What to take to university: the ultimate guide of what you really need + checklist

by - 6:00 PM

Those that have gone through it will agree that moving in into your university dorm or apartment can be a dreadful and super stressful experience. 

Before I left for uni, I spent hours and hours researching what I would need in order to survive, only to discover gigantic lists of items that were anything but necessary. And because I was going to study abroad in another country, I obviously couldn't take many things with me. In fact, I ended up only bringing two suitcases, so anything else had to be bought once I got there.

Of course, what you will have to take with you will depend on your needs and what the accommodation you're moving into offers. Nevertheless, being a final year student, I have come to realise what is truly necessary. So without any further ado, here is my ultimate guide on what to take to university!


  • Sheets 
  • Duvet and duvet cover
  • Pillow and pillowcase
  • Mattress protector 
  • Mattress foam topper: if the bed is uncomfortable 
  • Blanket: to snuggle up under after a long day
  • Hangers: you will only probably be given a few
  • Earplugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Desk lamp: if not provided
  • Small rubbish bin: also if not provided
  • Extension lead
  • Storage units: examples include under-bed, storage bins, smaller containers...
    Tip: Get your bedding items in size double, even if your bed is a single. This is because your second or third-year houses might have double-sized beds and there is no need to have to spend extra money on new sets
    Tip: bring something homely such as pictures with friends and family or your favourite stuffed animal
    Extras (not necessary): fairy lights, decorative pillows, posters, rug, speakers, bedside table lamp, mirrors, fan


    • Bath and hand towel
    • Laundry basket/ bag: something easy to carry as you'll probably have to walk to the laundrette
    • First aid kit: include medicine, painkillers, thermometer (!) and contraceptives
    • Hygiene products: toothbrush, shower gel, shampoo, pads and tampons...
      • Dry shampoo is a must!
    • Nail clippers
    • Blow dryer: also straighteners and curling irons if you use them
    • Toilet paper
    • Hand soap
    • Cleaning and laundry supplies
      • Don't forget disinfecting wipes, they're really useful
    Tip: get yourself some flipflops and maybe a shower caddy if you're sharing a bathroom


    • Cutlery
    • Crockery: big and small plate, glass, mug, bowl
    • Steel water bottle
    • Travel coffee mug
    • Chopping board
    • Mixing bowl
    • Frying pan
    • Saucepan
    • Bottle opener
    • Cooking utensils: tongs, turning spatula, pasta spoon, ladle and spoon
    • Baking tray
    • Casserole dish
    • Tupperware containers
    • Kettle and toaster: if not provided
    • Dish and hand towels
    • Cleaning towel
    • Oven mitts
    • Washing up liquid and sponge
    • Cling film and tin foil
    • Bin bags
    Note: kitchens usually come equipped with smaller utensils such as microwave, kettle, rice cooker and toaster
    Tip: you could also buy some baking utensils (such as measuring jug and cupcake tray) as it makes a fun and bonding afternoon activity
    Tip: bring max two of the same item (ex.: two mugs, two plates) as you will most likely (speaking by experience) feel tempted to procrastinate when it comes to doing the washing up and thus, the more items you have, the more you will accumulate and the more you'll have to clean afterwards. If you only have a few items, you will be forced to wash them up straight away!
    Extras: blender, masher, whisk, tin opener (or buy easy to open tins), cheese grater, masher, vegetable peeler, scale,...

    Random stuff

    • Important documents: ID, passport, passport photos, national insurance number, vaccination history, uni acceptance letters, student loan letters, cv...
    • Command hooks and strips
    • Small umbrella
    • Academic items: notebooks, pens, backpack...
    • Board games and cards: for hanging out with friends
    • Headphones: lifesavers, I have never listened to as much music as I do now 
    • Electronics: laptop, chargers, adaptors, power bank...
    • Organization method: agenda, planner, bullet journal...
    • Notebook: to write memories and thoughts

    I hope you've found this post helpful. Above all, I want you to understand that you shouldn't stress too much about what to pack: you can always purchase whatever you didn't bring but have realised you need!

    I also have many exciting university-related posts coming up in the next few weeks so keep an eye for them! In addition, if you have any requests feel free to leave a comment down below or send me a message.

    I will see you next week,
    Irene xx

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