What to pack for Exeter!?

Off to Exeter in a few weeks? Here’s a list of essentials to start your shopping! Don’t take this as a complete list – there is so much to take I’m bound to have forgotten something! Good luck and if you find any great deals or can suggest any additions, please comment below! I have hyperlinked a few items to get you to the key sites – Amazon, Sainsbury’s Wilko, M&S and Argos have probably been the most helpful to me.


  • Mattress protector
  • Sheet – unfitted (because the uni beds are longer than usual single beds)
  • Duvet
  • Duvet cover
  • Pillows
  • Pillow cases
  • PJs
  • Diffuser (Sainsbury’s)
  • Photos – download freeprints app on your phone to decorate your room
  • Pins – for the corkboard in your room
  • Clothes (including a thick winter coat)
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Wellies and walking boots (very useful for Geography students in particular)
  • Walking trousers/outdoor clothes/waterproof (Bio and Geography students especially need these)
  • Hat/gloves/scarf
  • Shoes – sturdy (boots)
  • Surface cleaner
  • Laundry bag
  • Laundry detergent
  • Coins (for washer and dryer)
  • Clothes stand (dependent on if you want to air dry your clothes or use the dryers)
  • Hangers
  • Hairdryer
  • Passport/EHIC
  • Cheque book/Paying in book/banking documents


  • Printer – I ordered this when I arrived in Halls
  • Chargers
  • A4 printing paper
  • A4 lined pad
  • Planner
  • Laptop (try and get a lightweight one if possible – your back will save you later!)
  • Laptop cover
  • Mouse
  • Hardrive (I back this up weekly)
  • Memory stick
  • Pencil case
  • Calculator – dependent on degree
  • Holepuncher
  • Post it notes
  • Scissors
  • Stapler


  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Bleach
  • Air freshener
  • Loo roll
  • Face wash/moisturiser/whatever you use
  • Hairties
  • Shampoo (and conditioner)
  • Shower gel
  • Deodorant
  • Shower spray
  • Shower mat
  • Shaver and gel
  • Berocca

Kitchen (self-catered)


  • Trainers
  • Sports kit
  • Tennis racket (other sports equipment depending on your hobbies)
  • (Bike – for second and third years, or freshers living in town)
  • Rucksack (sturdy, waterproof and big enough for a laptop) – there is a great selection on Surfdome
  • Portable charger
  • Small purse (all you need to take to campus is your bank card, ID and Student card so a giant purse taking up space is not necessary at all)
  • Earphones

Do a food order/go with your parents to the out of town Sainsbury’s to get stocked up before you start. I made a big mistake at the beginning of my first year – buying food in town and walking it 20 minutes back to Birks. To be honest, all the supermarkets are a fair walk from the halls especially when you have heavy cartons of milk, juice, and bulky items. From the second week in my flatmates and I begun our journey with Sainsbury’s. For an online order you need a minimum of ยฃ40, which is too much for the average weekly shop. Therefore, I would join up with a couple of flatmates to do an order and just bank transfer each other. We would choose and slot for delivery and this worked perfectly! If you have a lecture your friends can plonk your stuff in the fridge/freezer, ready for you to organise when you get back. This is also great for organising a party or Christmas meal, when you can all add a few bits in. Sainsbury’s remember your frequently bought items so adding your items gets quicker and quicker each time! Obviously Tesco and Asda etc all do delivery, but we were keen on Sainsbury’s, especially as the delivery charge was usually less than ยฃ1 each and they give you 1 hour slots so you aren’t waiting in for hours for your shop.

Food (a starter guide)

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oil
  • Herbs/chilli flakes/whatever you like to season
  • Ketchup
  • Pasta
  • Tomato sauce
  • Rice
  • Soy sauce
  • Noodles
  • Milk
  • Coffee/tea/both
  • Sugar
  • Veg – whatever you like
  • Fruit – whatever you like (frozen berries are great because they are so cheap and last so long)
  • Chicken breasts – separate these into freezer bags once you are back in your kitchen and freeze the majority of them. I usually organise them into old takeaway or ice cream boxes so they aren’t getting confused with other food and things stay hygienic.
  • Other meat (your preference)
  • Bread
  • Cereal
  • Yogurt

Just don’t go crazy on your first shop until you know how much space you have and how much other flatmates use the freezer… My flatmates were very lucky because I eat mostly fresh food, so they had a little extra space in the freezer.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help in the kitchen. Everyone has different skills and experience cooking for themselves. My mum is a chef and I took Food & Nutrition GCSE so I was often helping out other flatmates who were cooking for the first time, which was a lot of fun. I personally loved being in self-catered accommodation and we really bonded in the kitchen and laughed at the different habits and tastes of people. I still remember the weird looks from my Italian flatmates when us English flatmates were finished washing up after eating before they had even thought about dinner.


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