31 Essentials Every Fresher Needs To Pack

Get ready for the best year of your life.

Chris Ritter/BuzzFeed
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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.

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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.

Top tip: Keep an eye on Lidl’s upcoming deals. It does great-quality cotton bedsheets for a pittance.

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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.

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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.

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5. A laundry bag

This one from IKEA is actually meant for a child’s room, but combines laundry storage with a handy stool.

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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.

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7. A poster or two

Bring one from home, or look online. Free Vintage Posters is one of several resources online that allow you to download hi-res posters.

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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.

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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.

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10. A rug


Brighten up a room with a jolly rug. Tiger has a nice one for £4. IKEA also does them.

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11. Clothes hangers

There’s nothing worse than a wardrobe you can’t use.

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12. An extension lead

Via Thinkstock

One plug socket good, four plug sockets better.

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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.

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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.

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15. Glasses

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.

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16. A corkscrew/bottle opener

For obvious reasons.

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17. A water bottle

Go glass and classy – this one is £1.75, and comes with a stopper. Or go plastic and portable with a Bobble. Or just save a wine bottle that has a screwtop lid.

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18. Tupperware

Even if you’re in catered halls, it’s nice to be able to store some biscuits securely.

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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.

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20. Two pans


A wok (to double up as a frying pan) and a general saucepan should see you right. Keep an eye on Sainsbury’s for good cookware sales, as well as brand-name misspellings on eBay.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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24. A fleece blanket

For snuggling up on the common-room sofa, and for hangover help. There are plenty on eBay.

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25. Shower flip-flops

Because gross shower-floors.

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26. Headphones


To listen to music and notes, but also to block out outside sounds. These Panasonic ones are only £12.99, or if you want to splash out further, there’s a nicer leather version for £29.90.

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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.

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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.

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29. A memory stick


To share presentations and notes, and to print documents from. This one is 16GB and currently a tenner.

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30. Toilet paper

Some halls won’t supply it, and you don’t want to be caught short.

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31. A sleeping bag


For when your friends come to visit. This one is currently half price, at £12.49.

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Ailbhe Malone is the UK lifestyle editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
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