what to buy for uni
Heading off to uni is such an exciting time. Source: Sam Wasson / AFP

Deciding what to buy for uni can be a lifesaver. While we know you’d rather be picking out your classes, meeting your housemate, making new friends, and curating your new wardrobe, our advice is to first make a list of what to buy for uni halls (if you’re in the UK) or dorm room (if you’re in the US of A).

If you’re going to a college out of state or abroad, simply bring what you’ll need for that particular weather season. Packing your whole wardrobe for all seasons may seem the right, money-saving thing to do, but trust us. Finding a home for everything once you’re in your new home — which is likely to be small and cramped — may be a hassle.

First step: Find out what to buy for uni — and what not to

Before you buy or pack anything, be sure to check with your school about what items are and are not allowed. One school might not allow microwaves; another might have specific regulations about what size of refrigerators is allowed. 

Now that you’ve checked those off, there are still hundreds of things you might want to take to university but remember: you can’t pack your entire home. It can get overwhelming to pack your life into a suitcase, especially when it’s your first time away from home for an extended period, but don’t worry.

Here’s a list covering what to buy for uni — these are the essentials that any student could possibly need … and a couple more things, just in case:

dorm room essentials

If you’re going to a college out of state, simply bring what you’ll need for that particular weather season. Source: Sam Wasson / AFP

Bath and bedding

  • Comforter and/or quilts 
  • Throw blanket
  • Bedsheets 
  • Pillows and pillowcases
  • Tissue
  • Towels
  • Hangers
  • Washing bag/basket
  • Washing powder and fabric softener
  • Storage boxes

Kitchen equipment

  • Mini fridge
  • Microwave 
  • Electric kettle (the smaller the better)
  • Blender 
  • Rice cooker
  • Pots and pans
  • Cutting board 
  • Knives
  • Cooking utensils
  • Plates, forks, spoons and cups 
  • Can opener 
  • Bin bags
  • First aid kit


  • Shower caddy
  • Shower shoes (flip flops)
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Face wash and moisturiser
  • Towels
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Floss and mouthwash
  • Cotton pads and/or cotton balls
  • Makeup remover
  • Nail clippers and nail file
  • Tampons and/or pads


  • Pens and pencils
  • A4 lined notepad(s)
  • A4 binder(s)
  • Highlighters
  • Post-it notes
  • Calendar/diary
  • Paper clips
  • Stapler
  • Sticky tape