What to bring to Halls

A checklist for moving day

My bedroom for the last 2 years

Sitting in my uni flat bedroom, facing the daunting task of packing up essentially 3 years of my life, it felt appropriate to actually assess how much of this stuff I needed to being to university and how much I could’ve left at home. So here are my top tips of what to actually bring when you move into halls in first year. It’s important to remember that you will only be in halls for 9 months in first year and then you’ll be moving your stuff back home, into storage or straight into your accommodation for the next few years, so don’t overpack!!

Do remember that this list just talks about things you should have, you don’t necessarily need to bring them from home, you can buy them once you arrive in London.


Moving into Beit!

All Imperial bedrooms come with a bed, desk and chair, cupboard and/or chest of drawers, notice board, shelf space, laundry basket, desk lamp, bin and some extras like a bedside table or extra chair.


  • Hangers – essential for hanging clothes up
  • Clothes – When you arrive in October, the weather is usually fairly mild, but in a few weeks it’ll start to get freezing so definitely come prepared with more winter than summer clothes
  • Files, notebooks and stationery, although I bought most of my stuff from the Union Shop which has everything you could need from Imperial branded books to a variety of pens
  • Laptop – each department will have their own guidance on this, but it is useful having your own laptop, a lot of work is released online so it’s useful to be able to access this from your own room, although the library is open 24/7 should you need to use a computer there
  • Bedding – duvet and pillow(s), plus mattress protector and 2 sets of duvet and pillow covers and bed sheets
  • Slippers to wear when you’re going to the kitchen/shared bathrooms
  • Adapters – if you’re coming from abroad
  • ID card that isn’t your passport – Useful if you’re heading to a bar/club and need ID on you
  • Laundry pods – much easier than faffing with liquids


  • Making Beit into Home

    Organisational dividers – I found that not all my clothes fit in my cupboard, so I used some extra shelves and put clothes in dividers with covers on the shelves

  • Photos from home – bring a little bit of home to uni
  • Totally optional fairly lights or other decorations – Just made everything feel homely for me
  • Snacks! – now this might feel a little silly since the kitchen is so close by, but sometimes when it’s 11pm and you’re scrambling to complete that coursework and you need a pick-me-up, opening your snack drawer for a quick treat is the best
  • Full length mirror – a lot of rooms don’t have a full length mirror, if you feel like this is something you’d miss then definitely worth buying
  • Black Tie – A dress or suit for your hall’s boat party and the various other formal events that crop up
  • Reed Diffuser – to keep your room smelling fresh
  • Board games/deck of cards – games to play and bond with flatmates over
  • Extension lead – not many accessible sockets in the bedrooms

Not necessary:

  • First night in Halls vs Last night

    Printer – I brought one from home and it’s been totally redundant since we’re given so much free print credit at uni, not many things need to be printed anyway with so much available online

  • Too many books – I ended up bringing a lot of books to halls, fiction and Maths related, and I barely ended up reading during first year because I was so busy
  • Too many clothes!


  • Towels, bathmat, bathrobe – flannel, bath towel and maybe a hand towel
  • Caddy/Toiletry bag – especially if you share a bathroom
  • Toothbrush holder/mug – just to keep everything tidy
  • Toiletries and basic cleaning supplies (bleach and surface cleaner)


You will have your own cupboard in the kitchen and also a space in the fridge and freezer. If you travelled to your halls by car with your parents, I would encourage you to ask your parents to drive you to a local supermarket to stock up on store cupboard essentials which can be heavy.


  • A collection of everyone’s plates

    Pots and pans – minimum one frying pan and one pot

  • Kitchen utensils – wooden spoon, spatula, serving spoon, colander, sharp knife, can opener, whisk, vegetable peeler etc
  • Crockery – at least one of each but I would recommend 2: large plate, small plate, bowl, mug, glass
  • Cutlery – a good number of spoons, teaspoons, forks, knives
  • Tupperware and food stores – preferably glass but at least BPA free plastic in a variety of sizes
  • Mixing bowl, chopping board
  • Aluminium foil, cling film, freezer bags, food clips
  • Tea towels
  • Washing up sponges and liquid (could share with your flatmates)

Store cupboard and long life:

  • Pasta, rice, lentils
  • Emergency cans of vegetables, meat or fish (I always have a healthy supply of tuna and sweetcorn cans)
  • Sugar, Salt, Pepper, spices, soy sauce, honey, other condiments – I like to have cinnamon for my porridge, paprika, garlic powder, chilli flakes to hand
  • Snacks like nuts, dried fruit, crisps, biscuits etc
  • Tea, coffee, hot chocolate supplies
  • Some useful freezer items like nuggets, frozen peas, ice cream, frozen fruit etc

I hope this checklist helps you with your packing, drop me a comment if you have any questions, and Welcome to Imperial!





6 comments for “What to bring to Halls

  1. It’s really useful! You know, in my first year, I brought with me so much that I had to send back home by mail. It was a waste of money, time, and effort. I think your article will help newcomers avoid a lot of packing mistakes.
    I like being on campus, and it even seems like a cozy place. It’ll be sad to leave after a while.

  2. Hi, I just wanted to double check that we were in fact allowed extension leads. I remember reading in one of the mind numbingly long documents that I had to agree to that we weren’t? Or does it differ from hall to hall?

  3. I wonder why rice cookers are specifically disallowed at Imperial as they are on available from unikitout so they must be allowed at some other universities? Any insight would be useful. Thanks!

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