If you’re off to uni for the first time, and don’t know quite what extras to take or what you might need, never fear – we’re here to help!

The first thing to remember is that, as long as it all fits comfortably in the car, there’s no such thing as ‘too much’ stuff. Don’t refrain from taking things you might want and need, simply because you don’t want the embarrassment of turning up with too much stuff.

Here are a few things to remember, which you may or may not have thought about already!

1. Laundry basket

These can be easily purchased at Primark, Boots, and many other stores you’ll find in your local town.

Get a light, collapsible laundry basket which you can take with you to the student launderette, and carry back with ease. Whilst you may think that plastic bags will suffice, these will make your room look cluttered and dirty.

2. Tea and coffee (and plenty of mugs!)

Regardless of whether you actually like hot drinks, it’s important to turn up to university with plenty of tea, coffee and (if you’re feeling extravagant), hot chocolate too.

Friendships are often formed in the first few days, and inviting those on your corridor in for a cup of tea will break the ice, and give you a nice sociable (non-awkward) situation outside of the alcohol fueled clubbing that is often the primary socializing of fresher’s week. Also make sure you’ve a kettle to facilitate all of this!

Friends hanging out in living room


3. Cushions and throws

It can be hard to know how to personalize a room, especially as you’ll probably be packing without ever having actually seen where you’ll be living.

Halls will often have rules about wall fixtures and putting up posters, so a few colorful cushions and throws are a sure way of adding a bit of character to your room, quickly removing that unfriendly, bare feeling.

4. A clothes drying rack

As far as practicality goes, a clothes rack may seem like an item which would take up unnecessary space, but it can be invaluable if you’ve nowhere else to dry your clothes.

Especially if you have various jumpers and fancy dresses which you can’t tumble-dry, a drying rack is needed to avoid bringing the damp, musky smell of week old still-wet clothes into your room. It can also be used as a handy way to store your towels if there’s insufficient storage space elsewhere.

5. A full set of cleaning equipment

Whilst you may not want to hear it, the independence that university gives you means you also need to take responsibility for (and therefore care of) your environment, keeping it orderly, tidy and above all clean.

If you have a full set of cleaning supplies, and if it’s colour-coordinated, organized and staring you right in the face, you’re much more likely to find to motivation to clean. This is especially important if you have your own bathroom.

Also remember not to lay too much store by any university provided cleaning service, as you won't know the extent or regularity of this until you’ve arrived and experienced it for yourself. Be prepared to clean everything yourself, often.

6. A desk organizer  

In amongst planning for nights out, coffee with friends, and which new outfits you’ll wear to lectures, remember that studying for your degree is by far the most important part of your time at university.

Start the year as you mean to go on by being organized and methodical in your approach to work, keeping your desk clean and tidy with plenty of fresh paper and pens. Here are some great desk organizers (and make your own ideas!) in a range of bright funky colors to help you get started.

7. Alarm Clock

Now that a parent is no longer there to yell at you to get up in the mornings, it’s time to take things into your own hands.

An alarm clock is an essential if you want to be in class on time. Don’t just rely on an alarm on your phone, it’s easy to forget to set this, and it’s subject to your phone’s charge. Go for the failsafe option and get a proper alarm clock!


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Alexandra Jane writes for Inspiring Interns, which helps career starters find the perfect job, in everything from sales jobs to marketing internships. To browse their graduate jobs London listings, visit their website.

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