Top 10 Back to Uni Accessories that Won't Break the Bank

Going back to university for the upcoming year is exciting. A fresh start, that lovely new crisp blank page in your notebook, some new stationery, and a sense of excitement. Sometimes though, university accessories can begin to add up in cost. For this year, look at some of the best uni accessories that won’t break the bank, covering a whole host of needs.

Young woman looking at laptop in her student accommodation

Plan for the year ahead

Before you buy any university accessories for this coming year, you need to figure out exactly what it is you need. That way, you can set a budget and work your way through the checklist. The worst thing you can do is to go into this blind, buying items as and when you see them, as this will end up costing you a lot more money.

One of the best ways to approach this is to think about the different areas of your uni life and what accessories you’ll need. Think clothing, personal and beauty products, electricals, bathroom items, documents and storage, stationery, cooking items and kitchen utensils, and any other accessory that fits your needs. Then, consider where you’ll live – carefully check with your student accommodation provider what size the bed is and look for floorplans so you can make a decision on how much it’s reasonable to bring. Sharing a flat with a kitchen or renting a studio – in a shared space you might be able to plan on sharing some bits and pots with fellow flatmates. From there, you can begin to work out a list to buy specific products to help you settle into your next university year.

A quick tip – one of the best things to do is to not overpack. This is especially the case for first-year students, but it happens to students at all stages of university life. There are things you’ve come back home to over the summer break, and you think you want to take with you. Take a step back and consider whether you really need to take it with you this year. Don’t overpack and don’t buy too many university accessories.

The best university accessories for the new term

  1. A physical diary/journal

Notebooks for university students in different colours

Using a physical diary instead of another digital app can be of great benefit to the mental health of a student. There are a few reasons why you might want to think about buying a calendar diary or journal to help you plan your work and revisions schedule, and also your social life. It’s all well and good having alerts on your phone and laptop, but a proper physical diary helps to increase focus, can be a good learning and memory aid, helps you to set and track goals, develop ideas, and provides a place for you to be creative and express your thoughts in a private way.

  1. Brand new sheets and linen

Linen and bedding with pink pillows for student room

These days you can pick up a lovely set of bedding from places like Primark for a decent price. Buying a couple of sets of bedding, pillows, and cases, means you always have clean sheets on hand when you change the bed. There’s nothing better than getting into your own, clean bed at the end of a long day at university, and it doesn’t have to cost you loads to have good-quality duvet covers and bedding. A fresh set for the new university year marks a new chapter for you.

  1. Mattress Topper

Student girl sleeping on a comfortable mattress topper

A good night’s sleep is essential to every student. Whether you are burning the candle at both ends and falling into bed in the early hours before getting up for uni early the next morning, or you just like a good sleep routine and pattern, it can be hard to nod off and get good sleep in an unfamiliar bed. One of the best things you can do is invest in a mattress topper to add that extra layer of comfort, even if you are in great, modern student accommodation for the upcoming year. Purchase a machine washable mattress topper, hypoallergenic versions are available too, and look for comfort and a good fit. Some of the high-quality mattress toppers can be found for around £25 and will give you greater comfort and good sleep for years to come.

  1. A foldable heated clothes airer

Shirts on a coat hanger

Doing your own laundry is a pain, but it’s also a necessity. If you haven’t got access to a dryer as well as a washing machine (and not everyone likes drying clothes that way anyway), the best bet is to invest in a foldable heated clothes airer. You can pick these up relatively cheaply from stores like Argos. It will help to dry your washed clothes quickly, and the best bit is they fold away, so you can get them out of sight once your clothes are dry and put away.

  1. Kitchen utensils

Kitchen utensils in a drawer

Cooking is a skill that you can learn to develop well when living away at university. Make sure you invest in a few simple and staple cooking utensils and equipment that will last with you throughout your university life. If you need to upgrade or replace anything from last year, now is the perfect time to do so. Make sure you have a few pots and saucepans, a frying pan and a baking tray, the essentials to keep you cooking.

  1. Toiletries

Hairbrush and creams different toileteries

Your toiletries selection is crucial to how you settle into a new year at uni! Your back to uni toiletries pack should include your favourite shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, and toothpaste. Pack your toothbrush, razors and shavers, your grooming kit of choice, a hairbrush, clippers, toilet roll, and anything else that you’ll need in the bathroom of your student accommodation. Never leave yourself short when you settle back in on your first day at your student accommodation. Having bathroom essentials that you know and love helps you to feel at home again.

  1. A sturdy folder

Three colours of student folders

Even though we live in a digital age it is still important to have certain physical documents with you at your student accommodation. Buying a sturdy folder gives you a safe place to put your photo ID, proof of student finance letter, acceptance letter, qualifications, national insurance card, rail card, a copy of your CV, and any other important documents that might help throughout the year. A list of important phone numbers should also be included in case you lose your phone. There is a chance you never even need to look in the folder, but it gives great peace of mind and a safety net just in case you ever do need something in there.

  1. Stationery supplies

Notebooks, coffee mug and stationery supplies

The new study year is a chance to start fresh all over again. This is an exciting part for many of us. Buy your new notepads, stapler, ruler, scissors, highlighters, and any other physical items that help you to study. These can be set-up on your study desk for the year, in the best way to mark it out solely as a study area that helps you to focus on your work. Back to uni stationery can be as cheap as you want to make it, with plenty of budget stores offering a range of items to suit your needs. Getting organised early is the best way to mentally prepare for the year ahead. A clean desk gives you a clean mind to study.

  1. A miscellaneous basket

Wicker storage baskets of different sizes

A decorative basket by your front door is a great accessory for going back to uni that most people don’t even think of. This could be a simple wicker basket that is placed where you know you’ll see it every time you leave your student room or enter it. That way, you can use it to place your keys so you never lose them, or you can put your phone and laptop charger in there for those emergency situations where you dart back in to juice up your phone and you can’t find the charger under the bed!

  1. A good bag

Blonde girl student wearing a black backpack looking at terraced houses

A rucksack to take to your lectures, a sturdier bag for travelling with, and a smaller one to have with you for everyday leisure. Choosing a bag to take with you to university is important, as there will be different needs that you have depending on the day and where you’ll end up. Sometimes, a tote bag will do to carry some bits, a bottle of water, and your makeup, if you are meeting a friend for coffee. If you are heading to university for a long day of lectures and seminars, you’ll need something a bit stronger to safely carry your books, notepads, laptop, and anything else you might need on the day.

Alongside some of the specific items we’ve talked about here, there are some amazing student discounts and offers for all sorts of tech, beauty, and personal items out there to help you get your university accessories in for the upcoming year, and also discounts for on-going food and drink that are useful for everyday life on campus. Take a look around and make sure that you have a checklist of everything you need for the upcoming year. That way, you can tick off new uni accessories as and when you purchase them and know that you’re ready to hit the ground running when you go back to uni

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