Off to university? First of all, congratulations on acing your exams and getting in! If you're moving into halls, you might be starting to wonder what you actually need to take?
Fear not, this guide covers everything you need to take with you (and what you may want to leave behind too!) Plus, check out the best places to find these items, and top tips to help you save money in your new student digs.
What you need for university - the ultimate list
Here is a breakdown of everything you might need for university...
Important documents you need for university
• University documents in a folder, including your university admission and course acceptance letter, student finance documents, any bursary or grant documents, and your accommodation contract
• Valid form of identity e.g. passport and/or driving licence and passport photos for your student ID
• Any insurance documents e.g. student contents insurance
• GP information and medical history such as your vaccination history and any copies of repeat prescriptions you may require during your time at uni
• Student bank debit cards and student discount cards
What you need for your university dorm bedroom
• Duvet & duvet cover
• Mattress protector
• Pillows & pillowcases
• Stationery - notepads, pens, highlighters and post it notes
• Laundry basket
• Photos for your wall
• Homely touches like cushions, rugs, plants, and other home accessories
• Extra hangers
• Desk fan or heater if needed
• Clothes horse (you might have a communal one but a personal one will definitely be more convenient if you have space to put it up)
• Hot water bottle
List of essentials for your student kitchen
• Mugs & glasses
• Places & bowls
• Cutlery & sharp knives if needed for cooking
• Saucepans & frying pan
• Baking tray
• Chopping board
• Utensils (like a spatula, pizza wheel, etc.)
• Bottle opener - absolutely essential!
• Tea towels
• Can opener
• Measuring jug
• Oven gloves
• Basic cleaning supplies e.g. washing up liquid
• Cupboard essentials like tea bags, coffee, pasta, tinned goods, etc.
• Fridge basics like milk, eggs & butter
• Student recipe book
You may also like: 12 cheap & healthy meals to cook on a tight budget
What you need for university - bathroom essentials
• Towels - hand and bath
• Bath mat
• Toothbrush & toothpaste (and toothbrush holder if necessary)
• Shampoo & conditioner
• Face wash
• Toilet roll
• Dressing gown
• Shower gel and/or soap
• Shaving gel
• Tweezers & scissors
• First aid kit - containing plasters, bandages, etc.
• Hand gel / hand soap
• Any medication e.g. paracetamol
• Straighteners / curlers if used
Electrical & tech items to take to university
• Laptop, mouse, case & charger
• Phone & charger
• Printer & ink (this is way more convenient than going to library every time to print something!)
• Memory storage
• Ethernet cable (may be supplied or not needed but best to be prepared)
• Power extension lead
You may also like: 10 hassle-free ways to save money on a new phone contract
Fashion staples for students
• A good pair of trainers for all those mornings running to lectures in different buildings!
• Bags, including a laptop bag/rucksack and a clutch for nights out
• Sportswear/gym gear
• Smart outfit selections for any job interviews and/or internships
• Winter coat, gloves, scarf and hat
• Jumper and hoodie
• Going out heels / smart shoes
• Plenty of fancy dress outfits!
What you probably don't need to take
Essentials included in your dorm area can vary between universities so it's worth double checking what's included and not included before you move in!
Here are some of the things you probably don't need to purchase or pack:
• Iron & ironing board
• Vacuum cleaner
• Hundreds of books (that's what the library is for!)
• Any white goods e.g. fridge/freezer (perhaps a mini bar though??)
Best places to buy student essentials
There are a number of places you can pick up student essentials, but these are our favourite retailers to shop with:
You may also like: 25 cheap food staples to stock up on during your next shop
Top tips for shopping for student essentials
Now that we've shared our ultimate list of university essentials and the best places to find them, here are some tips on how to save money when buying them:
Get cashback on everything
Cashback is when you earn a percentage of your purchase back when you shop online with selected retailers.
Did you know you can get cashback on a whopping 4,500+ retailers on our site including the ones we've listed above? This will definitely help save you some money!
Some items on the list above will need to be bought brand new. However, for items like clothes and tech, you can buy secondhand or refurbished at a fraction of the cost.
Have a look in charity shops, at car boot sales, or on local selling sites like Facebook Marketplace, Preloved, and Gumtree for preloved bargains.
Keep hold of your receipts
It sounds obvious, but keep hold of your receipts when you buy anything for university. You may find once you move in that you don't need half of the items you've arrived with!
Plus, if you have roommates, you'll probably have lots of duplicates and can return some things to put some extra cash back into your bank while you wait for your student loan to hit your account.
Sell anything you don't need
To help fund your new uni lifestyle, you could also make some cash on the side by selling your bits and bobs on sites like eBay, Depop and Vinted.