Woman with laptop writing in book

Going to uni is exciting, but moving into student accommodation requires planning, and lots of it! Even if you’re not a natural list writer, it’s good to have an idea of the basics, so you can prioritise what to take. Need a bit of a head-start? Then read our guide of tried and tested must-haves, so you can settle into your new home in no time.


Your student bedroom should come with a bed and mattress, as well as a desk, chair, and wardrobe. Items you will need to bring include:

  • Bedding – a duvet, duvet cover, sheets, blankets, mattress protector, pillows, and pillowcases (at some universities, you can pre-order bedding packs)
  • Clothing and shoes – don’t forget the hangers!
  • Storage boxes – the wardrobe might be small
  • A washing basket and airer – save on tumble-drying costs
  • A bin – check if provided

You’ll spend a lot of time in your bedroom, so it needs to feel like home. Spruce it up with photos and posters (but check the rules on pins and Blu Tack), rugs and cushions, a few ornaments/hanging decs, and maybe even a board game or two!


Research the electricals your university will allow, as items like heaters and electric blankets can be deemed a fire risk. We recommend taking the below:

  • Phone and charger – a spare might come in handy
  • PC/laptop (and printer) – if also using as a TV, don’t forget the licence
  • Extension leads and cables – and socket adaptors for internationals
  • USB sticks and a portable hard drive – great for transporting work

Other electricals like fairy lights, a hair dryer, games console and speakers are popular, but not essential.

Study Materials

Most unis provide a reading list before term starts, so stock up on textbooks to take with you. In addition, you’ll need:

  • Stationery – pens, pencils, a rubber, ruler, and highlighters
  • Files and hole punch – and different sized paper and notepads
  • A stapler and scissors – needed more than you might realise
  • Diary or personal organiser – and of course, all the post-its!

P.S. Don’t forget the all-important bag – we’re not just talking one for a night out, but one that’s big enough for your laptop and books.

Woman with rucksack carrying books

Important Documents

Uni enrolment requires important documents, so keep a dedicated folder to store them (and make sure it’s in your hand luggage). In it should be the following:

  • Purse and bank cards – try not to carry large sums of money
  • Valid ID – such as a passport (and photos), or driving licence
  • Registration documents – like acceptance letters and student finance comms
  • Prescriptions – and a document with your address so you can register with a GP

We also recommend keeping a list of important contacts in case you lose your phone, and a map in case your GPS drops out.


Student kitchen space will be communal (and limited), so your items should be clearly marked. Utensil must-haves include:

  • Plates, bowls, mugs, and glasses – a few in case of breakages
  • Cutlery and chopping board – and knives
  • Pots, pans, and baking trays – that will fit in your cupboard
  • Corkscrew, bottle opener and tin opener – the key three!
  • Tupperware, foil, and cling film – for money-saving meal prep
  • Other utensils – like peelers, graters, spatulas etc.

Extra appliances like microwaves (an oven, toaster and kettle will likely be included), can be a shared purchase between you and your flat/housemates. Also, make sure not to bring any banned items – usually fat fryers or rice cookers.


You can pick up most bathroom items when you arrive, but it’s good to have a starting set of:

  • Shampoo, conditioner, face wash, and soap/gel – the full shower set!
  • Towels – don’t forget hand towels
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste – also mouth wash and floss
  • Cleaning materials – not just toilet bleach, but also clothing detergent
  • Medication – you’ll be thankful for paracetamol in Freshers’ week

Check if your bathroom space will be shared (and read up on etiquette!) in case you can split costs for items like toilet rolls.

Transporting and Storing Belongings

As you pack for university, separate your belongings into manageable piles, check if you need to book an arrival slot, and research how many people you’re allowed to bring with you. Friends and family are sure to help with the process, but if you need to get items overseas, find a reliable student shipping service to assist. Or, if you’re short on space once you’ve unpacked, see if your shipping company also offers storage so you can keep items safe. If you need more help, check out our student storage guide.

Man and two women carrying boxes and taking selfie

Looking for a company to help with your move to university? Then check out our dedicated student shipping and storage service – contact Andrews Shipping today.