Essentials Packing List

A person with long hair leans on a cardboard packing box marked fragile whilst another person points

It’s time! You’ve accepted your offer, confirmed your student loan and paid the deposit on your new room in student accommodation, and now it’s time to pack. But what exactly do you need to pack?

Everyone will tell you something a little different and it’s so easy to panic and just take everything (I’m talking to you, never-once-used iron) so make sure you break it down, cover all your basics and remember, if you unpack and realise you didn’t bring a single piece of cutlery, you can always pick some up for free with our Bucks New Usage initiative or borrow from a housemate until then.


First up, the important stuff – passports, paperwork and prescriptions

  • Valid passport and/or driver’s license
  • University acceptance letter
  • Accommodation contract
  • Prescription medication (and the paperwork if it’s a repeat prescription)
  • Bank card (have you considered switching to a student account?)
  • Passport photos
  • USB
  • 16-25 railcard for great train travel discounts
  • Totum card

Moving on to where all the magic happens (we’re talking about those well deserved zzzz’s!) it’s the bedroom

  • A duvet (and two covers - wear one, wash one style)
  • Pillows
  • Pillowcases
  • Pillow protectors
  • Mattress protector
  • Mattress topper
  • Bed sheets
  • Coat hangers
  • Clothes airer
  • Extension cable
  • Photos of friends and family
  • Chargers for all your devices – phone, camera, laptop. (Double, triple check these)


Next up is the bathroom and it’s probably the most straightforward one on your packing list

  • Bath towel
  • Hand towel
  • Toiletries
  • Bath matt – get a bath matt!
  • Shower caddy
  • A first aid kit – so many bumps, cuts and bruises will happen in your first year so make sure you grab a kit.
  • Paracetamol – for everything from a hangover to computer headaches and the ever dreaded Fresher’s flu.

Toiletries cover a wide range of things and this is personal to you, but we would recommend buying the loo roll and handwash once you arrive to save some space in your already crammed car.


Clothes – rightfully has its own section

You don’t need to bring your entire wardrobe, all your shoes, and fancy getup. For the most part you can break it down into summer/winter. Your first term at uni will be in the colder months before you head home where you can swap out your winter coats and boots for t-shirts, shorts and flip flops. On that, this is what you should bring for the start of term in September.

  • Warm clothes
  • A scarf
  • A good winter coat
  • A lighter winter jacket
  • Sensible shoes
  • A handful of dressier items for your nights out
  • Sports/gym gear if you need it

Fancy dress is a freshers fortnight staple, but you don’t need your whole dressing up trunk. The lineup is always revealed before you arrive so you’ll know exactly what to pack. If you're ever in doubt, then maybe try out the local charity shops with your flatmates once you've moved in.


Last up is the kitchen, crockery and cups.

You want to keep this to the basics, why bring a corkscrew bottle opener if you don’t drink wine? Six set of dinner plates when you’ll probably only cook for you and a mate or two?

  • A good set of pots and pans (A good rule of thumb is a big lidded pot, small pot and medium pan to cover your essentials)
  • Cutlery
  • Plates
  • Bowl
  • A mug
  • A glass
  • A sharp knife
  • Tupperware (brilliant to save leftovers, avoid foodwaste and finally kick the cling film to the curb)
  • Scissors
  • Chopping board
  • Sieve
  • Can opener
  • Spatula
  • Set of wooden spoons for stirring, mixing and general cooking use
  • Peeler
  • Baking trays (2 will usually do the job)
  • Tea towels
  • Washing up sponge/brush


If you get stuck for something in halls, pop into Bucks New Usage on our High Wycombe Campus where you can nose around and pick up anything you need from cutlery to bedding, pots to lamps, and even toastie makers. This can be really helpful for International students, as you will have a limited luggage allowance and this can help you to save money on new items.