Freshers Guide to Packing (and What to Leave Behind)

The time has come to fly the nest - but where do you even start? How do you pack for Uni? Check out our guide for a stress-free(ish) move

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You've lugged your boxes in from the car, unpacked your bedroom and you're already on first-name terms with your new housemates. You want to make a good impression so you suggest a quick break and offer to make them all a cuppa - after all, you packed enough tea bags to fuel an army. But wait a minute - did you pack the tea bags?

In all the excitement (and yes, stress) of going to University and moving out for the first time, it's natural that things will get left behind, forgotten, or not even thought about. So, we've put a checklist together for you and included the bits and bobs we think you'll need when you move. If you want, you can print this page and tick things off as you go.

You know the old saying - you are preparing to fail by failing to prepare!

The Boring Stuff Essentials

  • ID (to prove your identity for registration, student loans, setting up a student bank account, and of course to get served in the pub)
  • Bank account info (if you already have one)
  • Student Loans paperwork
  • Medical details - including name and address of your GP
  • Info about your university course, registration details, and where to go/what to do when you arrive


  • Any prescriptions or medicine you take regularly
  • Painkillers - for the hangover
  • Ibuprofen
  • Flu medicine - it'll happen
  • Indigestion tablets - if you're a cider drinker, you'll understand
  • Multivitamins
  • First aid kit including plasters and antiseptic cream


  • Duvet & cover
  • Bed sheets
  • Pillows & covers
  • Mattress topper
  • Laundry basket
  • Mirror
  • Coat hangers
  • Extension lead
  • Clock


  • Cutlery - including a decent, sharp knife
  • Chopping board
  • Tupperware
  • Wok
  • Saucepan
  • Frying pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Spatula
  • A mug, one or two plates and bowls - don't overdo it
  • Bottle opener and corkscrew (you'll thank us for this one)
  • Some herbs and spices to take your plain pasta to the next level
  • Tinned food for the cupboard including bread, pasta, and beans
  • Fridge basics including milk, cheese and butter
  • The all-important tea bags, coffee, and squash

Don't go overboard with the kitchen stuff - you'll probably end up using the same one plate, one bowl, one knife/fork/spoon. You can pop to town to pick up anything if you do need more


  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Handwash
  • Facewash
  • Soap/Shower gel
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Sanitary products
  • Contraceptives
  • Toilet paper

Pro tip: If you're struggling for space, leave the big bottles of shampoo and conditioner behind. You can pick some up in town when you get here!


If you want to make your room your own, we have put some ideas together to help you get started:

  • Fairy lights
  • Posters (We'll also be running a poster sale during Freshers Week)
  • Photos
  • Cushions
  • Blankets or throws
  • Plants
  • Lamps or a lampshade
  • Books
  • Speaker
  • Small rug
  • Fan

Forgotten something? Don't panic

Swansea is a big city with all the conveniences you'd expect, so don't worry if you realise you've forgotten something once you've unpacked. We've got 24-hour supermarkets, a couple of B&Ms, Home Bargains, The Range, Wilkos (while it lasts), and loads more.

What can I leave behind?

Perhaps just as important as what you need to bring with you, here are a few things you can definitely leave at home

  • Pets :( As much as we'd love to see your little critters running around, they are almost always not allowed in student accommodation. If you need a fix, head to Singleton Campus at lunchtime on Thursdays and meet Molly outside Fulton House!
  • Printers - there will be plenty on campus
  • Irons - you didn't iron at home, and you definitely won't at uni
  • Candles and incense (you don't want to be that person who sets off the fire alarm)
  • Kitchen contraptions - slow cookers, toasted sandwich makers, garlic presses, whisks ... You won't use them
  • Most of your clothes - just bring the stuff you know you'll wear. Leave the feather boa and fringed sequinned all-in-one at home (unless you plan to wear them regularly, in which case, bring them!)
  • Your car. You're going to want to show off your wheels, we get it, but trust us - parking will be near impossible, and you'll need to buy a permit to park on campus

If you need to save space when packing, you can leave toiletries, food, stationary, and some of the home essentials (pots, plates, bedding) behind and pick them up from town. However, be aware that others might be thinking the same, and stock levels might run out

A good rule of thumb is, if you use it regularly, you'll likely need it at uni. If not, leave it behind!

Swansea University Students' Union