What to pack

What To Pack


So you’ve got your lists and you’re now patiently waiting to start packing up and shipping out. And you suddenly realised that having never lived on your own you have absolutely NO IDEA what the hell you’re going to need to pack. Perhaps you’re going to overcompensate for this and take everything but the kitchen sink, or perhaps you’re going to wing it with a few outfits and perhaps some bedding, if you can find some. Well, STOP right there. Firstly, you need to remember that while you have a whole house to dump your unnecessary rubbish in now, most student accommodations consist of your own room with an en-suite if you’re lucky. And it’ll be a small room at that. And you also need to realise that you’re going to be looking after yourself now so you need to have the necessary stuff to survive off, cooking stuff, electronics, cleaning things and a hundred packets of supernoodles.

While I know that different accommodations provide different things, I’m going to write a list of the things I needed and it can be a good guide for you. I didn’t need more than this, and most could have gotten away with less. I’m going to italics the things which I didn’t actually need but thought was a good idea at the time…



  • Bedding
  • Pillow and duvet
  • Blanket(s)
  • Cushions (it may make your room pretty, and more like home, but it also takes up a lot of room that could be used for something far more useful)
  • Rug (I know most people won’t bother with this, but you can never guarantee the condition of the carpets etc *shudders*)
  • Hot Water Bottles
  • Sleeping bag
  • Washing basket (why bring a washing basket when a pile on the floor works just as well?)



  • Towels
  • Tooth brush
  • Tooth Paste
  • Toilet roll (bring as much as you can fit…)
  • Air freshner
  • Toiletries. (everyone needs different things, but make sure you have enough to last you a while.)



  • Cutlery
  • Large frying pan (with lid)
  • Large sauce pan (with lid)
  • Small sauce pan (with lid)
  • Flat baking tray
  • Tin opener
  • Bottle opener
  • Corkscrew
  • Peeler
  • Grater
  • Wooden spoons
  • Masher
  • Microwavable bowl!!!
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring jug
  • Pizza cutter
  • Sieve
  • Whisk
  • Chopping knives
  • Chopping board
  • Kitchen scissors
  • Glasses
    • High Ball
    • Tumblers
    • Pint glasses
    • Shot glasses
  • Crockery
    • Plates
    • Bowls
    • Mugs
  • Kettle
  • Toaster (only get these two if they’re not provided.)
  • Tea towels
  • Baking Foil
  • Sandwich Bags
  • Cling Film
  • Bin Bags
  • Cooking for Dummies or similar recipe book.
  • Store Cupboard ingredients
    • Coffee
    • Tea
    • Milk
    • Sugar
    • Eggs
    • Margarine
    • Cooking oil
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Pasta
    • Sweets
    • Biscuits
  • A few nights meals, just to make things a bit easier for you settling in.


*You only really need two of everything at first. (a spare for when you inevitably break everything..)



  • Everyday wear
    • T-shirts
    • Jumpers
    • Trousers
    • Skirts
    • Underwear
    • Socks
    • Comfie shoes
    • Dressing gown
    • Pyjamas
    • Slippers
    • Flipflops (Good if you have to share a shower.)
    • A warm coat
    • Scarves
    • Gloves
    • Hat
    • Brolly
  • Formal
    • Something suitable for interviews
    • Smart shoes
  • Other
    • Swimwear
  • Coat hangers


*A lot of people forget that, despite moving in during the late summer, Winter will eventually show it’s horrible head, so remember to pack warm clothing! Unless you know you’ll be visiting home again before winter, in which case you can leave stuff there and bring it with you the next time. Also, you know how many clothes you really wear. A LOT less than you actually own. So try and only bring those that you will wear.



  • Computer/ laptop
    • Charger
    • Ethernet cable
    • Printer
    • USB leads
    • Blank CD/DVD’s
  • Mobile Phone
    • Charger
    • USB lead
    • Headphones
  • MP3 Player
    • Headphones
    • Charger
    • USB cable
  • CD player
    • CD’s
    • Speaker
  • Alarm Clock
  • Hair Dryer
  • Hair Straighteners/ curlers
  • Iron
  • Batteries
  • Multi plugs


*some people bring a desk fan and/or a portable heater. It’s up to you if you want to bring these, or if you have enough room, but make sure you check with the rules before you bring a heater, health and safety may not like it. 


First Aid Items

  • Prescription medication
  • Pain killers (take lots)
  • Contraceptive
  • Plasters
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Antiseptic creams
  • Bonjela
  • Safety Pins
  • Bandages
  • TCP
  • E45 cream or similar

*Being the most injury prone person on the planet, I had a HUGE first aid box, but again it’s really up to you as to what you think you’ll need


Housekeeping/ laundry

  • Washing powder
  • Fabric softener
  • Clothes horse
  • Febreeze
  • Washing up liquid
  • Sponge
  • Cloth
  • Kitchen roll
  • Scourer
  • Bin Bags
  • Duster
  • Brush and dust pan
  • Bleach



  • National Insurance Card
  • Details of Vaccination history
  • Any information from Scottish Loan Company or University
  • Cheque books
  • Bank/ building society details
  • Young person travel cards
  • Exam certificates
  • Passport/license.
  • Photos
  • Passport photos for student I.D



  • Desk Lamp
  • Mini Whiteboard/ chalk board
  • Diary/ planner
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Reading list
  • Set texts
  • Stationary



  • Tissues
  • Loose change
  • Extra storage
  • Holdall/ wheelie suitcase
  • Torch
  • Pen knife
  • Safety Pins
  • Sewing Kit
  • Thread
  • Small tool kit
  • Matches
  • Candles (if you’re allowed them…)
  • Lighter
  • Watch
  • Hooks/ sticky hooks
  • Cards (I always have a supply of b’day cards at home in case I forget…) 
  • Local taxi numbers
  • Local map
  • Super Glue
  • Carrier bags
  • Alcohol
  • Money
  • Somewhere safe to keep important things
  • Small plastic drawer tower
  • Nail clippers
  • Nail file
  • Tweezers
  • Hairbrush/ comb
  • Glasses
    • Copy of prescription
  • Earplugs


Yes, this does seem like an insane amount of stuff and I know you’re looking at your suitcase right now wondering how you’re going to manage. Be sensible about what you’re going to need. This list is only a guide. If you live near or are going to travel home quite a lot, you should consider leaving behind what you won’t need immediately. Also, those air suction bag things that you put clothes in are great for saving space! You can use them on duvets and pillows as well.


When you get there make sure you make your bed first in case you give up unpacking and decide you just want to go to sleep. Have things packed in an orderly way so you can unpack easier, it makes the initial moving in stage a lot quicker, easier and less traumatic all round.


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