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Preparing for university life: a moving to university checklist

Before you take the big leap, make sure you have everything you need with our list of student essentials for uni.


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Preparing for university life: a moving to university checklist

Heading to uni is a big step in anyone’s life, and there’s always a lot to think about before you make the move. From sorting accommodation to reading up on your courses, you’re no doubt going to be very busy in the run-up to the day you move in. To help you out, we've put together a series of lists of essentials - covering everything from kitchen utensils to stationery.

Got friends that are going to university too or who are already there? Ask how they’re preparing for university life and which essentials they’re bringing in case you missed anything.

What to take to university: checklists

Browse our university checklists below to make sure you have everything you need before moving day. Need more student tips? Read our advice on how to survive freshers' flu or how to make laundry easier to make those first weeks a little bit more bearable.

Student list of kitchen essentials

If you’re moving out of home, you’ve probably never had to buy kitchen items before. Here are the basics you'll need:

  • Cutlery - knives, forks, spoons and any specialist items like long-handled spoons for stirring coffees or eating ice-cream sundaes!

  • Plates, bowls, and cups - get a couple of each so you always have something clean to use.

  • Saucepans and frying pans - go for a range of sizes and options that come with and without lids.

  • Cooking utensils - think wooden spoons, whisks, spatulas, vegetable, peelers, potato mashers, serving spoons and meat tongs.

  • Baking trays - make sure they fit your oven.

  • Oven gloves - or mittens.

  • Tupperware containers - choose ones with a solid seal to avoid spillages. Some come with handy steam vents and compartments to help you keep your leftovers separate.

  • An effective dishwashing liquid, such as Sunlight, and sponges - those dishes won't wash themselves.

  • Other accessories - a cheese grater, chopping board, colander, tin opener, and bottle opener are the main ones.

Student list of bathroom essentials

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Whether you’re lucky enough to have a private bathroom at uni or a shared bathroom with your other housemates, don’t forget to pack everything you need to keep it clean and tidy. Here are the essential things to bring to university for your bathroom:

  • Towels - full-length bath towels and smaller towels for your hands or hair.

  • Toilet brush - communal bathrooms should have these but they're an expensive essential that can really come in handy.

  • Toilet roll - you may want to keep this in your room if you have a communal bathroom and don't want to share.

  • Washcloth - or a loofah or sponge.

  • Washbag - to keep all your toiletries in.

  • Soap, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and any other toiletries you need.

  • Hairbrush, hair straighteners, and hair dryer - if you need them!

  • A powerful bathroom cleaner, such as Domestos Thick Bleach.

Student university checklist for first-year rooms

It's not just the bathroom and kitchen you need to pack for at uni: your bedroom also needs a few items. Remember, you’re going to be in this little space for a while, so make sure it’s super comfy!

  • Duvet and duvet cover; pillows and pillow cover - choose something soft that reminds you of home.

  • Blankets - for added warmth and cosiness.

  • Laundry bin - to help you sort your clothes before laundry day. Invest in a quality detergent and conditioner combo that guarantees good results. We like Omo and Comfort.

  • Lighting - choose a bright desk lamp for study and maybe some softer string lights for ambience.

  • Clothes hangers - these won't usually be provided and you don't want your clothes to get creased!

  • Storage containers - under-bed boxes, freestanding shelving units, or hanging options for the back of doors are all perfect solutions.

  • Cushions, rugs and soft furnishings to make your room feel homely.

  • Posters, photos and artwork to add some personal flair to your room - check the university guidelines for attaching things to walls or doors first.

Stationery student essentials for uni

Now we've finished the household checklists, it's time to think of the other essentials - after all, no getting ready for university checklist would be complete without a stationary section! Every student needs a good set of stationery on their side, so make sure you’ve got everything you need to ace your first year with:

  • Lined notepad - to take thorough course notes during class.

  • Binder - to hold loose paper and handouts.

  • Highlighters and sticky notes - to annotate your work and help you study.

  • Yearly diary - to keep track of deadlines and lessons.

  • Stapler and paper clips - to keep all your papers secure.

  • Electronic essentials such as laptop, tablet, printer and scanner - most universities will have devices you can use in the library too.

You’re good to go! Now, all that’s left to do is have fun and study hard. 

  • Make a checklist of everything you need.

  • Tick off the items as you get them ready, and also as you pack them.

  • Ask your friends what they’re taking so you can compare.

Originally published