For so many reasons, the transition from home into your first-year accommodation can be an overwhelming time. You’re probably filled with nerves, excitement, or a combination of both at the thought of going off to uni; then, on top of this, you have the huge task of preparing and packing for the big move. It’s hard to know what you’ll need and equally easy to forget about items you use every day; so, to help you with this process, we’ve put together a set of checklists for every essential item you should bring with you to your student accommodation.
The everyday essentials you’ll need for student accommodation include items for your bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen, as well as general electrical goods and any essential documentation you have. Whether you’re at the planning or packing stage, read through our guidance below to ensure you’re prepared with everything you may need when you get to your accommodation.
Tips for the Pre-Packing Stage
Before we take you through all the essentials you’ll need, we have some key suggestions to keep in mind. We recommend reading through these tips before you start the process of purchasing and packing your stuff for uni.
- Limit Your Packing to the Essentials Only: Don’t go overboard with your packing and limit it to only the essential items on our checklists below. Remember that you’re moving into a small space that will likely have limited storage; on top of this, you’re most likely going to be moving out of this space again in June. Aim to pack 1 to 2 suitcases of clothes, a few boxes of your other items, and one bin bags-worth of bedding. If you have bulkier clothes that won’t fit in your suitcase, you can chuck these extras into a bin bag too.
- Don’t Bother with Expensive Purchases: There isn’t much point in breaking the bank for more expensive versions of items you can get on the cheap. Realistically, a lot of your items probably won’t survive the first year anyway; it’d only be an unnecessary expense to purchase pricey items that have a good chance of being lost, stolen, or broken while you’re in your accommodation.
- Investigate What Your Accommodation Already Provides: Before you make any new purchases, check what your accommodation already provides. Take a look at the website for your accommodation or contact them for this information. Also, if you’re living in a shared accommodation and you already know who you’re living with, send them a message; you could organise between yourselves who’s bringing what for shared items like your kitchen or bathroom essentials.
Checklists of Every Essential You’ll Need for Student Accommodation
Below, we’ve gone through the checklists of every essential item you’ll need for student accommodation. We’ve categorised these into bedroom essentials, bathroom essentials, kitchen essentials, essential electrical goods, and healthcare essentials.
Along with the bed, your student accommodation bedroom should come with some basic furniture, like a bedside table, shelving, and clothing storage space. Beyond this, you’ll need to pack a few practical and decorative items to make your bedroom feel like home.
- Duvet and Pillows: As far as the bed situation goes, your accommodation will only provide you with the bedframe and mattress. As such, you’ll need to bring along your own duvet and pillows. The best bedding filling that’s both cosy and soft yet student-budget-friendly is a high-quality synthetic down alternative; for instance, one of the Student Bedding Packs that we provide is our Essential Hollowfibre Duvet & Pillow set. This bedding contains a luxury-grade hollowfibre filling that’s soft, heat-retentive, highly durable, and easy to clean - all of these being essential qualities of the bedding you should bring to uni.
- Duvet Cover, Pillowcases, and a Bottom Sheet: You’ll then need covers for your duvet and pillows, and a bottom sheet for your mattress. Again, you should invest in a set of sheets that are both comfy and durable. Using another one of our bedding packs as an example, the Osborne Stripe Linen includes everything you’d need; it comes with a set of pillowcases, a duvet cover, and a bottom sheet, all in a high thread count polycotton.
- Mattress Protector, and/or Mattress Topper: Another absolute essential for your uni bed is a mattress protector and/or a topper. If they find any spills or stains on your mattress, your accommodation will charge you out of your deposit; the small investment into a protector will save you this bigger potential expense down the line. An additional benefit of a high-quality mattress protector is that it can vastly improve the comfort of the not-so-comfy mattresses typical of uni accommodation. For instance, our Essential Waterproof Quilted Mattress Protector will both protect your mattress and improve its softness. To further improve the feel of your mattress, you can pair this with a topper like our Hotel Quality Mattress Topper.
- Clothes Hangers: You’ll get some space for clothes storage, but this space won’t come with hangers. Remember to pack these as they’re an easily-forgotten element of bedroom gear.
- Laundry Items: Pack items that you’ll need for doing your own laundry. Your accommodation will likely have its own laundry room; pack a laundry basket to ferry your clothes between here and your bedroom. Bring a small drying rack to save you spending money on using the tumble driers.
- Decorative Items: Finally, choose a small selection of essential decorative items to make your room feel like home. You could bring your favourite posters, pictures, or a lamp; anything that you think will make the bedroom space feel more personal to you.
Your student accommodation’s bathroom will also be a bare-bones situation, so remember to bring all of the essentials listed below.
- Toiletries: Put together a pack of your essential toiletries. This should include toothpaste and a toothbrush, facewash and moisturiser, and shampoo and conditioner. Put this all into a washbag for easy transportation.
- Personal Hygiene and Grooming Products: Pack any additional toiletries you may need for personal hygiene and grooming. Absolute essentials include nail clippers or scissors, tweezers, and a hairbrush. If you shave, pack shaving cream and razors; if you menstruate, bring tampons or pads; if you wear makeup, remember to bring your kit along with some makeup remover.
- Towels: Your accommodation’s bathroom won’t come with towels, so this is another essential you’ll need to bring. Pack a couple of full-size towels and a smaller hand towel.
- Toilet Roll: Another easily forgotten item is toilet roll. Bring at least a couple of rolls to set you up until you do your first big shop.
- Flip-Flops or Sliders: This one is only an essential pack for anyone using a shared bathroom. Shared bathrooms are notorious for the spread of foot fungus, so you should bring a pair of flip-flops or sliders to protect your feet.
In uncatered accommodation, your kitchen should come with basic kitchenware like a kettle, microwave, and toaster. However, this can vary between halls, so check what will already be there before purchasing such items. The other essentials you will almost certainly need to bring yourself are listed below.
- Mugs: Pack a couple of mugs. We’d recommend against bringing your favourites, though, as there’s a good chance they’ll get broken.
- Basic Tableware: Bring a bowl, a plate, and a few knives, forks, and spoons.
- Glasses: You should also pack a few drinking glasses. Again, there’s a high chance these will get broken or lost; we’d recommend choosing cheaper plastic cups over glass for this reason.
- Pots and Pans: Bring a frying pan, a saucepan, and an oven tray. This is one that you may wish to coordinate with your flatmates if possible to avoid having multiples of these items unnecessarily.
Essential Electrical Goods
Now we’ll move on to the general electrical goods you may need to bring with you.
- Laptop and Charger: Don’t worry if you don’t have a laptop, as your uni library will have computers you can use. Otherwise, carefully pack your laptop and its charger to bring with you.
- Phone Charger: Don’t forget to bring your phone charger.
- USB Sticks: USB sticks are always great to have on hand for any computer-based work.
- Printer: This one won’t be an essential for everyone; but, if you expect to do a lot of printing for your course, it’s a good idea to bring a small printer. Again, don’t worry if you don’t have one, as your uni library will have printers for you to use.
- Extension Cable: The number of sockets in your accommodation may be limited. For this reason, we recommend bringing an extension cable or two.
- Batteries: AA or AAA batteries are good to have on hand for whenever you may need them.
- Headphones: When working or relaxing, a good pair of headphones are essential if you’re someone who likes to listen to music.
You should also put together a pack of essential healthcare supplies, like a first-aid kit and any prescriptions you take.
- Prescription Medication: If you’re on any prescription medications, these are obviously crucial to pack.
- Painkillers: Bring some paracetamol and/or ibuprofen. You’ll thank yourself for these when you inevitably fall victim to fresher’s flu.
- Contraceptives: Make sure you’re prepared with contraceptives if you plan on partaking in this aspect of uni life.
- Plasters: Plasters are another handy addition to your first-aid kit.
Last but not least, don’t forget to pack all of the essential documentation you might need while at uni.
- ID Documents: These include your passport, driver’s license, and national insurance number.
- Medical Documents: Bring your NHS medical card and vaccination cards.
- Documents Regarding Loans and Accommodation: It’s good to have any documentation regarding your loans or accommodation on hand.
- Travel Cards: If you use public transport, remember to bring any travel payment or discount cards you have.