University Packing Checklist

Packing for a summer holiday is one thing, but packing for university is an entirely different ballgame. Essentially, you’re moving house – you need to bring a lot of things to ensure you’re fully equipped to make the most of your new abode, whether that’s student halls, a student house or your own privately rented property. The Vanguard team has created this comprehensive uni checklist to ensure you know exactly what to take to university – read on and check off what you have and what you don’t.

Important Documents

You won’t need these every day, but you should have them in your property at all times. It can help to categorise your paperwork into different folders – a folder for contracts, a folder for insurance documents, and so on.

  • Tenancy contract – It’s important to have this to hand in case you need it. Keep it in a drawer or a safe place so you always know where it is – you never know when you might need to refer to it.
  • Insurance documents – If you have insurance for things like laptops, phones and TVs, keep them safe in your room.
  • Student finance/bank paperwork – You may need to refer to these from time to time, so it’s worth keeping them around.
  • University admissions documents
  • Medical documents
  • Passport/ID

University Kitchen Supplies

If everyone plays their part, your kitchen can be the perfect place to cook, eat and socialise. Of course, you can’t cook or clean properly without the right equipment, so make sure you bring the following:

  • Cutlery – Make sure you have a good supply of knives, forks and spoons. Not too many – you don’t want to take up too much room in the drawers as your housemates will need storage space, too.
  • Cleaning supplies – Dust cloths, antibacterial wipes, cleaning sprays – these are all crucial for a safe, hygienic kitchen. Bin bags, too – and make sure to do your bit when the bin is full!
  • Appliances – Toasters, sandwich makers, kettles – are these things included with your accommodation? If not, it’s wise to bring your own so you can enjoy a variety of meals and drinks.
  • Mugs and glasses – Some people may be comfortable with sharing, others may not. Bring a few mugs and some glasses.
  • Pots and pans – Whether you’re a budding chef or a novice, you need the right pots and pans to ensure you can cook (or try to cook) a range of meals. Bring a small and large saucepan, a frying pan and any other equipment you feel might be useful.
  • Food preservation – Clingfilm and tin foil are lifesavers in the kitchen – they can keep your food safe and edible for a few days after you’ve cooked it. Ensure you have these in your cupboard, as well as some tupperware containers for storing leftovers.
  • Baking trays – A vital piece of equipment for cooking, whether you’re making a sausage sandwich on a hangover or something more complex to impress a guest.
  • Laundry detergent – Crucial if you’re going to look after your clothes over the term.


In 2021, there’s a variety of devices that form a part of our daily life. You don’t want to be left without one at uni, so here’s a list of all the technological equipment you’ll need to thrive at university.

Laptop/PC – This one is obvious, but you’re going to need your laptop/PC, if you have one. Your university’s library will have plenty of computers to use if you don’t have your own, but if you do have a personal computer, you’ll need it for work (and Netflix).

TV – If you have your own TV, there should be space in your room to set it up. Alternatively, you could set it up in the communal area if you’re feeling generous. 

Games console – As well as being a tool for relaxation and alone time, games consoles can be a great way to bring people together. From FIFA to Mario Kart, if you have a games console, bring it with you and challenge your housemates.

Chargers – Running out of battery can be annoying at best and a disaster at worst. Make sure you have the chargers you need for your portable devices, and consider bringing an extension cable or two if you’re concerned about lack of plug sockets.

University Stationery

While a lot of university work is done digitally, it’s important that you have adequate stationery for taking notes and studying in your own time. So, make sure you bring:

  • Paper/Notepads – Notepads are a must-have, and it may be worth bringing some plain paper if you have a printer.
  • Pens/pencils – Whether you’re studying English or architecture, the pen or pencil is going to be one of your most valuable tools. Bring a box of each so you’re never without one.
  • Sticky notes – Many people find it helps to stick notes around the room when revising for a big exam. Bring some with you and create a fantastic, colour-coded study guide.


From recreational reading to crucial study materials, it’s important to bring any books you want or need. Reading can be a great way to relax on a weekend or after a hard day of lectures, so bring a stack of your favourite novels for your room.

Bathroom necessities

As well as basic hygiene, you’ll be wanting to look and feel good when you go out with your friends. As well as your own cleanliness, it’s important to keep your bathroom clean, too. These are all fairly self explanatory:

  • Shampoos and shower gels 
  • Deodorants, aftershaves and perfumes
  • Moisturisers, exfoliators and other skin care products
  • Toilet cleaner and brush
  • Surface cleaner 
  • Toilet paper
  • Towels
  • Clothes basket
  • Clothes horse/drying rack
  • Medicines and paracetamol
  • Decorations 

Your uni room will be your sanctuary, the place you can decorate to truly represent yourself. There’s plenty of things you can bring to your uni accommodation to make it special.

Pictures, posters and prints – A framed photo of your family, friends or partner, a poster of your favourite film, or a special print from your favourite designer. Add a personal touch and a bit of colour to your room with some photos and art. Note: consider using specialist wall stickers for posters to prevent any marks left by blu-tac. 

Spare duvets, sheets, covers and pillowcases – Not decorations, but a very important part of your bedroom. You’ll need spares for when your original sheets are in the wash.


As you’re basically moving house, you need to take a lot of clothes with you. Unlike going on a summer holiday, you’re going to need a variety of garments to suit various environments and weather conditions. Let’s take t-shirts, underwear and other basics as read and look at some items you may forget:

  • Big coats – Everyone loves a big coat, and you’ll need at least one for the colder months.
  • Joggers, sweatshirts and hoodies – Ideal for lounging around the house in, or for nipping to the shop.
  • ‘Smart’ clothes – You’re going to need clothes for certain occasions such as graduate balls, job interviews and graduation ceremonies, not to mention getting into those bars and clubs with stricter dress codes.
  • Shorts – When summer comes, you’re going to want to have some pairs of comfy shorts around to make the most of the weather.
  • Gym/athletic wear – You’re not going to try out for the varsity football team in jeans, are you? Make sure you pack your sports clothing and kit if you plan to be active.

This university checklist includes a lot of the things you should think about when packing to start your new chapter. Whilst it isn’t an exhaustive university packing list, it covers the necessities, as well as helpful items that you might have forgotten otherwise. 

Of course, you can’t take everything to university, and if you need somewhere to store your belongings that won’t fit into your accommodation, Vanguard’s student storage is just right. We have various student storage branches including London storage, Manchester self storage in Salford and Bristol self storage near the city centre and Bristol Temple Meads, providing ample secure space for short and long term storage. For more information about our student storage services, please contact us today and we’ll be happy to help