The Bare Bones List of University Necessities

Let’s make this clear from the start. The things you bring with you at the start of your university life will not be the same things you take home at the end of your degree. They simply don’t survive. So when you’re buying for university it’s important to remember that you’re not this generation’s Martha Stewart furnishing your first home and to instead think in terms of ‘cheap and cheerful’ (i.e. replaceable). Keep in mind, you’ll be moving into student accommodation and you’re going to be short on space so this list covers only the minimum of what you’ll need.

Everything listed can be found in either Rathmines Swan Shopping Centre (Dunnes Stores) or Dublin city centre (Tiger, Penneys, Argos, TK Maxx). Ikea is also an option but is on the outskirts of the city making it a slightly inconvenient option. If you do want to make that journey the 140 bus will take you all the way out there from Dawson Street (students living in Trinity Hall can take it from their stop in Dartry).


  • Duvet – a double duvet rather than a single, it makes it easier to stay warm in a cold apartment!
  • Pillows
  • Bedsheets
  • Duvet covers and pillow cases
  • Bath towel and hand towel
  • Clothes wash basket/bag (one that can also be used to carry all of your laundry to the residence’s or local launderette)
  • Clothes hangers


  • Chopping knives
  • Chopping board (it may be a good idea to get a different one for meat, and for vegetables/bread to avoid cross-contamination)
  • Basic cutlery
  • Microwaveable, portable containers
  • Two saucepans (small and medium)
  • Wok or a small frying pan
  • Tea towels
  • Assortment of large spoons and spatulas (plastic ones are easier to clean than wooden ones)
  • Two large plates
  • Two small plates
  • Two large bowls
  • Two small bowls
  • Four mugs
  • Four glasses
  • Thermos/travel mug
  • Tin opener
  • Corkscrew/bottle opener
  • George Foreman Grill (Ok, I know I said cheap and cheerful but this really is worth the investment if you look after it properly)

Bathroom and First Aid Kit

  • Portable, plastic shower basket
  • Hairdryer
  • Painkillers
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Throat lozenges
  • Nail scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Plasters


  • Student planner – the Student’s Union offers one each year, they’ll be available in House 6 or in the Global Room
  • Laptop – get one that is light enough to carry around campus with you
  • Extension leads – surge protected ones
  • Socket converter (if you’re an international student)
  • USB memory sticks
  • Refill pads or notebooks
  • Highlighters
  • Pens

A Word on Books

You might feel it’s necessary to buy all of the books on your course reading list but this generally isn’t the case. Do your research and check which books will be available in the library (you’ll have to be prepared to borrow them in anticipation of when you’ll need them or risk finding that every copy you need is already gone). The Student’s Union also organises one or two second-hand book sales each year, so make sure to follow them on their Facebook and Twitter pages. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on the Trinity College noticeboard for any older students that might be selling books they no longer need.

Did any of your bare essentials not make the list? What would you add?

Aoife is a Trinity College Dublin graduate, former Global Room ambassador and current intern in the Global Relations Office.



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