Moving into student accommodation: 50 essential things every student should take with them if leaving home for university

To help those move onto a new chapter in their lives, would-be undergraduates should remember to pack key essentials so as to not gather clutter

Bridie Pearson-Jones
Tuesday 11 August 2015 12:30
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Flip-flops, Febreeze and back-up toilet roll: don't forget the essentials when packing for student life
Flip-flops, Febreeze and back-up toilet roll: don't forget the essentials when packing for student life

You’ve had your head in your books for two years, got the grades, and got into university – congratulations! If you’re moving out, you now have about a month to pack everything up and move on to a new chapter.

First things first: travel light. Generally speaking, university rooms aren’t very big – especially if you’re going into halls. You’re likely to accumulate dozens of freebies at Freshers’ Week events, so it’s best to avoid over-packing and causing clutter.

Before you leave home, check what’s already in your accommodation – sometimes you’ll need things like bins and desk lamps, sometimes you won’t. Call up your landlord/lady, or the people who manage your halls if you can’t find the information online.

There are a few things your new flatmates may want to buy too, so don’t bring essentials like a kettle, toaster, and cleaning utensils – these are things you’ll be share with your housemates, so wait until you get there and split the price of them.

In the meantime though, here’s what every new undergraduate-to-be will need to take with them:

Bedroom Essentials:

1) Stuff for your bed – A duvet, two or three sets of bed sheets, duvet covers, and pillow cases. It’s worth getting these in doubles, even if you’re in a single bed. More often than not, second and third year houses have double beds, so it stops you buying twice. Plus, a double duvet makes a single bed cosier for those mornings after the night before.

Getting additional pillows and blankets can give your bedroom a ‘homely’ feel. Plus, over winter, it can get very cold in university accommodation. It’s also important to remember a mattress protector; you never know who’s been in the bed before you. It may be worth investing in a mattress topper too, as beds in halls and student houses can be uncomfortable. For around £50, you can make it feel like you’re in a luxury mattress.

2) Doorstop – Keeping your door open when you move in is an easy way to make friends with the people in your flat.

3) Hangers – You’ll probably only be given a couple, if any at all.

4) Basic cleaning products – Even if you have a cleaner, it’s unlikely he or she will clean your room. Some Febreeze, Flash, washing-up liquid, and sponges will go a long way.

5) Ear plugs – Believe it or not, there will be nights where you want to kip while those who live near you want to party, so ear plugs are a must.

Bathroom Essentials:

6) First-aid kit

7) Condoms and other contraceptives

8) Medicine – Painkillers and cold and flu remedies will make life a whole lot easier if you catch the infamous Freshers’ Flu.

9) Everyday things – Whatever you usually use; shower gel, soap, shampoo, conditioner, moisture, and toothpastes. As well as hair products –

don’t forget to bring your hair straighteners and dryers.

10) Bath mat

11) Bath towel and hand towels

12) Toilet brush (although, you and your flatmates may want to chip-in for this)

13) Laundry bag– You’ll probably have to travel to a washroom, so you’ll need something that’s easy to carry – whether you’re doing it yourself or taking it home to do.

Kitchen Essentials (even if you’re in catered):

14) Crockery – About four plates and four bowls is probably enough – make sure they’re microwavable!

15) Cutlery – Again about four sets of knifes, spoons, and forks is probably enough.

16) Kitchen gadgets – Wooden spoon, spatula, colander, scissors, and a recipe book will all be useful.

17) Chopping knifes

18) Chopping board

19) Grater

20) Casserole dish – You’ll probably be eating lots of pasta bakes.

21) Baking tray

22) Pots and pans – Remember to take these in a few different sizes.

23) Tupperware and freezer bags – Great if you want to cook once and eat for a week.

24) Tea towels

25) Glasses and mugs

The Unexciting Stuff:

26) Stationery – Whatever you used at school, whether you were a one-pen or full-set-of-crayons kind of person.

27) Academic diary

28) Leaver-arch files

29) Electronics – An extension lead, as you may not have many plugs in your room. Don’t forget any chargers for your phone, laptop, Kindle, or any other electrics you plan to bring.

If you don’t have a phone that can voice record, a Dictaphone is useful for recording lectures too. An Ethernet cable, or Wi-Fi box, is good too, so you don’t have to sit with your laptop in one place. A USB or an external hard drive will be incredibly useful.

30) Important documents – Passport, passport photos, National Insurance card, NHS card or medical insurance, vaccination history, and contents insurance documents. Remember any confirmation letters of your scholarship or bursary, if appropriate, or acceptance letters from your university. Don’t forget any monetary documents – especially related to your student loan or bank account.

31) Driving licence – Or any other kind of ID you don’t mind taking out.

32) Bank debit card and card reader for online banking, or a cheque book (if you’re retro like that).

33) Travel discount cards – 16-25 railcards are great for cheap travel home, a student Oyster card if you’re in London, or bus cards for the city you’re living in will be useful.

34) CV and references for those part-time job applications.

35) A torch – Power cuts can happen at any time.

36) Umbrella – This is the UK, after all.

37) Clothes horse – Tumble drying your clothes is quite expensive in bills.

The Cool and Useful Non-Essentials:

38) A small suitcase or large bag for weekends back home or visiting friends.

39) Formal clothes – There are a lot of balls at university.

40) Wall-art or posters.

41) Photos – They’re great for decorating, or just looking-at when you’re feeling homesick.

42) Coffee machine – There’ll no doubt be a lot of late-nights followed by early-morning lectures.

43) Rug

44) Speakers

45) Mini fridge

46) Fairy lights and bunting for decoration

47) Diffuser, potpourri, or room spray – University rooms usually aren’t well ventilated, and making it smell nice can make a real difference to your mood.

48) Toasted sandwich maker – Toasties are a great comfort food.

49) White tack –This leaves less of a stain than blue tack, and push-pins as most university rooms come with a corkboard.

50) Finally, board games and a pack of cards – Armed with these, you’re sure to break-the-ice and pave the way to make some life-long mates.

Twitter: @bridiepjones

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