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Congratulations! You've passed your A-levels and are off to university. Now comes the fun bit – shopping for all your student essentials. And these items should be top of your list.
Even if you don't plan to do much sleeping during Fresher's Week, it's eventually going to catch with you, so make sure you have all your home comforts ready. Halls of residence aren't known for their king-size beds, so you'll likely need just a single duvet, a couple of pillows, and a mattress protector – crucial if you're worried about who slept there before, this will also make your bed comfier.
Add to that two sets of linen – that's a duvet cover, two pillowcases and a single fitted sheet. You might want to throw in an extra wool blankets for very chilly nights, and a couple of cushions if your bed's doubling as a sofa.
John Lewis, Wilko and other big stores often bring out simple bedding starter sets at this time of year, providing most of what you need in one box, and for an affordable amount. Or for something fashion forward at a student-friendly price tag, try Primark or H&M.
Don't forget to pack earplugs for those nights when your flatmates are partying and you need to get up for a lecture, either. Trust us – it WILL happen!
2. A bundle bed for your BFF
So THE WORLD IS ENDING and you and your BFF are off to different unis. As no amount of Snapchattage is going to make up for this, it's likely she/he'll be down to visit with weeks of you moving in. Because you love them, save them from lugging their own blow-up mattress on the Megabus and invest in a comfy bundle bed for them to sleep on. These come in all sorts of different forms, from roll-out futons to stylish chairbeds.
Buy now: Cube bed, £119, The Futon Company (opens in new tab)
Sleep tight: Chair beds – our pick of the best
3. A coffee maker
Option 1 – blow your entire student loan at Starbucks. Option 2 – buy this little machine and a few bags of ground coffee, and carry your own fresh brew to lectures in the supplied thermal travel mug. You do the math... s...
Buy now: KitchenAid personal filter coffee maker, £89.99, Amazon (opens in new tab)
4. A laptop
Given that most students will use their laptop to watch TV, listen to music, video-call home, shop and socialise, as well as tackle their coursework, you can’t underestimate the importance of getting the right one. We’d recommend a hybrid that can be used as a laptop for pesky coursework and a tablet for boxset binges.
5. Saucepans and utensils
There's always someone that thinks a bowl and spoon will get them through three years of university, but it won't be you. As with bedding, department stores often offer affordable kitchen starter packs for those moving out for the first time. Make sure it includes a decent frying pan, saucepans, baking tray, chopping board, sharp knife, colander, spatula, bottle opener and cheese grater.
They won't turn you into Jamie Oliver overnight, but it's a good place to start.
6. New towels
A shared bathroom is all the motivation you need to up your towel game. Unless you're uber body confident, we advise going for bath sheets for maximum modesty coverage. A dressing gown is another must for those 3am fire alarms.
Buy now: Christy Graphite Chevron cotton bath towel, (was £32) now £18, Debenhams (opens in new tab)
7. An extension lead
Because while some rooms will have plug sockets aplenty, what's the betting yours only has one?
Buy now: 4-way extension lead, £6, Wilko (opens in new tab)
8. A toasted sandwich maker
Buying a toastie maker is as much a student rite of passage as the Freshers Week pub crawl. And the little pockets of cheesy goodness it produces really do make the best lunch... or breakfast, or dinner, for that matter.
Soup makers or bullet blenders may be healthier options, but when you're homesick/have been up all night revising/are suffering from a monster hangover, only melted cheese can really make it better.
Choose wisely: Sandwich toasters – our pick of the best
There's plenty more we could add to that list, but it's a great place to start. What will you be packing?
Amy Cutmore is Editor-in-Chief, Homes Audience, working across the Future Homes portfolio. She works on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, Livingetc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.
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