The definitive list of student household essentials

The definitive list of student household essentials

So, you’ve got your preferred place at university nailed down and you’re excited about beginning a new chapter in your life. Well done – you’ll no doubt be on cloud nine!
However, we’ve got something that will really bring you back down to earth with a bump… yes, it’s boring practical stuff and a bit of a buzz kill, but it’s important that you have everything you need in your student accommodation to settle in quickly and feel comfortable in your new surroundings.
Many members of the SPCE team have been to university and come out the other side (more or less) unscathed. So, without further ado, here is our very own definitive list of university essentials when studying and living away from home:

Bedroom essentials

  • Doorstop – you might not feel comfortable doing it, but at the start of your life at university you’ll need to make friends and develop a whole new social circle. A doorstep is handy to keep your bedroom door open and encourage flatmates or housemates to come in and chat.
  • Premium-quality duvet – it’s impossible to overstate the importance of a warm and cosy bed. A good quality duvet will help you get a good night’s sleep and recharge the batteries for the next day of studying.
  • Mattress protector – it’s possible that the mattress you’re provided won’t live up to the standards you’re used to at home. A mattress protector will add a little more padding and much-needed comfort.
  • Ear plugs – we don’t want to sound like party poopers, but sometimes you might really need some kip. If you’ve got an important exam in the morning and you don’t want your housemates to disturb you, ear plugs are the ideal way to drown out any noise!
  • Alarm clock – because you don’t want to miss that important exam!
  • Extension lead(s) – in case your bedroom is not well-equipped with plug sockets, an extension lead is a necessity to allow you to utilise all your electronic gadgets.
  • Spare pair of glasses – do you wear glasses all the time? Make sure you have a spare pair in your bedroom. You don’t want your main pair to break and be without a decent second pair to get you through your studies!
  • White tack – handy for putting up pictures of family and friends on your bedroom walls without ruining the paint job.
  • Music speakers – if you enjoy listening to music, a good set of speakers are a must to allow you to work and chill out in your bedroom and enjoy your tunes.

Bathroom essentials

  • Washbag – one big enough to store your toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, shower gel and deodorant and save on shelf space.
  • Towels – ideally, you’ll have two large towels and two hand towels that you can rotate while one is in in the laundry.
  • Toilet cleaner and air freshener – if you’re fortunate enough to have your own bathroom, it’s a good idea to purchase toilet cleaner and air freshener to keep things  looking and smelling okay (!)
  • First aid kit – in order to cope with life’s unexpected accidents.
  • Paracetamol and painkillers – because it’s quite likely that you’ll encounter a few sore heads in the morning during your first term at uni!
  • Condoms or other contraception – need we say more…


Stationery essentials

  • A pack of pens and/or pencils – we know most of you will use laptops to do your work these days, but they’re still useful for taking notes!
  • Highlighters – excellent for pinpointing key extracts from texts and research papers during lectures and seminars.
  • Diary – very useful for jotting down your study schedule, as well as your social activities with friends.
  • Lever-arch files – a good way to store coursework materials and keep in your bedroom for reference at a later date.


Kitchen essentials

  • Student-friendly cook books – if you like to eat good food, learn to cook good food! There are plenty of cook books out there to teach you to cook on a budget. Jamie Oliver’s 5 ingredients book features simple, cheap and tasty meals. Other chefs are also available (!)
  • Frying pan or wok – an incredibly versatile cooking utensil. With a wok, you can stir fry, fry, boil and scramble most things.
  • 2 saucepans – one is never enough as you might want to cook pasta and vegetables at the same time!
  • Tongs – a seriously handy tool to grab and pick up meat, fish and veg when you’re cooking it in the wok or pan.
  • Dinner plates – at least two or three plates is a good idea, but too many and you’ll get into a habit of leaving dirty ones stacked up in your room – not hygienic!
  • Glasses and mugs – the same concept applies here… get enough to get you started but don’t bring too many that you’ll end up getting lazy with your washing up.
  • Swiss army knife – a jack of all trades, this is always handy to cut things and open bottles etc.
  • 1 sharp knife – essential for preparing meat, fish or vegetables for a meal.
  • Coffee pod machine – if your budget will stretch to it, a Tassimo or Dolce Gusto pod machine will get you a cuppa very quickly in the mornings without the need to faff with the kettle or even head into the communal kitchen.


Miscellaneous essentials

  • Key documentation – you’re likely to need your driver’s license, passport and bank details at some point during your first term. It’s also a good idea to have your student loan documentation to hand, as well as any confirmation of bursaries or scholarships so that you’re well and truly covered.
  • Travel discount cards – the 16-25 railcard is a great-value purchase for those who venture out and about on the trains or use the train to get home for weekend visits and at the end of each term.
  • CV for part-time employment – if you’re planning on earning a little extra cash during your studies, it’s a good idea to have numerous copies of your CV to hand in to various businesses when you’re ready.
  • Water bottle – it’s important to keep hydrated at university, so top up your water bottle from your home and avoid spending unnecessary money on water from the shops. (Also, #savetheplanet)
  • Sewing kit – keep shirts, coats and other garments going for another season with a handy sewing kit.
  • A crate of beer or a bottle of wine – an excellent way to make friends is to offer housemates or flatmates a drink while you get to know each other.
  • Board games and/or a pack of cards – a great ice-breaker to play with the whole household.
  • Torch – because you never know when your student house or halls might experience
    a power cut!

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