I’ve decided to split the ‘What to Take’ post up into a few sections; bedroom; kitchen; study; clothes/makeup in order to make it a little easier for reading, and also so I don’t scare new students as you do need quite a bit of stuff. Today I’ll be covering the bedroom list. Here’s where you can really spend or save to be honest, as its up to you how much you want to get. I’ll take about the essentials first, then any nice luxuries. I’d say stick to the basics, then treat yourself to anything else when you arrive – you never know how well equipped your room is, or whether it will be big enough to hold much!
The most important part. I suggest firstly trying to find out what size bed you have – and if you can’t; pick up a flat sheet, and a double duvet. Universities seem prone to having funny sized beds; my boyfriends was 4ft wide (too small to be a double, too wide to be a single); mine was extra long. Standard fitted sheets wouldn’t have fitted on either of our beds, so flat is the way forward. Though admittedly more difficult! In terms of what’s provided; I got a mattress protector, mattress (quite glad it was covered, it wasn’t pretty) and pillow but it does vary. I’d go for picking up a duvet and pillow set; they are generally packaged quite well so will fit into the car!
As for bedding covers, I really recommend ASDA and Tesco; the ones I have from there are really high quality, wash well and are comfortable. If you fancy a splurge, I bought a duvet set from H&M and it is admittedly the best one I’ve ever had; so, so, so soft, and handy holes in the top corner which makes making your bed so much easier! A word of warning – I had a pretty horrific skin reaction to Primark sheets last year, so personally would steer clear of those. I still have scars on my legs eleven months on…
I’d also try and pick up various cushions – great for if friends crash on your floor, and just for making it that bit more cosy. Don’t forget your cuddly toys too!
Things a lot of people seemed to forget; generally your new wardrobe won’t come with hangers. Its a lot easier to pick new ones up as they will be packaged well, but if not just pack yours as you pack your clothes.
I wouldn’t rely solely on a phone to wake me up – generally I never need it but as well as having my phone set three times (not just snooze settings!) I also have a traditional alarm clock which I set every night. It terrifies me if it does go off, but its something that I could never sleep through, and I know the batteries won’t fail! It looks great too, another Tesco bargain of two years ago!
Don’t buy towel sets; they don’t actually contain what you need. You’ll need a bath sheet; the really big one, and what’s usually left out of towel packs. Then a bath towel (which is what I use to towel dry my hair), possibly a hand towel, and a load of face cloths. I probably have at least 10 face clothes; one I get through them so quickly, and two I’m sure the washing machines eats them!
I highly recommend Tesco towels, they last forever and are so soft – they have survived two years of university washing machines and are still as good as new!
Another thing often overlooked is a washing basket, but its great to have a place to store all of your washing neatly away; and throw your floordrobe in when friends come round! They are available pretty cheaply, I have a really useful collapsable one.
I’d also recommend picking up a clothes airer for things that can’t go in the dryer (though I worked out most things can, regardless of label!), and an overdoor hook. Hooks are great for coats and bags – things you want out of the way but not in the wardrobe.
An absolute essential. I actually had two of these in my second year room, but just one will do to start with. Go with something slightly better than the cheapest one you will find, ones from Argos are a good bet. You’ll thank me for telling you to get one when your laptop and phone needs charging, your hair needs straightening (though of course, you were meant to do this in the kitchen in my university halls…) and it’s dark enough to need the next item on the list!
Yep, a lamp. Perhaps not an essential as such, as there will generally be a desk lamp provided. But I found the provided lighting quite harsh in my halls, so having a lamp for softer lighting before bed was really important to me.
You may get given one in Freshers, but I’d pick up a better quality one. I use mine heavily every year, for me this is a must-have in my room! Just check the rules on how you are allowed to fit it to the wall…
I’m not going to lie, you probably will get lonely at some point during your time at university. I know I did, despite surrounding myself with friends I still missed people back home. One of the things that helped me was having lots of photos around – I’d suggest printing some off. My friend Libby had a wonderful way of displaying photos in her first year, it was a little like a mini washing line with pegs all the way round her room, it looks great!
I’d always suggest a few little homey touches, trinkets, things you love – just bits and pieces that give the room your personality! I went with some lovely Salt & Pepper pots, cute jars, and coordinated stationery items. I also stacked cake tins on the floor, which I loved – though not when they slid off each other in the middle of the night. I also bought some cheap small canvases from Argos, which I stuck up with blue-tack (again check the rules!), and I filled my bed with blankets and cushions.
Personally, I’d forget about an iron/ironing board if you are thinking about it. The last time I actually picked up an iron I was probably 15 or 16 – I probably couldn’t even use one now! I’ve never needed to iron anything at university – hanging well after washing always seems to work, as does hanging creased items in a steamy bathroom. My halls actually provided these items too, so one of the guys I lived with found out after a few months!
I ended up having ridiculously high shelves and a stupidly placed cupboard (on top of my wardrobe). Combined with being given the highest cupboard in the kitchen and being vertically challenged, I ended up buying a stepladder from Wilkinsons. Turned out to be a great investment, and I’ve used it a lot during university…without it I’d have had a lot less space!
You can read more about my university bedrooms here and here. What are you taking for your university room?