This is the ultimate university student packing checklist

It's that time of the year again! Whether you're a fresher or a finalist, we've made this extensive list of things you should really chuck in the boot. We even made a downloadable version for you:
Brenda Wong
Brenda Wong

It’s not Hogwarts, but it’s definitely home – at least for the next nine months.

It’s that time of the year again! Whether you’re a fresher or a finalist, we’ve made this extensive list of things you should really chuck in the boot.

Pro tip: packing isn’t fun, but it is when you put this playlist on. 

Debut’s Ultimate Uni Student Packing Checklist


Image via Giphy

Your uni room should be a sanctuary away from all the crazy, wonderful, overwhelming experiences you’ll no doubt have. Here’s our list of things that’ll turn your rented room into your home away from home.

  • Jersey sheets and duvet/comforter set. Trust us, they’re way comfier.
  • Foam topper. This is to protect your mattress from any, uh, weird stains.
    (No judging!)
  • Extra pillowcases
  • One extra fluffy pillow
  • An air mattress or a sleeping bag for any visiting home friends
  • A fluffy throw
  • Fairy lights
  • Polaroids and photos for your bare, sad-looking bedroom wall
  • A rug. It gets cold in the winter, yo.
  • A squeegee – this is ridiculously useful for getting rid of condensation, and therefore, any potential damp
  • Bulletin board/dry-erase board
  • Push pins/magnets
  • Whiteboard marker pens
  • Desk/floor lamp
  • Full-length mirror
  • Clothes hangers (and plenty of them)
  • Behind-the-door adhesive hooks
  • Stackable shoe rack
  • A bin
  • Storage containers for under your bed
  • A medium-sized fan (to air out your room in the winter, and to cool down in the summer)
  • A secret mini-safe for your valuables  (we found this cool one on Ebay)


Image via WeHeartIt

Now, we’ve just gone for the basics. All you Insta-cooks will probably have your own extensive list, but this will definitely get you through a year without having to resort to Pot Noodles.

  • Large dishes
  • Small dishes
  • Cereal/pasta bowls
  • Cutlery (forks, spoons, knives, chopsticks, whatever you fancy)
  • Cups
  • Mugs
  • Oven mitts
  • Tea towels
  • Large oven tray
  • Medium oven tray
  • Muffin tin
  • Kettle
  • Toaster
  • Dustpan
  • Tinfoil
  • Clingfilm
  • Tupperware (a few different sizes)
  • Utensils (spatulas, ladles, tongs, kitchen scissors, kitchen knives, potato masher)
  • Hand soap
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Medium-size wok
  • Medium-size saucepan
  • Large saucepan (for soups and stews)
  • Medium-size frying pan
  • Pancake pan (for Pancake Day, obviously)


Image via Giphy

No, keeping it all in your hamper and then bringing it back for your mum to do at Christmas is not the one.

  • Laundry hamper
  • Iron or portable steamer
  • Ironing board
  • Huge, economical box of detergent
  • Drying rack (try not to dry your clothes in your room as this will increase damp in the winter)
  • Bleach
  • Fabric softener
  • Emergency sewing kit
  • Vanish or a similar stain remover
  • Lingerie bag (so your delicates won’t get holey in the wash)


Image via Giphy

We’ll say this now: if you keep your stuff in the communal bathroom, they will get used.

We’ll also say this now:  if you use other people’s stuff and finish them, karma will get ya if you don’t replace it.

  • Two big bath towels
  • Fuzzy bathrobe
  • Bath rug / shower mat
  • Hand towel
  • Portable shower caddy for your toiletries
  • Air freshener (trust us)
  • Bathroom cleaning supplies (drain unblocker, toilet brush, toilet cleaner, shower cleaner, rubber cloths  and sponges)
  • Toiletries
    • Toothbrush
    • Toothpaste
    • Mouthwash
    • Floss (we know, the benefits of flossing are unproven, but nothing makes you feel more ‘with it’ than when you floss in the morning)
    • Shower gel
    • Shampoo
    • Conditioner
    • Face wash
    • Face moisturiser
    • Body lotion
    • Sudocrem (for bumps, cuts and any stray spots)
    • Lip balm
    • Hand cream
    • Deodorant
    • Shaving cream
    • Sunblock
    • Makeup wipes or makeup remover
    • Face/hair treatment masks (for those flatmate beauty bonding sessions. Yes boys. You too.)
  • Accessories
    • Hair dryer
    • Face mirror
    • Brush/comb
    • Contact lenses, solution and case
    • Cotton buds
    • Cotton balls
    • Hair straighteners/curlers
    • Hair ties (bring lots, they always go missing)
    • Nail clippers / toenail clippers
    • Nail file
    • Tweezers
    • Razor
    • Tampons and pads
    • Toilet paper (just in case)
    • Bobby pins
    • Headband


Image via Giphy

Now, we thought about dividing this by boys & girls, but that would be terribly gender-normative of us. So cross off all the ones that don’t apply to you before you start packing!

  • Pyjamas
  • Comfy pants
  • Nicer, perhaps not so comfy pants
  • Bras
  • Sport bras
  • Blue jeans
  • Black jeans
  • Day dresses
  • Going out dresses
  • Button-down shirts
  • T-shirts (band shirts, your favourite movie, this is your chance to turn your top into a conversation starter.)
  • Going out clothes (only you know what that means for yourself)
  • Hoodies
  • Rain/wind jacket
  • Skirts
  • Shorts
  • Tights/leggings
  • Coats
  • Professional clothing (blazers, nice slacks, that one dress that makes you feel like an adult)
  • Sports socks
  • Cartoon socks
  • Slipper socks
  • Workout  clothes
  • Jumpers
  • Tank tops
  • Day trainers
  • Sports shoes
  • High heels (that you can realistically walk in)
  • Winter boots
  • Wellies
  • A bag big enough to fit your laptop (one that you’ll affectionately say ‘contains your entire life’)
  • Your going-out purse (that can fit your phone, ID and keys)


Image via Giphy

Weird things the author saw during her time at university: a guy who exclusively typed on a typewriter and carted it around during lectures. Keep typing away, typewriter guy.

  • Laptop
  • Phone
  • Tablet (this will be particularly useful
    for lectures, especially if you have a portable small keyboard)
  • Camera
  • Camera SD card
  • Chargers (phone, laptop, camera, etc.)
  • USB drives
  • An extra phone cable (they always break)
  • HDMI cable (so you can put your Netflix on your flatmate’s big TV)
  • A Microsoft Office subscription
    (your notes are going to look  so swish.
    But if not, Google Docs is pretty good too.)
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Portable phone charger
  • Printer
  • Scanner
  • Printer ink
  • Printer paper
  • Wireless mouse and keyboard
  • Voice recorder for lectures (make sure you ask your lecturer for permission first!)
  • Laptop case
  • Laptop pro-up stand (to fix your terrible posture)


Image via Giphy

Ah. Nothing like the smell of fresh notebook paper in the morning.

  • Ballpoint pens
  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Highlighter pens (preferably scented, obvs)
  • Desk calendar
  • Postcards (to send home)
  • Envelopes
  • Scientific calculator
  • Ruler (you’ll be surprised at how many times you’ll use this)
  • Measuring tape
  • Folders
  • Plastic wallets for your folders
  • Index cards
  • Notebooks
  • Sticky notes
  • Permanent markers
  • Stapler and staples
  • Paperclips
  • Clear sticky tape
  • Masking tape
  • Hole-punch
  • Glue
  • White-tac (not blue – they’ll stain your walls!)
  • Desk fan
  • Rubber bands
  • Wrapping paper


Image via Giphy

Because you’ll inevitably have a few of those.

  • Hayfever tablets
  • Inhaler
  • Aloe vera lotion
  • Antiseptic lotion or wipes
  • Bandages
  • Contraception
  • Cold and flu meds
  • Lemsip
  • Decongestant
  • Eye drops
  • First aid kit
  • Insect repellent
  • Prescription medicine
  • Prescription information
  • Painkillers
  • Thermometer
  • Iodine
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Throat lozenges
  • Throat spray
  • Upset tummy medication
  • Vaseline
  • Ankle guard / knee guard (for any potential sprains)
  • Pepper spray
  • Mini  alarm / whistle
  • Emergency contact list
  • Spare phone (like an old Nokia) and charger
  • Fire blanket
  • Mini fire extinguisher
  • Strong flashlight


Image via Giphy

“Finally, she gets to the important stuff.” Alright guys, I got there in the end. It’s our job to tell you to drink responsibly, so, drink responsibly please!

  • Fancy dress
    • 1920s themed
    • Anything-but-clothes
    • Ancient Greek
    • 80s-themed
    • Halloween costume
    • Something beginning with the first letter of your name
    • Face paint
    • Temporary hair colour spray
    • Face glitter (this is mandatory)
    • Recycled cardboard and acrylic paint
  • Shot glasses
  • Jelly moulds (for vodka jelly)
  • Playing cards
  • Cards Against Humanity
  • Earplugs
  • Flask
  • Fishbowl (or large, clear bowl)

Extra Bits

Image via Her Campus

Now, for the things you’ll definitely need but don’t quite fit into our neat categories.

  • Passport
  • Driver’s license
  • Car registration and insurance information
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Copy of National Insurance
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Uni enrolment documents
  • Health/dental information
  • Copy of house contract/lease
  • Product warranties for your techy bits
  • Student ID
  • Folder for important documents
  • Journal
  • Picnic blanket
  • Beach towel
  • Bicycle
  • Bicycle helmet
  • Bicycle lock
  • Musical instruments (yes, be that dude playing Wonderwall on the guitar)
  • Sleep mask
  • Suitcase
  • Mini tool kit
  • Mini vacuum cleaner
  • Yoga mat

Feature image В© Erol Ahmed via Unsplash

Download the Debut app and you could totally grab yourself a summer internship  way before anyone else.

Follow Brenda on Twitter @brendaisarebel
Connect with Debut on Facebook and Twitter  [/full_width]

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.


Get started

Take four minutes to set up your profile and have great grad jobs come to you.