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The 15 items everyone forgets when moving to university

Making the move to university is an exciting process but the packing can be a bit of a chore. There are lists and lists of things you will need to bring, and all of the items on your list will seem absolutely essential! However, just because you’ve tried to be prepared doesn’t mean you’re not going to forget anything at all. Our list of 15 items everyone forgets when moving to university covers a wide array of essentials and trust us, without this list you’re definitely going to miss something off!

1. Storage boxes

University rooms come in all shapes and sizes but in dorms they tend to err on the side of…’boxy’. Unfortunately this means that there aren’t many storage options. For this reason storage boxes can come in handy, as they provide extra places to put things in a neat and organised way. Get stack-able patterned ones and you could even use them as a bedside table.

2. Extension leads

Bedside lamp, laptop charger, printer, phone charger, hairdryer, heated hair styler…that’s a lot of plugs! Because of this an extension lead is absolutely essential. Remember, if you’re an international student you may need to bring plug adapters too.

3. Hangers

Wardrobes are rather pointless without hangers but when you’re packing all your clothes they don’t seem to be so essential! Awkward to pack but a lifesaver once you want to put your clothes away, hangers are must if you don’t want to be covered in creases all day every day.

Image of hangers

4. Bottle opener/corkscrew

Freshers week is notorious for being rather raucous and generally, there’s quite a lot of opportunities for drinking! Make sure you’re the flatmate that saves the day by packing the only bottle opener or corkscrew there will be in your dorms.

Top tip: Freshers Facebook groups

As well as bottle openers and corkscrews there is a long list of kitchen items you’re probably going to need. If you’re worried about the expense of it all – or just don’t fancy doubling up on too many items you’ll share in a communal kitchen – then join the Fresher’s page for your university. In all likelihood there will be a page for the specific block of accommodation you’re staying in, which means you can get to know people online before meeting them officially on move in day.

5. Pack of cards

This one goes hand in hand with the previous point; when you’re getting to know people, fun card games with forfeits (and often alcohol – though that is by no means necessary!) is one of the best ways to break the ice. Bring the fun to the party by remembering to pack your own pack of cards.

6. External hard drive

You’ll get given plenty of free USB’s at the Fresher’s fair, so you don’t need to worry about having enough of them. However, an external hard drive can be great for condensing the amount of things you take to uni. Got some DVD’s or video games on disc? Get them on your external hard drive instead and you’ll have saved yourself a ton of space, both in your packing and in your uni room.

7. Laundry basket

Trekking to the launderette is much easier when you have a nice laundry bag to use. Even if you’ve got laundry facilities in your building that doesn’t necessarily mean your room is next door to them. Having something to ferry your dirty items back and forth makes life much easier and saves the embarrassment of accidentally dropping any underwear on the stairs!

Image of laundry bag

8. Slippers

Shuffling between your room and the communal rooms in your accommodation after a rough night out is much more pleasant if you have some comfy slippers to do it in. It also means you don’t accidentally put your foot in any food or liquid on the floor – student halls can sometimes be messy places . . .

9. Earplugs and eye mask

If earplugs and an eye mask aren’t an essential part of your sleep routine then consider adding these items to your list. Hopefully you won’t need to use them, but it when it gets to exam period you’ll be very grateful you have them. Not all students are on the same schedules, meaning some will finish earlier in the year when others are still hard at work. That means there may be loud parties going on while you’re still preparing for your tests. Save yourself some stress and pack these essentials.

10. Smart clothes

You’ll be surprised at how many formal events you’ll get invited to. Once you join a society there are Christmas Dos and End of Year Balls to think of, as well as any other suppers that may occur throughout the year. Pack a nice suit or a nice dress that you can jazz up with different accessories and you’re good to go.

11. Small sewing kit

When your bank balance is starting to look a little sorry for itself then you can’t just go and buy new clothes when something breaks. Pack a mini sewing kit and you’ll be able to sew on any buttons that have come loose or mend a busted seam if need be.

Image of sewing kit

12. Washing up bowl

This item might seem a little random but it has many uses. Use it to cart your cleaning products to and from, to wash up, to soak your feet in after a big night out, to dye clothes in for a tie-dye themed fancy dress night or to put by your bed the morning after the night before. It really is a life-saver!

13. Hot water bottle

Another life-saver here; a hot water bottle is essential for keeping those heating bills down and also for helping you to feel better when you get struck down by Fresher’s Flu (it’s inevitable).

14. Medication

Speaking of Fresher’s Flu; one thing you need to pack plenty of is medication. Think painkillers, throat sweets, cough syrup, decongestants and vitamin C tablets. You should also add plasters to this list.

15. A lamp

Last but not least is a lamp. Whether you prefer to read in bed, or know you’re likely to stay up late in to the night gaming with friends, then a lamp is essential. Not only does it provide a gentler light that will be easier on your eyes as the night goes on, but it also helps to provide a cosy environment.

The optional extra: a printer

You can always print off your essays on the printers in the library, but chances are there are at least a hundred other students who have got the same idea as you. Save yourself a last minute panicked sprint to the library, and a long stand in the printer queue, by investing in a printer. Whatever the cost we can assure you that it is most definitely worth the price.

What are your essential items? We wouldn’t be without a big box of teabags!


Leigh Horan

Leigh is the Marketing Manager at Varcity Living. She enjoys going for walks in the Welsh countryside, discovering new places to eat and talking about the most recent film she's watched.