Packing For University – 7 Things You DON'T Need To Bring

what not to take to uni

The question of what to take to uni can be an understandably difficult one for new students. Most Freshers make the mistake of over-packing; after all, you’re entering into the unknown and living away from home for the first time. Inevitably, it’s all too tempting to haul over everything you own. No matter how organised and efficient you think you are when it comes to packing up your stuff, you’ll probably end up bringing a ton of items you won’t use.

Whilst there are a ton of resources out there providing helpful guidance on what you should pack for uni, it’s sometimes more practical to know what you don’t need to take with you. Hopefully our list of non-essential items can help you to save some pennies and, of course, some space in your luggage for the important stuff, like your mum’s home-baked goodies…

what to take uni

1. Every single piece of clothing you own

I get it, you want to have plenty of outfit choices to make a good first impression at uni. But you don’t need to bring all of your clothes. Primarily because, unfortunately, university halls and student accommodations don’t tend to have generous wardrobe space. Like, at all. So, instead of emptying the entirety of your wardrobe into your luggage and calling it a day; try to be more practical with your choices (you’ll likely spend about 80% of your time in loungewear, anyway).

dont take whole wardrobe

A seasonal wardrobe can help you avoid packing ALL of your clothes. For your first term, avoid bringing too many summer clothes as it will only be getting colder! Then in second or third term, swap your big cosy jumpers for your summer clothes as you welcome in the warmer months. This way you avoid clogging up valuable storage space with clothes you won’t need. It’s also likely that you’ll create collaborative wardrobes with your flatmates, as you’ll end up sharing and borrowing items from your friends’ wardrobes!

2. A printer

It’s true, the printers that are provided at university can seem pretty overpriced and it feels like they eat away at your printer credits like nobody’s business. Nevertheless, there’s still no need to bring over your own printer. University printers are handy, cost effective and buying more printer credits is still cheaper than purchasing ink. Not to mention the fact that the last thing you want is to be bombarded with requests from friends asking you to print materials for them. Trust me, all of those little favours add up.

don't bring printer uni

3. Stationary

If stocking up on a bunch of new stationary isn’t one of the most exciting aspects of starting your first term at university, I’m not quite sure what is. However, save yourself the pennies, because you’ll be able to pick up plenty of pens, notepads and USB sticks during Freshers’ Week. Who doesn’t love freebies? Furthermore, it’s actually much more efficient to take notes with your laptop or tablet device anyway, and you won’t have to worry about the organisation of your notes or worse; losing them when it comes to revision.

leave stationary behind

4. Kitchen supplies (or most of them, at least…)

Items such as toasters, kettles, microwaves and juicers should be left behind (unless you’re really serious about that post-Freshers’ Week juice cleanse), the rest will likely be provided for you in your student accommodation (however, it is always a good idea to double-check this with your university, just in case). You should pack a few basic kitchen items, such as your own mugs and utensils. You always leave the bigger items (a saucepan, a frying pan, bowls, plates, etc) until you actually arrive at uni, as they will take up a lot of space in your luggage.

kitchen supplies uni

5. Toiletries

You should bring any personal medication with you for your move to uni. However, basic toiletries such as shampoos, conditioners, soaps and shower gel can be easily acquired once you actually arrive at university. They take up a ton of space in your luggage, and if you’re travelling to uni on a flight, you’ll be restricted in what you can carry anyway.

dont bring toiletries

6. Your car

Your car likely feels like your lifeline when at home, and whilst it’s a nice idea to be able to drive you and your friends wherever you go; a car at university isn’t really necessary. Most universities are conveniently situated in city centres or would have regular public transport that operates to and from your destinations (it may also be worthwhile getting yourself a 16-25 Railcard). With petrol and limited, expensive university parking considered, having your car at uni will definitely end up costing you more than it’s worth.

leave car when at uni

7. Your entire reading list

I’m going to let you in on a little secret; not all of the textbooks on your reading list are actually worth purchasing. Not before your course actually starts, anyway. They are (painfully) expensive and will take up a lot of your luggage space. Wait until you start your course and decide which ones you absolutely need to purchase. Or, simply head to the university library and see if they’re available in there. You could even buy secondhand textbooks from second/third year students to save yourself some money from websites such as or

what not to take uni