Packing for university sounds like fun – in theory. But when it comes to doing the deed and sorting through all your earthly belongings, it becomes nothing short of a nightmare.

As it’s likely to be your first time living away from home, it can be hard to know exactly which items you’ll need to survive and entire year and which can be left at home.

Of course, there are plenty of useful ‘what to take to uni checklists’ out there that can provide you with guidance on what’s necessary and what’s not. However, as everyone’s uni experience is vastly different, it’s sometimes far more practical to know what you DON’T need to take with you on your new adventure….

Also check out these guides by acasa for more tips on university living. Also remember to reflect on what University Accommodation Type you are living in as that will impact what you do/do not need to bring.

Share a home with other students? Download acasa for free to track your shared expenses and set-up your utilities.


8 Things You Don’t Need To Pack For University


  1. Toiletries

Toiletries and large bottles of product can take up a lot of unnecessary weight and space in your luggage. This can be particularly problematic if you’re travelling to uni by plane, where every kg counts! A good rule is to leave items behind if you can easily and inexpensively repurchase it when you get there. So if you have a fancy face cream, take it with you but leave the standard bottles of shampoo, conditioner and shower gel behind.

  1. All Your Clothes

Clothes will form the bulk of your luggage, so the less you can bring, the better. Although it’s tempting to pack everything you own, remember that student accommodation rarely has generous wardrobe space. Besides, as a student you will end up wearing loungewear and pyjamas most of the time anyway.

  1. An Iron

Ask any student and they will tell you that an iron is completely and utterly useless in a student home. Ironing is time-consuming, so either you’ll stop caring about wrinkled clothes or you’ll find ‘inventive’ ways to straighten them out – like bringing them into the bathroom whilst showering and letting the steam do the work, or placing them under your mattress at night to flatten under the weight of your body.

  1. Luxury Kitchen Supplies

Kettles, toaster, microwaves and similar standard kitchen appliances will usually be provided for you in student halls or accommodation. Luxury items such as toastie makers, coffee machines or rice cookers probably won’t, but they should be left at home. If you’re sharing a kitchen you could risk damage or theft. If possible, don’t buy any kitchenware until you arrive and see what’s provides for you. After that, take a quick trip to a local supermarket where you’ll be able to pick up any essentials.

  1. Old School Books

You might have all the best intentions to be the single most prepared student on campus, but there really is no need to bring all your old school books and notes. At university, you’ll be starting afresh and most of your old study material will be irrelevent. As these items tend to be heavy, the most sensible option is to leave them all at home and if it turns out that there’s something you absolutely need, you can use a cheap courier or a student shipping service to deliver it to you.

  1. Your Entire Reading List

Similar to the previous point, try to avoid the temptation to buy your entire recommended reading list ahead of your course. Not only will these take up a lot of luggage space, but it could be a waste of money as you won’t need every single one of them. Wait until you’ve started your course and decide which books you do need to purchase, which can be borrowed from the library and which can just be ignored.

  1. A Printer

Unless your course requires you to print a lot of material (most don’t), your own printer will be pointless. The university’s own printers will be just as handy and more cost effective; if you do run out of printer credits, buying more is still cheaper than ink. And, if your friends find out you have your own printer, you’ll just be swamped with requests from them to ‘just print out one little page’ for them – and all those little favours add up.

  1. Stationery

Remember the excitement of buying a new schoolbag, pencil case and fancy gel pens for school every September? Even when you get to uni, the urge to do this doesn’t go away. However, you should resist, because when you arrive at university and attend the Fresher’s fairs and events, you’ll be able to pick up enough free pens, USB sticks and notepads to last you a lifetime.


Written by Lana Richardson, blog editor for – The No 1 Student Shipping Company.