If you’re getting ready for your first year of university, you’ll understandably be excited to decide what to take with you! Sometimes however, less can be more, and it’s best to try to only pack the things you’ll actually use. Although it might be good not to go fully minimalist while living in uni halls, you won’t want too much unnecessary baggage. So to help you work out what you should be packing, here’s our guide to what not to take to university!  

Packing for uni - don't take too many clothes

Iron (and ironing board)

Pretty much as soon as you arrive at university you’ll find out how unnecessary perfectly pressed clothing really is. If you really need to get rid of some creases, taking your clothes into the bathroom while you shower so the creases drop out should work at least 50% of the time!

Everything from your reading list

Before you start, your course will send you a recommended reading list for your modules. While it might be tempting to be a “good” student and purchase the entire list, chances are that in reality you’ll never even need to open half of them. Plus, those you do need you’ll probably be able to find in the university library!


Unless you’re planning on printing endless copies of your work, we’d recommend making use of the printers in your library at uni. Printer credits will most likely be cheaper than buying ink. Most courses don’t even require paper submissions for essays anymore, so what will you even be printing?

ALL of your clothes

Yes, you’ll need clothes to wear. But will you really need 97 pairs of shoes, that suit you wore to a wedding once or your fancy dress from the past five Halloween parties? Only take the items you’ll actually wear. Chances are high that you’ll end up spending most of your time in your pyjamas anyway…  

Packing for uni - avoid too much stationery

Too many kitchen items

Is a rice cooker essential? Will your housemates actually appreciate a sous vide? Do you really need to spiralize your veg? Keep your kitchen equipment simple and useful. Everyone in your shared kitchen will thank you for it. Do take a good supply of cutlery however, as it will disappear; no one knows where.

Old school books and notes

What people don’t tell you is that your course at uni won’t be a continuation of what you’ve been studying at A-level. A degree is a completely different beast. So it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever need to consult your sixth form work again. Save the space in your luggage for something more interesting.

Excessive stationery

We’ve all been there; overwhelmed in the stationery shop because there are pens in 58 colours that smell like popcorn. Think about what you actually need. Most of your work will be on a computer, so you probably won’t require ring binders or fancy paperclips. You can also pick up a lifetime’s supply of pens at the fresher’s fair.

DVDs and blu-rays

Yes, getting together with friends and flatmates to watch a film can be a great way to spend an evening. Bringing your entire collection of DVDs or blu-rays along for the ride probably isn’t. With so many online streaming services available, why dedicate so much space in your tiny room to physical copies?

Packing for uni - stack of books


Why would you take all your old posters to uni? All they’re at risk of doing is showing everyone how uncool you used to be. Plus, there’s always some kind of poster sale going on at universities at the start of the year. Take this new step as an opportunity to have an overhaul of your décor!

Hopefully, through giving you an idea of what not to take to university, we’ve helped you work out what you should be taking! If you need any further inspiration check out our post Essential Items for your First Year at University! If you’re getting ready for this next big step, you might also want to think about taking out student insurance. At The Insurance Emporium, we offer cover for Contents as standard, and then you can customise your policy with our range of Optional Benefits. We also offer up to 30% discount*. Head to The Insurance Emporium today to find out more! 

* The 30% discount is made up of 20% Introductory Discount plus 10% Student Discount (if appropriate). The Introductory Discount is available for the first 12 premium payments on lunar and calendar monthly policies or one premium payment on annual policies.

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