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What to Pack for University

Planning to pack for the big move to university but not sure where to start? ROI student Lauren McGinley provides the ultimate checklist of essential items for day-to-day student life.

Bedding in student accommodation

Packing for university can be a very stressful task, wondering what to pack and what to leave behind. Don’t worry if you forget something as you can probably buy it in Belfast or have it shipped to you if necessary. This is a detailed list of things that you may wish to pack for university but please note that several items on this list can be purchased after you arrive in Belfast to save space in your suitcase. Items marked with an asterisk* are available to order via this website.

For private rentals please check your tenancy agreement to see what is included and discuss with your flat mates on splitting the cost. Some of the items in this list can be considered as personal preferences so don’t feel as if you need everything on this list for day-to-day student life.


Most student accommodations come with a desk, bed and some form of clothing storage so don’t worry about these things at all! A general rule with all rented accommodation is that candles and incense are strictly forbidden, you can use scented air freshener to freshen up your room. If you are bringing fairy lights make sure they don’t heat up to avoid a potential fire hazard.

Bedroom in student accommodation

Most student rooms have a desk, bed and clothing storage

  • Clothes (all weather clothing)
  • Raincoats/jackets
  • Shoes (bring comfortable shoes to walk around in)
  • Hat and gloves
  • Hair dryer; Hairbrush/comb; Hair styling – clips, hairbands, curlers etc.
  • Extension cable*
  • Small bin*
  • Makeup and remover
  • Dressing gown; Slippers; Socks, underwear etc
  • Storage boxes*
  • Pillow, duvet and covers*
  • Mattress protector*
  • Mattress topper*
  • Hangers*
  • Laundry airer; Laundry bag*
  • Bedside lamp (included in Queen's accommodation)
  • Doorstop*
  • Small mirror*
  • Pinless notice board*
  • Desk tidy
  • Plug adaptors (for international students)*
  • Tweezers and nail clippers
  • Contact lens solutions
  • Mini first aid kit*; Plasters
  • Photos and room decorations
  • Spare glasses (in case you accidentally break/sit on them)
  • Deodorant/perfume
  • Rug*
  • Books
  • Stationery – pens, notebooks, stapler, highlighters, calculator etc


A lot of your kitchen supplies, especially cleaning products can be bought when you arrive at university. Queen’s accommodation offers kitchen packs which can be preordered to save you the hassle, as you may be exhausted from travelling.

Student accommodation kitchen

Discuss sharing kitchen items with your flat mates

When you move in, have a discussion with your flat mates and find out what they’re happy to share. Some may wish to share plates, mugs, and cutlery while others prefer to have their own. Appliances should be bought after you move in (if not provided), especially if you’re an international student as your appliances may not have the correct voltage for UK standards.

  • Bin*; Bin liners
  • Cutlery*; Plates and bowls*
  • Washing up kit*
  • Tea towels*; Oven mitts*
  • Flask
  • Scissors
  • Hand soap
  • Cleaning products and rubber gloves
  • Mugs and glasses*
  • Saucepan and frying pan*
  • Colander*
  • Spatula*
  • Wooden spoon*
  • Tin opener*
  • Bottle opener
  • Chopping board*
  • Pizza cutter
  • Baking tray*
  • Sandwich bags
  • Tupperware
  • Tin foil and cling film
  • Corkscrew
  • Iron and ironing board* (*available in laundry room)
  • Kettle, Toaster, Microwave (all included in Queen's accommodation)
  • Kitchen roll
  • Microwaveable container*
  • Measuring jug/spoons
  • Weighing scales (if you’re into baking)
  • Heat resistant pad or trivet (to avoid damaging countertops)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spice rack
  • Cheese grater
  • Peeler*
  • Small sewing kit
  • Washing detergent
  • Mop, broom, and vacuum


Depending on your accommodation, you may have an ensuite or a shared bathroom with other students. A shower caddy is a handy way of keeping everybody’s items separate, but you may wish to share things such as soap and toilet paper. Have a discussion with your flat mates about setting up a rota for buying shared items.

Accessible room in Queen's Elms BT9

Accessible bathroom in Elms BT9

  • Hand towel, bath towel and face towel*
  • Bathmat*
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and holder
  • Bin* and bin liners
  • Hand soap
  • Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash
  • Toiletries and caddy*
  • Toilet cleaner and brush*
  • Toilet roll*
  • Razors, shaver, and shaving cream


These items are not room specific but are still very important for day-to-day student life.

  • Passport and ID
  • Laptop, tablet, phone etc.
  • Chargers; Portable charger*
  • Planner/Journal
  • Purse, wallet, and bank cards
  • Important documents – student finance letter, visa, insurance, acceptance letter etc
  • Headphones*
  • Folder (for important documents)
  • Umbrella
  • Hobby stuff – paint kit, swimsuit etc
  • Health insurance card (if you have one)
  • Medication & prescription
  • Torch
  • Cold relief (to be prepared for freshers flu)
  • List of phone numbers in case you lose your phone
  • USB stick
  • Gym bag
  • Backpack
  • Speakers
  • yLink card (this is a discount card for most public transport across Northern Ireland and you can apply for one online)


These items are definitely not necessary but are worth mentioning since I know some people who packed these items for uni.

Queen's teddy on shelf in accommodation

Don't forget to bring your home comforts!

  • Printer (there are printing services on campus)
  • Bike, helmet, and locks
  • Mini tool kit/screwdriver
  • Blow up bed for guests
  • Hot water bottle
  • Fan
  • Shower shoes (for shared bathrooms)
  • TV & gaming console
  • Pack of cards
  • Board games
  • Currency (you can usually buy sterling through your bank if you want to have some money when you arrive)

I hope that this is helpful to students both in student accommodation and private rentals. Once again, please check what is included in your tenancy agreement as this could save you a lot of money on appliances such as a microwave, toaster, or kettle. Something that I found helpful was to make an extensive list of absolutely everything I could think of and then separate it into what I should pack and what can be bought in Belfast to save packing space. Best of luck at uni!

Find out more

Order kitchen and bedding packs for accommodation

Queen's Accommodation: Your Questions Answered

Making the Move to Belfast from the Republic of Ireland: A Step-by-Step Guide

See what the residents at Queen's Accommodation get up to on Instagram

Lauren McGinley

Astrophysics| Undergraduate Student | Donegal, Ireland

My name is Lauren and I'm a 2nd year physics student taking the astrophysics pathway. Originally from Donegal, I moved into Queen's accommodation for my 1st year and now live in a flat with my uni mates. Outside of lectures I enjoy archery, pub quizzes and jewellery making and art.