We understand that starting university can feel a little bit daunting (as well as exciting of course). If you want to get prepared for the big move and make sure you have everything you need ready and good to go, take some time to think about the things you’ll need in your accommodation and for your new life at university. We’ve compiled this student starter pack checklist, so you can tick items off as you go. Deciding what to take and what to leave behind can be tricky and can take some time, so try not to leave it until the very last minute. We’ve organised these checklists by room, so you can take it step-by-step until you have everything you need to be checked off. Plus, this will make it much easier to unpack when you arrive.
Bedroom: student starter pack
Most student accommodation will come with the basics – a bed and mattress, storage and small study space. So, don’t bring the entire contents of your bedroom at home to your new room as it just won’t fit. Here are some of the things you’ll need:
- Duvet, pillows and bedding sets (bring two sets so you have a set to use while the other is being washed)
- Laundry basket and clothes horse
- Plug adaptors if you’re from overseas
- Bedside lamp
- Storage boxes to keep your room organised
- Coat hangers for your wardrobe
- Stationery for your desk (items like folders, organisers, pins for a notice board etc)
- Rubbish bin
- Torch (in case of power cuts)
- Home comforts: There will be enough room for a few of your favourite things. You’ll probably be spending a lot of time in your room for relaxing as well as studying, so you might want to bring things like cushions, a rug, a plant or two, your favourite poster, your mattress topper etc.
- Clothes: UK weather is famously temperamental. So, you might need quite a varied wardrobe compared to what you’re used to if you’re from overseas. Don’t bring lots of clothes, but some of these might be especially important or relevant to you:
- T-shirts, tops, shirts, jumpers, sweatshirts
- Dresses, skirts, tights, Jeans, casual trousers, smart trousers, shorts
- Suit jacket, tie, formal dress or work attire (for formal occasions like interviews for example)
- Trainers and smart shoes
- Underwear and socks
- Pyjamas, dressing gown
- Slippers or flip-flops for around your student accommodation
- Rain jacket, winter coat, gloves, hat, scarf
- Gym kit or swimming kit.
Bathroom: student starter pack
You might be lucky enough to have an ensuite or bathroom to yourself. Or, you might be sharing one with others. If so, some people store their bathroom items in a plastic shower caddy and take them to the bathroom when they need them which is a good idea to prevent your things from getting mixed up.
Bring these items with you (or even better, buy them once you arrive to save space):
- Two hand towels, bath towels, flannels and a bathmat
- Wash bag, basket or lightweight shower caddy
- Toiletries like hand soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, shower gel, shampoo, sanitary products, contact lens products
- Any skincare products you use, deodorant, perfume or aftershave
- Any medicines you take
- Toilet roll
- Razors or shavers and shaving cream
- Small first aid kit with plasters, pain killers, cold & flu medicine etc
- Grooming kit including nail scissors, tweezers and clippers
- Toilet brush and cleaner
- Hairbrush, hairdryer and styling tools
- Flip flops (for communal bathrooms).
Kitchen: student starter pack
Depending on the accommodation you’re in, you’ll need different kitchen supplies. If you’re in catered accommodation, you mightn’t need much as meals will be mostly provided. Check what will be included and what you need to bring. You might also want to check with your flatmates what they’re bringing too, so you don’t all arrive with the same things. Just bear in mind that some people like to use their own things whereas others like to share.
Here’s everything you might want to bring:
- Plates, bowls, side plates, mugs and glasses (2 of each)
- Cutlery (knives, forks and spoons)
- Sharp knives and scissors
- Microwavable containers and Tupperware containers
- Chopping board
- Washing up brush/sponges and washing up liquid
- Measuring jug
- Tea towels
- Food and drink (you might only need lunch and snacks if you’re in catered accommodation).
Most self-catered accommodation will provide you with appliances like a toaster, kettle and microwave. But to be sure, you should check your contract before packing. If you’re in a self-catered living, you might also need:
- 2 saucepans, wok or frying pan
- Kettle and toaster
- Kitchen utensils like tongs, a wooden spoon, spatula, serving spoon etc
- Baking tray/s, mixing bowl
- Oven mitt, heat resistant pad or trivet so your pans don’t burn the kitchen surfaces
- Kitchen consumables like foil, cling film, sandwich bags, cleaning products, bin bags etc
- Home comforts – A few optional extras that might help you feel comfortable and at home. Things like a coffee press or teapot, your favourite mug or reusable coffee cup, cookbooks, kitchen gadgets you can’t live without, bottle opener, spices, can opener, cheese grater, peeler etc.
It’s tempting to buy everything ahead of time but remember that you can buy everything once you arrive, so only bring from home items that are difficult to find elsewhere.
Other essentials: student starter pack
Alongside packing up your favourite things, don’t forget these few essentials:
- Documents and paperwork:
- your ID, national insurance card, rail card
- proof of student finance letter, university acceptance letter, student loan letters, scholarship and bursary letters
- bank details
- insurance documents
- a list of phone numbers (in case you lose your phone – it happens)
- USB sticks
- extension cables
- A strong bag or rucksack to get your stuff to and from university and elsewhere
- A bike if you’re planning on cycling to and from university (don’t forget your helmet and a quality D lock).
What not to bring: student starter pack
- Candles and incense (they’re a fire hazard)
- Printer (printing services will be available at the university)
- Too many clothes (student accommodation is small – try not to overpack)
- Textbooks (most textbooks will be available in the library or online – if there are any you need, get them once you arrive as they are heavy)
- Your car (getting to university is much easier and less costly on foot, bike, or by public transport)
Final packing tips: student starter pack
- It’s a better idea to use smaller bags and boxes for packing, rather than larger ones. Doing this means they’ll be easier to carry. Plus, it’s much easier to categorise your things this way.If you’re struggling for space, you can purchase vacuum packing bags which means you can pack a lot more clothes in that you might think. These are also great if you decide to bring your own pillows, duvet or towels.
- Roll your clothes. Folding them tends to take up more room and rolling them also helps prevent creases.
- And finally, pack an overnight bag for your essentials for the first day or two while your things are still being unpacked. You should keep things like your ID, keys, toothbrush etc in here so you can find them easily rather than rooting through your packed bags and boxes.