What to bring: hints and tips for packing

Thursday 07-09-2017 - 15:18
2016 welcome saturday 21

It can be overwhelming thinking about what to pack if you’re leaving home for the first time, so we’ve got some tips and lists to help you narrow down to the essentials and prepare for uni life.

Different halls provide different things so check out their guides too, where there’s loads of useful information about registering with a doctor, staying safe and what to expect.

The essentials:

Apart from all those important documents you’ll need, try imagining you are packing for an overnight trip – that way you’ll grab the things you need most. Pop them in an overnight bag and keep it with you for quick-to-hand essentials. If you’re packing lots of boxes, label the one you need access to first clearly, and then label the others by room – keeping organised at this stage will help with the unpacking process. Put all your important documents in a file or folder and label it clearly – it will help you stay organised throughout the year and know where to go if you need something quickly - you'll thank me later I promise!

The important stuff to bring:

- Passport / driving licence

- Uni admission acceptance letter / course acceptance letter

- Accommodation terms, info and contract

- Passport photos

- National Insurance card

- Bank account details

- Debit card

- Student loan and finance documents

- Exam certificates

- Medical documents (such as proof of disability if this applies to you)

- Any insurance documents

- Student discount cards (such as your railcard or NUS card – you can buy one of these at The Union)


Gadgets and gizmos

Don’t forget to check if your hall's tenancy agreement covers contents insurance – you can check here or ask your landlord. There are printers in the library, but they do cost — you can always bring one if you prefer printing in the comfort of your room. If you’re part of a group chat, perhaps see if anyone is bringing games consoles or anything for communal spaces – but don’t take anything you would be sad to lose, or make sure it’s insured. Accidents happen. Don’t forget to find out if you need a TV licence in your halls or accomodation – you can check here.


Your precious things:

- Laptop, computer or tablet

- Cables – extensions, chargers, ethernet cable and other bobbins

- Phone and charger

- Headphones

- USB stick

- Camera, games consoles and printer if you want


Home comforts

Decide how you want to organise your things with your flatmates – does everyone have their own cupboard and spaces? Nobody likes passive aggressive note leaving about who took who’s spoon. Make your room your own – it’ll help you settle in. This is your personal space, where you’ll spend time studying and relaxing, so make it feel how you want it to, and remember, a tidy room = a tidy mind. Even making the bed can help you focus! Check Pinterest for some inspiration. If cooking is new to you, now is the perfect time to ask someone to show you some much loved recipes or the basics – nobody wants to survive on pot noodles and chips.


Kitchen stuff:

- Cooking essentials — pans, a wok, tongs, big spoons, colander, baking trays etc.

- Cutlery set and utensils — glass, mug, plate, bowl

- Sharp knife and scissors

- Cookbooks

- Tupperware – leftovers make great lunches and save you cash!

- Tea and coffee making things – these are very important


Bedroom bits:

- Bed sheets – bed covers, duvet and pillows

- Mattress protector

- Alarm clock

- Coat hangers

- Laundry basket – don’t just leave it on the floor!

- Door stop

- Ear plugs

- Photos of your dog or cat or budgie, oh and family and friends


Bathroom essentials:

- Towels – a big one for your body, little one for your face and any extras you want

- Toothbrush and toothpaste

- Shampoos, shower gels and other nice smellies

- Make-up

- Shaving stuff

- Toilet roll

- Tampons, contraception and other personal essentials

- Medication – any you need, and paracetamol is always useful

- First aid kit and plasters (just in case!)

- Febreeze


Work, work, fashion baby

Remember to think seasonally – it’s not going to be summer forever. Try not to over-pack. You might want to buy some new clothes (but please, please don’t spend your student loan in Urban Outfitters.) You can check out info about your MMU halls here, and find out about laundry facilities, post and other essentials. 


Clothes to bring:

- Casual everyday clothes 

- Underwear, socks, pyjamas, slippers.

- Smart clothes for any interviews

- Going out stuff

- Going out shoes

- Trainers and everyday shoes

- Any sports or gym kit or swimwear – there’s free Active Campus sessions you can take part in and sports and societies to get involved with – find out more at Freshers Fair

- Waterproofs and outdoor clothes – this is Manchester after all

- Fancy dress stuff – Welcome Week is packed with events and Halloween is just around the corner



Yes, it’s a bit of an excuse to go wild in Paperchase, but The Shop in The Union is also packed with essentials. You can download a voice recorder app which might help when making notes, but if you plan to record a lecture make sure you ask permission from the lecturer and check everyone is okay with being recorded! The MyMMU app can also help keep you organised, allowing you access to your e-mail, timetable, library account, finance account and more. It’s available on Apple and Android.


What to bring:

- Pens, pencils, highlighters

- Writing pads

- Folders for keeping organised – you will thank yourself later when you are revising!

- Post it notes / revision cards

- Calculator

- Course books

- Diary or planner

- Anything specific you need for your course


After all the moving, you’ll be starving – we’ve got our Welcome BBQ to fill your belly and loads of other events planned to welcome you to #LifeAtMMU, so check out our website to keep up to date with everything happening at The Union.




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