Packing for University: Getting the Essentials

Packing for university
It's important to remember the 'essentials' when packing for university this year. Source: Adam Lederer.
Now that exams results day and university admissions are all over and done with, it’s finally time to move into your term-time accommodation and work out what you need to take with you.

By Eirian Jones | Contributor

When packing for university, there are a hundred things you might want to take with you, but most of these will not be necessary (and you might not even have space for everything!) – Here’s a general list of items that may help lessen the panic of packing.

Things you will not need

One of the biggest mistakes freshers make is taking far too much stuff as most rooms are already outfitted with furniture for them. It’s important to realise that you won’t need:

  • Your old textbooks or A-Level work – unless specified, there will be no need for them as reading lists will be provided at the beginning of term.
  • A car – most spaces will be limited and a permit (which may be costly) will be required. Most universities are within walking distance anyhow.
  • Specific kitchen equipment – such as toaster, fridge, freezer, kettle, microwave etc.
  • A printer – most universities provide a printer at the school or library.
  • Candles – most, if not all, university halls forbid candles on the basis that they are fire safety hazards. If you’d like the same lighting as a candle, battery-powered LED fairy lights/ tealights can be used, and if you’d like the scent of a candle try using a reed diffuser.
The ‘Essential’ things you will need

Now that you’ve got a little more space to pack, here a are few items that are a must in any student room:

  • A mattress protector – unless you’re lucky enough to have a new bed, this is a must!
  • A door stopper.
  • Stackable food containers, Tupper- ware and microwavable containers.
  • Extension Chords.
  • Slippers or sliders – shared kitchens and bathrooms can get very unclean and walking around barefoot is not recommended!
  • A pack of cards (an absolute socialising must!).
  • Laundry bag or bin.
  • There are a number of important documents that you’ll likely need to use over the year too, so remember to take a passport or driving licence too (you never know when you might need it!)
A few packing and room improvement tips
  • Try not to buy any expensive kitchen equipment or utensils. These will probably go missing or break throughout the year and so the cost may add up (charity shops are great places to buy cheap items!).
  • If you can, try to get in contact with your flatmates before moving in. You may be able to agree about who will bring what – this may prevent the little storage you have to be filled up with 4/5 of the same items!
  • Remember – you aren’t moving to the middle of nowhere! If you have forgotten anything you feel like you might need, you can always pop down to Queen Street or Albany Road to buy anything new or second-hand.

For more information on packing, Cardiff University has released a comprehensive list of things to take with you.


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