Packing for University: the essentials

August 2, 2023
Last updated:
April 23, 2024
A person sitting at a desk with books.

Moving to university is an exciting experience - and because of the anticipation, it can be very tempting to overpack. There are lots of things you may think you need to bring - but remember, you will most likely only have a small room and it will be easier to buy certain items once you arrive. There will also be things that you might forget to consider when packing. 

It can be pretty overwhelming to try and get the right balance of bringing enough, but not too much or too little. Don’t worry - HYBR is here to break down exactly what you will need. 

Important documents

In the excitement of buying new clothes and decor, important documents can be forgotten. Make sure to bring your ID (driving license or passport), your student finance documents, any university admission letters and your wallet. Don’t leave your bank card at home! 


Don’t forget your phone, laptop and respective chargers! A good pair of headphones will be helpful too, for the days spent studying in the library. Fun things like gaming consoles and speakers are great for bonding with your flatmates too. If you’re planning on having fairy lights in your room, it’s a good idea to bring some batteries too! 

Bedroom items

A person sitting at a desk drinking from a cup.

Most university accommodation offers a mattress, but be sure to bring your own mattress protector, sheet, quilt, pillows and bedding. Bring hangers for your clothes, a laundry basket and a clothes horse, to dry your laundry.

To make your room feel homely, consider bringing photos of your friends and family, any personal items and fun decor!

Blue tac and pins are things that everybody forgets but can be very helpful when decorating! Fairylights, posters and plants are a great way to make your room feel welcoming and more YOU. 

For some tips for transforming your university room into the perfect study space, give this article a read.   

Kitchen items 

Bring a small set of plates, bowls and a few glasses. Don’t bring too many - having a select few ensures you’re not tempted to skip the washing up. Don’t forget cutlery - having small cutlery set with a unique pattern or colour helps avoid confusion as to what belongs to who. Some other essentials include:

  • A baking tray
  • A mug (for your morning tea and coffee!)
  • A frying pan/wok
  • A Saucepan
  • A Sieve
  • A sharp knife
  • A spatula
  • A tin/bottle opener
  • A peeler
  • A cheese grater
  • A whisk 
  • Some Tupperware

Some other helpful items to bring include:

  • Bin bags
  • Washing up liquid 
  • Oven gloves
  • Tea towels (there is no such thing as too many tea towels)
  • Tinfoil or cling film 

Bathroom items

Don’t forget to bring your toiletries! Towels (bath and hand), deodorants, toothbrush and toothpaste, skincare and makeup products, shampoo and shower gel, razor and shaving cream, a hairbrush and hairdryer - these basics can all be easy to forget in the packing process. If you do - don’t worry, you can always go to a campus shop or local store. 

It’s good to have your own little ‘medical kit’ - bring any prescribed medicine, a small first aid kit in case of emergencies, standard painkillers, contraceptives, sanitary products and flu medicine (a must for the infamous fresher’s flu). Again - if you do forget these, they are always available to buy once you’re there. If you have a shared bathroom or shower space, a pair of shower shoes or flipflops and a bathrobe might be helpful!

Studying items

Often the expensive textbooks you’re told to buy are available in the library or available to buy for a cheaper price second hand. There are some things you’ll definitely need to make great lecture notes though! Make sure to bring a pencil case to bring to class, including:

  • A Notebook (lined and plain)
  • Pens and pencils (black and blue pens and colourful felt tips are great for creating revision materials)
  • Highlighters
  • Stapler and staples/hole punch
  • Ringbinders, wallets and dividers
  • Scissors 
  • A planne
A cardboard box with jeans and scissors on a table.


It can be very tempting to bring your entire wardrobe to university. As long as you have both winter and summer outfits, you will be fine! Think basic casual clothes for hanging around campus - and ‘party’ outfits for going on nights out. If you have any spare fancy dress clothes, they might come in handy for any socials you attend!

Be prepared for all weathers - so be sure to bring a light jacket, winter coat and raincoat. Scarf and gloves won’t go amiss when it gets to the colder months, and shorts and cooler clothes will be perfect for summer. 

If you plan to go to the gym, bring work out clothes and swimwear. Bring a range of shoes - for casual wear, exercise and smart shoes for formal events or job interviews. And of course, be sure to remember the basics - underwear, socks and pyjamas! 

Hopefully, this list will help you pack sensibly for university and make sure your student house has everything you need! If you’re feeling nervous about settling into your new life, give this article about making friends at university a read. Embrace your chance at a fresh start and best of luck!  

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