. If you take your bike then put a carrier bag in your rucksack. That way you can put the carrier bag around the seat and if it rains you won't cycle home with a wet bum! 
  3. Get to know the library from day one - put a bit of effort in to understand journals, how to find elusive books and don't be afraid to ask. I discovered all sorts in my last year that would have been handy to know from the start.
  4. Budget your weeks. Allot yourself an amount you can spend and try to stick to that - if you need extra one week then plan ahead to you can cope the following week. 
  5. Keep £10 stored safely on your person when you go out and keep it as emergency money that you never spend. Just in case you need a taxi or food on the way home! 
  6. Utilise student discounts and look for student promotions in local supermarkets 
  7. Opt for a thick tog duvet for those cold winter nights - it is unlikely you will control your own heating and there is no fire so snuggling under the duvet at certain times of the day may be a god send! 


Now you have everything you need you can go and have a great first year! 


Good luck!