Packing for university: what to take

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Packing for university: what to take

Deciding what to take with you when you move away to university can be quite difficult. "Do I really need all these clothes? How much spare bedding should I take? What am I going to cook with and what am I going to eat from?" These are just three of many questions that can bounce around our heads when we get down to the task of packing.

If you're moving into fully furbished accommodation (like ours), the job's already a thousand times easier and less stressful. That said, there are a few items that all students – regardless of their accommodation – should take to uni. Here's our advice:

Clothes and shoes

Of course, there's no 'definitive' student wardrobe, because everyone has different taste. However, we do highly recommend the following:

  • A warm winter coat
  • A waterproof coat
  • A few warm and comfy jumpers
  • Plenty of socks, underwear and loungewear – for obvious reasons (plus, this helps ease the laundry burden)
  • A pair of ultra-comfortable shoes (you'll be thankful for this when you start exploring the city on foot)
  • A pair of flip-flops/'slides' – great for when you're just nipping out of your room (or going swimming)

Of course, you can just go out and buy any particular item of clothing as and when you need it, but it's definitely a good idea to bring a lot of 'everyday' clothes with you, if you can. For starters, it'll make your mornings much easier.


It could be said that less is more when it comes to kitchen items at uni. You don't want to have the bare minimum, obviously, but about three bowls, three plates, three cutlery sets and a bunch of cups should be enough for you – and this will also allow (prompt) you to keep on top of your washing up.

The same goes for pans – just a couple of frying pans and saucepans is all you'll need. If there's any item you need but don't have, you'll easily find in one of the city's many homeware shops.

Bathroom items

All you'll need to begin with is a toothbrush, toothpaste, any other dental products you use regularly, shower gels, shampoos and whatever else you need to clean and spruce yourself up. There's no need to take a six-month supply of everything with you when you move in.

Books and stationery

You might be tempted to cross the stationery bridge when you come to it, but it's one less thing to worry about if you bring a small stash with you. A few notepads and packets of pens aren't going to take up much space in your bags.

You'll usually get your course's reading list before you start – so have a look online to see where you can get the books you need. Although London's bookshops are great, there's no guarantee that they'll have the exact book(s) you want. Amazon is your friend – take advantage of it and don't be afraid to have stuff sent to your accommodation.

It might also be an idea to pack a few books for leisure reading – although you'll no doubt be busy having fun during the first few weeks and months, you'll probably just want to chill out in your room some evenings. On a quieter night, staying in with a good book is always a wise course of action.