What to take to university – Bobatoo’s complete uni checklist

Happy student in the hallway clutching onto her books and smiling

You’ve got the results that you needed and have secured a spot at university – congratulations! But now the hard work starts, and there are few tasks more difficult than packing for your first taste of life away from home.

Luckily for you, Bobatoo has compiled everything you need into one easy-to-read list to make sure that you don’t forget a single thing – from your debit card to your phone charger!

For the kitchen – Uni kitchen essentials

One of the main concerns for first-year university students is adapting to sharing a kitchen with their new flatmates – some things, like kettles and toasters, are often provided and can be shared, while others like cutlery, plates and bowls might not be.

Here are a few uni kitchen essentials that should 100% be on your checklist:

Small cutlery set – make sure you get a set which is distinguishable from other people’s cutlery to make sure you come home with as many knives and forks as you left with! This 16-piece cutlery set is just £9.99 on Amazon.

University cookbook – cooking at university can be difficult, which is why a university cookbook is one of our must-have essentials! Perfect for yourself or as a parting gift for a friend, you can pick one up for just £3 here.

Cheap dinner set – because, contrary to popular belief, you won’t be eating all of your meals out of pizza boxes. Pick up a cheap dinner set like this one for all of your dining needs.

Mug – whether you’re a coffee or a tea-drinker, you’ll need something to drink it out of. You could pick up a cheap mug for as little as £2 on Amazon, but we prefer this novelty university mug!

Tupperware – when so much of your time is taken up by studying, sometimes it’s easier to make your meals in bulk. When you do, you’ll need some food storage containers like these to keep your meals tasting fresh.

Washing up liquid & a sponge – you don’t want to be that person who never does their washing up, especially when you can pick up a handy washing up brush like this for just £2.20.

Scissors – whether you’re cutting chicken or removing the seal from your microwave meal, a pair of scissors will come in handy. This pair on Amazon even doubles up as both a bottle opener and a nut-cracker.

Saucepan and frying pan – an absolute must for cooking your weekly portions of pasta, you can pick up a saucepan and frying pan set for relatively cheap on Amazon here.

Baking tray – from roasting vegetables to cooking pizza, a non-stick baking tray will help you to minimise mess when cooking in the kitchen – pick one up for less than £7 here.

Other utensils – if you’ve got space left in your case, consider taking a few other kitchen utensils such as a chopping boardspatulasievetin opener and cheese grater.

Bob’s Tip

Depending on your accommodation, you may already have some of these things provided for you. If you haven’t found out already, contact your university to find out if there’s anything you should take off – or add – to your uni checklist.

Bobatoo bird with graduation cap on


For the bathroom – Uni bathroom essentials

Whether you have opted for an en-suite or a shared bathroom facility, you’ll need to take with you everything that you would usually use at home.

Washbag – perhaps more useful if you are using a shared bathroom, where you can’t keep all of your bathroom utensils littered across the counter. This one from Amazon is available in a range of different colours and can be hung up to better utilise space – and it’s only £7.99!

Toothbrush and toothpaste – either pick up a pack of 3 for just £1 on Amazon or spend a bit more on getting a rechargeable, electric toothbrush for just £20. While you’re there, at 3 for £1, why not pick up some Colgate toothpaste too?

Shampoo/conditioner – your bathroom will likely only be small, so make the most of the space you have by buying a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner.

Shower gel – because there’s little use in having a shower without shower gel. Save yourself a bit of money by buying in bulk on Amazon, where you can pick up 6 bottles for £6.

Towel – you’ll need both a hand towel and a full body towel, and you may also want to bring some spares for when yours are waiting to be washed. You can get a full set on Amazon for just £17.99.

Deodorant – you can pick this up just about anywhere, but it’s always good to make sure you take some with you for your first few days where you may not find the time to get to the shops. Men can get a pack of 6 for just £9, while a 3-pack for women comes in at around £5.25.

Toilet roll – if there’s one thing you don’t want to be caught short on, it’s toilet roll. Stock up at the beginning of the semester and you won’t need to give it a second thought for a while.


For the bedroom – Uni bedroom essentials

It’s likely to be the only room in which you’ll have the complete freedom to make your own. There are plenty of things you can do to add your own twist to your university bedroom – but before you start decorating, make sure you’ve got the essentials:

Duvet – when looking for a duvet, consider spending a bit more to get a 5 tog or 15 tog duvet like these on Amazon, which are sure to keep you warm during cold winter nights.

Pillows – you'll probably only have a single bed, so a pack of 2 pillows should suffice.

Laundry basket with handles – this is one of the uni essentials that students often forget about, you’ll need a laundry basket to store all of your dirty clothes. Get one with handles to make life easier on your wash days.

Clothes hangers – because, no matter how hard you try, you probably won’t be able to fit all of your clothes on the floor. Get a pack of 20 for £5.99 on Amazon.

A desk lamp – you probably won’t have the luxury of a dimmer switch, so a desk lamp is a must for a relaxing evening in front of the telly or reading a book. For just £19.99, this smart-looking lamp is perfect.

Decorations – you won’t have much space for uni room décor, but Bobatoo’s guide to student budgeting outlines some great ways to decorate your bedroom at university.


For the wardrobe – clothes to take to uni

When you pack your clothes for university, there are a number of things that you’ll need to consider – not least the weather.

Make sure you can dress for all occasions by packing these essentials:

Underwear – we shouldn’t really need to explain why you should pack underwear, but you can pick some up on Amazon’s clothing store.

Loungewear – for lazy weekends and evenings, you’ll want something comfy to lounge around in. You can’t go wrong with a dressing gown, and you can pick up one for both men and women on Amazon.

A winter coat – it can be hard enough to motivate yourself for those 9am lectures as it is, let alone when it’s pouring down with rain and you don’t have a coat. You can get a great deal on winter coats on Amazon, with plenty on offer for men and women.

Smart clothes – with a bit of luck, you’ll get yourself a bit of work experience while at university and, the chances are, you won’t be allowed to wear your dressing gown. If you know you’ll be looking for an internship, pack some appropriate clothing.

Sports/swimwear – in your spare time, you may take up a new hobby or sign up to the local gym. Pack a pair of running trainers and some swimwear and you’ll never be bored outside of class.

Everyday clothes – the most obvious on this list, yet surprisingly easy to forget. You’ll need clothes to wear to university and while you’re out and about with your new friends. Jeans, t-shirts, jumpers – anything you’d wear on a day-to-day basis.


For your classes – what supplies do I need for uni?

In the excitement of starting afresh in a new city, with new friends and a new home, don’t forget the reason you’re actually going to university – to study!

Some of the things you’ll probably expected to have include:

Laptop – it doesn’t necessarily need to be top-of-the-range (unless your course specifically requires it), but a laptop is perfect for taking notes, typing essays and even watching Netflix during your off-time. This ASUS Cloudbook is just £179.99 on Amazon.

Stationary – if you’d rather stick to basics and make your notes on paper, you’ll need the right stationary to do so. This cheap stationary set from Amazon is perfect for university, though we’d recommend that you buy a few more pens – they’re bound to go missing!

Notepads – to keep your notes from all of your classes in order, pick up a few different coloured notepads.

USB memory stick – it’s important to back up your university coursework in as many places as possible, so keeping your work on a USB memory stick is never a bad idea.

Textbooks – unless you’re able to borrow them from the library, you’ll most likely be expected to buy your own textbooks. Luckily for you, Amazon has a whole category dedicated to university textbooks.


For your entertainment – should I take a games console to uni?

While your main reason for being at university is to work, don’t forget that it is equally as important to give yourself some time off – your work will benefit from it, and so will your mood!

Consider bringing along some of the following:

Games console – this is by no means a must, but you could keep yourself (and your friends) entertained with a games console. You can set up your PlayStation in the kitchen or carry around a portable console like the Nintendo Switch – perfect if you have a long break in-between classes or if you’re on top of all your work.

Board games – not every night with your flatmates will be spent in a nightclub, so pack some board games to keep you entertained on your nights in. You can get British-favourite Monopoly on Amazon, or try out a more obscure game like Obama Llama!

Headphones – whether you’re listening to music in the library or chilling out in your room, headphones are right at the very top of most student’s university checklist. Pick up some wired earphones for just £7 on Amazon. Depending on the phone you have, you might need an adapter too!

Books/e-reader – there are few things more relaxing than getting stuck into a good book (that isn’t a university textbook!). Take a few with you, or perhaps invest in an e-read like the Amazon Kindle.


For your records – what documents to take to uni

This is arguably the most important category of all of your university essentials – check, double-check and then check again that you have all of the following:

Identification – ideally in the form of a passport or driver’s licence, you will probably need ID to prove you are who you are and – more importantly – you’re as old as you say you are!

Correspondence from your university – bring along your acceptance letter and any documentation related to your course, student loan and accommodation.

Bank card – you will have probably opened a student current account before starting university, so make sure you bring along your new bank card.

Student discount cards – make the most of these for the short time that you’re at university! Be sure to remember any discount cards you’ve purchased, such as an NUS card or 16-25 Railcard.

Bob’s Tip

Keep all of your important documents in one place (perhaps buy a small file) so you know where they are if you need them.

Bobatoo bird with graduation cap on


Miscellaneous – optional extras

Finally, if you have an inch or two spare, there are a few optional items which could come in handy while you’re at university.

Extension cable – you don’t know for sure how many plug sockets you’ll have in your room, or where they’ll be placed – taking an extension cable would eliminate any potential issues.

Bike – if you know for sure that you can easily cycle to and from your campus, it might be worth taking a bike to save you money on transportation – a foldable bike could easily be kept in the corner of your room. Invest in a helmet and a lock, too.

Medical kit – a small first aid kit with things like, plasters, pain relief tablets and antibacterial cream could come in handy.

Phone chargers – if you don’t have one already, pick up one of these extra-long charging cables which you can use to charge your phone or tablet from across the room.


Student insurance

Now you’ve got an extended list of what to take to uni and where to get it all, you should also make sure that you’ve got the right insurance policy in place.

For example, if you plan on using a car while at university, you should get a cheap student car insurance quote here at Bobatoo, while you should also make sure that you have student travel insurance for any holidays you go on – both abroad and in the UK.

Finally, did you know that the average uni student is 3 TIMES as likely to be burgled? To keep your belongings like your laptop, tablet, games console and other expensive items safe at uni, you should consider taking out student contents insurance – while it will not be able to replace any lost work, it will save you from having to pay for a replacement.