21 August 2017

The essential list of everything you need to take to uni

If, like most students, you're leaving home for the first time, you might be feeling a bit stumped about how much you should take with you.

To help you have one less thing to stress about, we've compiled this guide to everything you need and how much to budget. It shouldn't cost too much (but Nationwide's FlexStudent current account with an overdraft could help you cover it, if you need).

To be eligible for FlexStudent, you just have to be over 18 and been accepted on a full-time UCAS course running for at least two years at a UK institution.

Check what comes with your student accommodation

Some student accommodation is really well equipped: some come with bedding and, if you're in catered halls, you won't need any cooking equipment. To see what's included, check the inventory.

Think about how you're going to transport everything

If you're going by car, you'll have tons of luggage space, but less so if you're travelling by train, plane, coach or bus. Even if you're going by car, think about whether you're going back by car at the end of the year. Some student residences require you to clear out your room every term, so it makes sense to only take what you can carry.

Packing the essentials

Once you know what you need and what you can carry, start building a pile for packing. You shouldn't have to buy everything new. Ask family and friends for any spare household equipment they can give you; and it's always worth scouting charity shops and car-boot sales to keep costs down.


You won't need your entire wardrobe. Pack mainly comfortable, casual clothes to suit all weathers and a couple of smarter pieces for evenings out. You'll need coat hangers too.

For your student bedroom — budget £85

If bedding isn't provided, you'll need a duvet, duvet cover, sheet, mattress protector, pillow and pillow case. If you've got room, taking a spare set of linen will save you having to wash and dry your bedding in one day.

The Bedroom Kit from UniKitOut starts from £52, this includes: a single duvet, pillow, single fitted sheet, pillow case, duvet cover and mattress protector—they'll even deliver direct to your uni.

You might also want some cushions, a rug, photos and posters to make your room more homely, plus a basket for dirty clothes and a clothes-airer for wash day.

Study aids — budget £200

Unless you want to rely on university computers, a laptop is vital. You can pick one up for under £200. You won't need a printer as you can just use uni printers or submit your work via email.

Aim to borrow most of your course books from the library or buy second-hand. You'll probably have to buy a few key titles though, and obviously you'll need some notebooks and pens. And don't forget, if you're thinking of bringing a TV or watching TV via your PC, you'll need a TV licence, which cost £147 this year (2017).

Kitchen equipment — budget £50

If you're self-catering, you'll need a plate, bowl, mug and a set of cutlery. A couple more of everything will be handy for if friends come over. For cooking, you'll need a sharp knife, a bottle and tin opener, peeler, saucepan, frying pan, chopping board, baking tray, oven gloves, tea towel and a washing-up brush. The kitchen should have a kettle, but you may want one for your room.

Bathroom equipment — budget £40

Bring the essentials: bath towel, hand towel, shampoo, shower gel, soap, toothpaste and toothbrush, plus a basic first-aid kit. Don't forget the loo rolls!

Cleaning stuff — budget £12

Unless there's a cleaning service, you'll need to clean your room and help your housemates clean public areas. For this, washing-up gloves, washing-up liquid, scouring pads, cloths and household cleaning fluids are a must. A vacuum cleaner is normally provided, but don't forget washing machine powder.

Food — budget £40

It's a good idea to bring enough food for your first meal. Do a food shop when you arrive, stocking up on essentials such as cereal, bread, pasta, milk, fruit and veg. But don't buy more than you can store in your cupboard, fridge and freezer shelf.

For a full list of essentials you should take with you, and a rough idea of how much they'll cost, download our handy shopping list.

Now, get packing!

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