Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

The packing list: things you do and don’t need to buy for university

Packing for our first year at university is the topic on all of our minds as soon as we confirm our university offers. The process of worrying about what to bring, what to not bring, and what will fit in the car begins. All of this can be daunting but in this article, I aim to make the process easier for you by recommending things you definitely need to bring to uni, and also some things you don’t need to pack.

Things you should bring

We’re going to start with the essentials, and first on this list is flip-flops. I highly recommend buying a pair to everyone moving to university but especially for those who will be in shared bathroom accommodations. For hygiene reasons, they are so useful for protecting your feet from the bathroom and shower floor that you’ll be sharing with others. They were definitely the most treasured item I brought to university with me in my first year.

The next thing you should definitely bring with you is distinctive cutlery, plates and glasses. I didn’t realise how important this would be until I started losing lots of cutlery and confusing mine with my flatmates as most of us had generic silver cutlery and plain white plates.

When living in halls, you will soon discover that mess accumulates very quickly

When you’re doing your uni shop, it can be easy to just pick up the most basic of items, but it’s good to keep in mind that you’ll be living with others. So, to minimise losing or confusing your belongings, I recommend bringing perhaps more colourful cutlery or marking your cutlery and plates in some way so that you know what yours is.

Cleaning products are another essential buy before arriving at university. When living in halls, you will soon discover that mess accumulates very quickly and while each accommodation has cleaners, they are not there all day every day. So, by bringing simple cleaning products with you such as antibacterial spray, cleaning wipes and blue cloths, it becomes easier to maintain good hygiene in case you need to clear anything up. You can pick up some good quality products for cheap at shops like Wilko and Savers.

Things you shouldn’t bring

There are items that we all buy before arriving at university and then soon realise they are a waste of space and money.

First on the list of things not to waste your money on before arriving at Warwick is course books and textbooks. Don’t stress about having to buy course material before you get to university as chances are your department will provide these for you, and if there is anything you need to purchase, they will inform you of that once you start your course.

So, to avoid wasting money on materials you might not need, I suggest waiting for instruction from your department. Also, for the upcoming academic year, it seems that most materials will be available online, so that is one less thing to worry about.

I suggest only bringing the clothes that you actually wear

Something we all tend towards when packing our things before leaving for university is the urge to pack every item of clothing you own. Now, of course, you should definitely pack clothes for uni but you don’t need to bring everything you own. There probably isn’t the room or need to bring your entire wardrobe to uni.

I suggest only bringing the clothes that you actually wear as this will save you space and packing time. I made the mistake of bringing clothing items that I had not worn in years ‘just in case’ I felt like wearing them one day, and guess what? That day never came! I can assure you, if you don’t wear it currently, it’s highly likely that you won’t wear it at university either. Your three-piece suit and scuba-diving costume can stay at home.

Finally, I would highly recommend that you leave any kitchen appliances you may have purchased on offer from Argos or Currys at home.

All on-campus accommodations provide safe and tested kitchen appliances to be shared in the kitchens

Some people may have to bring their own for specific reasons and that is absolutely fine. However, if you were just wondering if you need to bring your own kitchen appliances, the answer to that is no. All on-campus accommodations provide safe and tested kitchen appliances to be shared in the kitchens, so unless you need to, I would recommend that you don’t bring your own and this will save you money as well.

The things on these lists are subjective. You may have certain needs or just want to bring certain things but, as a general rule, don’t panic. Anything you don’t buy, you can always purchase when you’re settled in and the great thing about having flatmates is that you can share things between each other. Focus on enjoying the moving process and saying goodbye to home for a little while.


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