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5 min read

what to take to uni: the essential moving away checklist

written by Liz Tabron

updated 27.11.2023

moving to university

Starting university is such an exciting time, with new people to meet, places to discover and the challenge of your chosen degree. But if you’re moving away from home and into campus accommodation, it can be daunting too. There’s a lot to organise to make sure you have everything you need, whether you're moving into a university dorm, student house or halls of residence.

To ease the stress of making that first move away from home, Silentnight has created this essential checklist of what you need to take with you to your university accommodation. We’re also sharing some top tips on how to keep your valuables secure.

get organised

The best place to begin is with a list. Get started a few weeks before you leave by writing down what you use on a daily basis. This will help you identify things you might not have thought about, and you will be able to clearly see what items you need. Next, divide the list into sections to help organise your packing. This could include bedroom essentials, toiletries, and study materials.

It’s best to prioritise functional belongings, but don’t forget to include a few home comforts too like a decorative blanket or posters.

Remember, you have to find space for everything you bring so only take what you need. You can always get some extra items after you’ve settled into your accommodation. Unless you’re moving somewhere incredibly remote, they’ll be shops nearby to pick up anything you missed!

essential items to take to uni

Wherever you are moving, a university dorm room, halls of residence, or a student house, there should be basic furniture provided including a bed, mattress, dresser, and desk. Check with your accommodation management to see what is provided if this information wasn’t given on their website or in your rental agreement.

There are still plenty of essential items that you will need to bring with you when moving away from home to university. As well as household belongings, you will also need the correct documentation, including your university acceptance letter, accommodation paperwork, student finance documents and a valid photo ID.

student bedroom essentials

University campuses have a lot to offer, but don’t underestimate how much time you’ll stay in your student accommodation. If the library is busy, you could end up spending a lot of time in your bedroom studying. Your bedroom should be a space that puts you at ease and feels comfortable.

Create a relaxed, welcoming feel with cushions, blankets, and cosy bedding. Home comforts give a sense of familiarity and will help you feel settled in no time. When it comes to bedding, comfort is key for getting a good night’s sleep. You’ll need plenty of rest to achieve your best when studying for your degree. Look at our blog to find out how sleep is connected to exam success.

Make sure to choose the right bedding size – is the bed in your accommodation a single or double? Take a couple of bedding sets, a duvet, and pillows. It’s a good idea to include mattress and pillowcase protectors too, since you don’t know the quality of the bed provided by your accommodation. Consider adding a mattress topper to your bed to promote a blissful night’s sleep.

Here is our checklist of essential bedroom items:

bathroom essentials

Next, you need to find out whether you have a free access, shared or private bathroom. If you’re using a communal bathroom, you’ll need to include toiletry storage in your bedroom items list – ideally something portable that you can take with you when you go to the bathroom.

Here is our checklist of essential bathroom items:

  • Hand towel

  • Bath towel or sheet

  • Flannel

  • Toiletries e.g., toothpaste, shampoo, soap etc.

  • Toiletry storage

  • Robe or dressing gown

kitchen essentials

If your student accommodation has a dining common you can just skip this part, but if your residence has a kitchen it’sa good idea to check what comes included. The kitchen will usually be stocked with plates, bowls, cutlery, glasses, and mugs – but don’t take this as given, especially if you’re renting a student house.

Here is Silentnight’s checklist of essential kitchen items:

  • Plates, bowls, and cutlery

  • Glasses and mugs

  • Pans

  • Utensils e.g., spatula, knives, tin opener

  • Chopping boards

  • Tea towels

  • Food storage containers

  • First aid kit

  • Bin bags

  • Laundry detergent and cleaning products

study essentials

While university libraries are furnished with computers, there are still a few electrical items you’ll need for studying. A lot of work is submitted online and it’s important to keep back-ups of your work in case any computer you’re using becomes corrupted. Invest in a portable hard-drive or a USB stick. If you don’t have a laptop, you’ll need notepads and stationery for your lectures and seminars as well.

Don’t forget all the chargers you’ll need to take with you and an extension cable could come in handy too. Depending on your studying set-up, you may also want to add an adjustable lamp if you’ll be using the desk at your university accommodation.

Here is our checklist of essential study items:

  • Laptop (optional)

  • Portable hard-drive and/or USB sticks

  • Headphones

  • Chargers

  • Extension cable

  • Desk lamp

  • Stationery and notepads

tips for keeping your valuables safe

It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of moving to university and forget about the safety of your items. Halls of residence and university dorms can have hundreds of people coming and going every day, and it can be all too easy for someone to get inside who doesn’t belong.

Make sure your bedroom door is locked, don’t leave any windows open when you’re out, and avoid putting expensive items on show. If you go home for the holidays or a weekend visit, consider taking your most valuable belongings with you. It’s also worth checking if your accommodation includes basic insurance coverage for your items and finding out who to contact if something does go wrong.

what to take to uni

Our moving away checklist takes the stress out of moving away from home, so you can focus on the excitement of starting university. For more helpful guides, check out is sleep the secret to exam success, or head to our bedding range to start preparing for your move.

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