What to take and what not to take to University

what to take to uni

Packing for university is a fine line between being over and under prepared. You don’t want to be the person who is always asking to borrow a hairdryer or wok, but you also don’t want to turn up to halls in a removal van. So what makes the cut and what gets left behind? Here is the SMS’s essential guide for what to take and what not to take to university.


• Doorstop
The easiest way to be seen as a ‘social’ person whilst in halls is to have an open door. Taking a doorstop will help with this as the doors in halls are often big, heavy fire doors.

• Extension Lead
We challenge someone to find a student room with enough plugs. They just do not exist! If you want to plug in more than a bedside lamp and phone charger at one time take an extension lead – you will thank us.

• Multiple Bedding Sets
Take the stress out of laundry day and hook-ups by having spare bed sheets.

Don’t be the person who hasn’t changed their bedding for two months because they have hockey practice every time their flat mates go to the launderette.

• Laundry Basket

No brainer, a laundry basket keeps your room tidy and is useful to carry all of your dirty washing to the laundry room.

• Shower Caddy
A caddy is an essential item if you have a shared bathroom. You can keep all your products in one place and take them back to your room when you are done, preventing skint flat mates using up your good shampoo.

• Ethernet Cable
Wi-Fi in halls is overloaded and patchy. If you have a submission deadline or are trying to Skype your boyfriend in Aberdeen having an Ethernet connection will be your saviour.

• Good Knives
It is surprising how easy it is to hurt yourself with blunt knives. Invest in one or two good sharp knives. Not only will you thank yourself for keeping all your fingers, you will have one less thing to stress yourself out about.

• Wok
Trust us when we say stir-fry = life. Stir-frys are the go to of any student. Whether using up the leftovers in the fridge or shopping the reduced section at the end of the month, stir-frys will be your best friend so buy a wok.

• Casserole Pot
When you aren’t eating stir-fry you will be trying to fit as many food groups as possible into one meal. Having a good casserole pot will help greatly with this.

• Diary
Don’t rely on your iPhone calendar for your course deadlines have an old-school, physical diary to note down all deadlines.

• Mattress Protector
The mattresses you have all through university will not be new (read into that what you like) having a box-fresh, thick, new mattress topper will help you sleep at night.

• A Sewing Kit

It is surprising all the things you forget are just lying around at home ready for when you need them, a sewing kit is one of these things. Invest in a few essential pieces of kit that you may need in an emergency button loss situation, if in doubt ask your mum.

• Bike
Transport is expensive and is an unnecessary waste of money in a lot of university towns where the student accommodation is only 1 or 2 miles from the university itself. Take your bike with you to get some extra exercise and save your student loan for more exciting things then the U1 bus.

• Blue Tac
The easiest way to make yourself feel more at home in your new digs is to put up posters, photos and trinkets. You probably won’t be allowed to use pins to so take a lot of Blue Tac.

room at university

• Weekend Bag
You might only just be arriving at university, but whether it is visiting friends or going home, you will need a weekend bag. Take something sturdy and easy to carry around, if you are in London a suitcase is not advisable if you have lots of changes on the underground.

Not Take

what not to take to uni

• Toastie Maker
They are a nightmare to clean and you will not use it. This is why it is £10 in Argos!

• Recipe Book
There is no need to laden yourself with more books that you have no room for when the Internet exists, you can find recipes for almost any dish online.

• Expensive Glasses or Crockery

You will very quickly become indiscriminate to the proper function of a each type of glass buy some tumblers or better yet plastic beakers and be done with it.

expensive glasses crockery

• TV
You have a laptop so a TV is surplus to requirement.

• Car
Student houses have limited parking and cities are a nightmare to drive around. Save money on tax, insurance and petrol by leaving your car at home.

• Fairy Lights
Don’t waste your time. You go to all the trouble to hang them intricately around your curtain pole or doorframe and within a few uses the batteries run out.

• School Leavers Hoodie
Do not take your ‘St John’s 2017 Leavers’ Hoodie with your nickname ‘Tinkerbelle’ or whatever it might be emblazoned on the back. When you join a club at university then you may once again don an ironic hoodie.

• Printer
The ink and paper are expensive and your library will have one. Just make sure you leave enough time before hand-ins to print everything off.

• Cheese Grater

Everyone takes one. Your flat only needs one. If by some horrible turn of fate you are without a cheese grater then go and buy one.

too many cheese graters

• Iron
Sorry to say it but even if you are female you probably won’t use one (hair straighteners will become your iron) and if you are male you definitely won’t use one.

• Old School Books and Notes

Even if you did study Richard III at GCSE York Notes won’t cut it at degree level so leave the old books at home. Better yet sell them and make some cash. To find out how read the SMS guide to making money online.

• Spiraliser
Courgettes are expensive, leave it at home.