How Many Bags? What to pack for Uni

Fluffy teddies? Teapots? Fairy lights?

How to decide what to take to uni is tough. You don’t want to take too much because it has to fit in to the car, but you want to have enough to make your new dorm room feel like home. Hopefully this will help you decide!


I started uni a couple of months ago and I think I pretty much have everything I need here now. I’m a first year living in off site university halls, meaning I have strict rules on blue-tac, sellotape and putting holes in walls. These things limit how much you can do to decorate. Its defiantly well worth having a look at your tenancy agreement to find out what your allowed and what your not! Its also worth asking what your room already has as every room is different.

Here are a few key things to find out about:

  • Do you have a pin board?
  • How much shelving is there?
  • How big is your desk?
  • Whats the storage space like?
  • Do you have a mirror?
  • How much light gets into your room? (this is more of a personal preference but is worth finding out!)


Now down to the packing. If your living away from home you don’t need to take your entire wardrobe with you. Its worth thinking about capsule wardrobes for different seasons. This way when you go home for a visit you can change over some pieces. So far this is working for me and I found the capsule wardrobe making process good fun (but then again I’m odd like that). I have very little in the way of a fashion sense but I found that KatBerries six step guide was very handy. There are loads out there so have a nosey around and pick something that works for you.

Storage space is something that I didn’t really think about until I got here, luckily I had plenty. If you know what your going to have you can bring more if you think your going to need it. I have under bed storage boxes and I love them! They are great for shoes and cleaning stuff you don’t really want on display. Most dorm rooms are quite small so you might not want to bring things that take up too much space.

Mini fridges and appliances are something that I know some people have brought. I didn’t bring anything like that however its personal choice. It also depends on how much room you are going to have. You don’t want your room to be swamped by a fridge or printer if you are never going to use it. I don’t think I need a fridge but a printer is possibly a future investment. It is probably best to see how you go and then only buy one if you need it later on.

Right on to the more fun stuff! Decorating!! I spent hours trawling through Pinterest looking at images trying to find inspiration. Have a nosey at my dorm room board if you want some ideas. What worked for me was to stop thinking about the overall image first. Start simple.

  1. Bedsheets – What colour/pattern do you want
  2. Do you need to bring a mirror
  3. You’ll need a clock

Once you have things like that sorted you already have the basis for your theme without even trying! Then every thing else can just match like towels for my bathroom.

Lighting was my next step. I put this on the find out about list because when I moved in I discovered that I was a ground floor flat so I have frosted glass windows. Which as you may guess don’t let much light in. Getting light into my room was a big deal to me. I brought a desk lamp with me as well as some battery powered fairy lights for around my pin board. I have bought a couple more fairy lights since moving in just to make the room more cozy.

Pictures of family and friends from home is a pretty standard thing to want to bring. I got a bunch of photos developed in cute little vintage instant photo prints. They were a bit more pricy than basic ones though. I wanted to decorate my pin board with them but being me I didn’t want to just pin then up like a normal person. I bought a couple of small vinyl  records a couple of years ago that don’t play anymore thinking they were cute so I brought then with me. I got some cute  Paperchase much pins and put the records scattered across my pin board and using clothes pegs I had painted to match my room I pegged them to the records and the lights around the board.

I also brought some pictures in frames for my desk and window ledge but one of the big things in my room is a large print map of Amsterdam from a holiday earlier in the year. I put it in a frame and it sits on my desk. I love it but the idea can work just as easily for posters that you may have wanted to stick on the wall. A couple of them of varying sizes could look amazing.

One thing for me about moving to a city from the country was the lack of green there would be in my life. So naturally I was desperate to bring some plants. Low maintenance plants are defiantly best for me as I quite often forget to regularly water them. I brought two with me and am hoping to collect a couple more now I know how much room I have.

Kitchen stuff was generally overlooked when I was looking at what to bring lists. I would have liked more of a heads up on this one. Parents are great at helping with this one! I discovered that I have an induction hob when I arrived so none of my pans worked! To save yourself the money make sure you check what type of hob you have. I don’t have hundreds of pans and dishes with me. I have a pot, a pan, oven tray and a glass oven dish. I could probably do with one more smaller pan. I have also bought a traybake tin and silicon cupcake cases that can stand on their own as I love baking. A loaf tin is next on the list. These are things I didn’t know if I would want so didn’t get till later on. I also only have a couple of basic utensils. You don’t need 101 different ones your a student not a master chef. Don’t go too crazy. Remember to bring food boxes for leftovers and a flask for lectures. I don’t know what I would do with out mine. I also brought Ikea food bags which are great and come in a range of sizes.

What are you going to eat off? Plates and bowls are something you do not want to forget. Im the only one in my flat with colourful plates which makes them handy to find. Something that is also helpful is marking your cutlery. Even if you have completely different sets to your flatmates it can still be hard to tell. Nail varnish lasts for a while but I haven’t found anything better yet.

Food!! This is the most important thing! bringing a couple of spices you may use regularly can add a lot to you meals. Also try and cook a little before you go. Cooking for one is hard when your not used to it. I normally cook for two and save half for another meal. Read a couple of cook books too, get some inspiration. You don’t need to splash out on buying loads though as you will probably only use a couple of recipes. There are loads of great recipes online, however if you prefer actual books local public libraries have a huge selection and are totally free to join.

You may have noticed that I put tea pots up at the top. This is because I am a bit of a tea fan. I like to try different flavours and blends. This is just something I like , maybe your a coffee person? Let me know in the comments!




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