University: What to Buy (+ Downloadable Quick Guide)

I’ve been writing and rewriting this post for weeks, but as is inherently obvious on this site, I ramble. On and on and on. So any guide I do write is going to get lost under the meaningless jumble I write. Instead I’v created a downloadable infographic that will give you all the information you need, and a long, long blog post which you can read if you want. You can also view a PDF version of the graphic which I’ve made a little easier to print out. Possibly a little late as I think a lot of Fresher’s weeks are starting, but better late than never!

 photo What To Take_zpsuulu7e5u.png photo What To Take To University_zpsqvfroyyd.jpgI’ve separated each bit into two sections, things that I think are optional and necessities. Obviously everyone is different and there’s also a few bits that you might want to wait before getting – for instance it’s only this year I’ve bought a wardrobe shelving unit as it’s the right time I’ve had such a lack of storage space.
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Necessities – bedding (quilt, pillows, sheets, duvet cover, pillow cases), clothes airer, laundry basket, pictures, towels (1 large, 1 small).

Optional – blanket, cushions, lamp, dressing gown, hangers, hanging rack (shelves that go in wardrobe).

Bedding is such an important part of making your university accomodation feel like home. A lot of people I know bring their covers straight from home, but I’ve used each university each to update my tastes. My first three years were all quite bright and floral, but this year I’ve gone for a more muted colourscheme – white, grey and pink. Though there will be a bit of floral in there too! Make sure you get a good quality duvet, and that your pillows are comfortable – I really rate Wilkinsons pillows.

I reckon an airer is really important even if your laundrette has a dryer – you can’t dry everything in one (I’ve lost a couple of cardigans that way). I’d pick up a relatively small one that folds up well so you can store it out of the way.

As for towels, try and get a bath sheet – this is the biggest body-sized one. Then get a hand towel or two- ladies may want a medium one too for hair. 

On the optional bits, I’ve used all of these items and think they have really helped. In halls (and second year) I had really big rooms so cushions helped it feel more cosy. I also found that provided lights are really harsh, so buying my own lamp meant I could have a softer light if I wanted. Oh, and the dressing gown is vital for middle-of-the-night fire alarms!
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Necessities – 3 knives (1 small, 1 large, 1 serrated), cutlery, plenty of teaspoons, plates, bowls, mugs, glasses, 2 pans (1 large, 1 small), frying pan or small wok, baking tray (1 flat, one roaster style), baking dish (the size of an individual lasagne), chopping board, various sizes of plastic boxes, washing up sponge, tea towels, potato masher, large serving spoon, tin opener, cheese grater, veg peeler, fish slice, jug.

Optional – casserole dish, slow cooker, mini chopper, blender (I use a cheap handheld one), rolling pin, mixing bowl, weighing scales, measuring cups, cupcake tray, loaf tin, handheld whisk.

Oh, and its quite handy to know that shot glasses can double up as egg cups…

The kitchen section was really difficult for me to write, as I love cooking so probably have a longer list of necessities than most people! I would say 2 pans plus frying pan is definitely enough, I also have a casserole dish which doubles up as an extra large saucepan. The utensils can all be picked up rather cheaply in Aldi, though I’d spend a little more on a potato masher and tin opener! 

My ‘essential’ optional item has got to be a food chopper – I have used a mini one since starting university and wouldn’t be without one. I can chop onions in 30 seconds, make curry pastes, blend a single portion smoothie and even whizz up my own peanut butter. I would say stick with essentials for a start, then grab extra bits if you start cooking more.
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Study Stuff

Necessities – paper, pens, organisation system (I use a folder for each module), calculator, pencils, plastic wallets, diary.

Optional – printer, portable hard-drive.

This one is really subjective, and does depends on you. I personally like to use ruled refill pads for lecture notes then file them away using dividers, in specific module folders. 

I would also recommend getting hold of a cheap printer if possible, even if you have to club together with friends. Many lecturers don’t print out their slides and it’s always useful to have a hard copy!

Shopping Bits

Bits to Pick up ASAP – washing powder, washing up liquid, generic disinfectant spray, big packet of pasta, tinned food (potatoes, sweetcorn, rice pudding, beans), teabags, rice, shower stuff.

I’d always, always recommend that you try and persuade your parents to do a bit shop for you when you move in. Buy giant bags of pasta and rice, stock up on tinned bits, and I always make sure they get me plenty of teabags! Also don’t forget (like I did one year!) to pick up shower stuff; shampoo, conditioner, soap etc…

Now, click here to download the PDF list! I hope this updated guide comes in useful, even if just to one person! I know I really needed it three years ago, I overpacked dramatically to the point the car wouldn’t fit us all in!

What are your university necessities? Are you off to university this year – if so, good luck and tell me what type of posts you’d love to read? To those who have already been, what was your favourite bit?