1. A duvet and pillows
Depending on how warm you tend to get during the night, choose a duvet between 10.5 and 13.5 tog. Marks & Spencer does a hypoallergenic, machine-washable one from £39.50.
Choose pillows depending on what firmness you prefer. Again, M&S does a hypoallergenic, machine-washable set for £12.
2. Two sets of bed linen
Sainsbury’s generally has dealson bed linen, with cotton-and-polyester mixes starting at £2.40 for a single duvet set.
3. A desk lamp
If you keep an eye on Etsy, you can get a cheerful vintage one such as this for under a tenner.
Alternately, if you search misspellings of “Anglepoise” on eBay you can get some pretty decent bargains.
4. Two large towels
You will never need a mid-sized towel. IKEA is obviously your friend here, but try larger Tesco and Sainsbury’s stores too.
5. A laundry bag
This one from IKEA is actually meant for a child’s room, but combines laundry storage with a handy stool.
6. A first-aid kit
This one from Boots is pretty good, and only £7. To flesh it out, you could buy a good set of nail scissors.
7. A poster or two
8. Washi tape
So useful! Washi tape won’t leave marks on the walls, and you can use it to “frame” photos. You can buy it at several places, including Amazon.
9. A photo frame
You could also frame old postcards and letters from friends to give your room a homey touch. If you’re not allowed to have things on the walls, then this one from Tiger props up easily on a shelf.
11. Clothes hangers
There’s nothing worse than a wardrobe you can’t use.
12. An extension lead
One plug socket good, four plug sockets better.
13. A doorstop
Keeps your door open while you’re moving in. Later on, an open door is a friendly door. Amazon has several types.
14. A few mugs
Even if you’re in catered halls, it’s nice to be able to have a cup of tea in your room with friends. These are cute, and only £3.60.
Be the host with the most. These are 6 for £2 from IKEA, and are cute enough to make charming wine glasses as well as water glasses.
17. A water bottle
Even if you’re in catered halls, it’s nice to be able to store some biscuits securely.
19. A cookbook
If your halls have a kitchen, you don’t want to be trying to read your phone or laptop screen while cooking. Good Mood Food by Donal Skehan is healthy, dependable, and very tasty. Alternatively, Lorraine Pascale’s cooking is healthy, easy, and accessible.
20. Two pans
21. One good knife
Remember, quality over quantity when it comes to kitchenware. Better one good knife than five bad ones. Taylor’s Eye Witness is pretty solid, and affordable. The one on the right is £11, and the set on the left is a similar price.
22. A shower caddy
A plastic basket like this one means you can carry your stuff to the shower and not worry about getting it wet.
23. PJs, slippers, and a dressing gown
If you’re sharing a room, then PJs obviously. And a dressing gown and slippers? Well, you’ll need to be cosy. H&M does cute ones for both men and women. Or try TK Maxx for bargains.
24. A fleece blanket
For snuggling up on the common-room sofa, and for hangover help. There are plenty on eBay.
27. A speaker
You don’t need a sub-woofer. For £15, the X-mini is perfect for hooking up to your phone, and and the sound’s pretty decent too.
28. A holdall
To cart your laundry from the machine, books from the library, and items from home when you visit. This one from IKEA is only a fiver.
29. A memory stick
To share presentations and notes, and to print documents from. This one is 16GB and currently a tenner.
30. Toilet paper
Some halls won’t supply it, and you don’t want to be caught short.