You have finished your college years, your application has been accepted to university and you now face a summer of preparation before you embark on the next step in your journey.  Then the panic starts to set in – what do you need to take to university?  And how are you going to eat without your Mum or Dad there to help out?  Kitchen essentials are one of the areas you need to consider when doing your summer preparation.

Look at the facilities

By now, you will already know what kind of accommodation you are aiming for when you start university.  It might be halls of residence or you might be looking to rent a cost-effective place.  Maybe you and some friends and getting together to have a touch of luxury in your accommodation and rent somewhere a little less conventional student.  Whatever the case, this will give you some ideas about what facilities come with the property and what you might need.

By taking an inventory of what comes with the property or space, you have a good starting point to see what else you need.  For example, some rental properties come with just the basics such as a cooker, fridge and freezer while others might have smaller appliances such as a kettle, toaster, microwave or even a coffee machine if you are very lucky.

Consider what you will use

It is great to think you will be a chef while at university and start cooking fancy meals for all your friends but if you have never touched a knife or a pan apart from doing your share of the dishes, this is less likely to happen, certainly at first.  Instead look at what you will use and start your list around these items.

Everyone should have at least one of each of the following:

  • Dinner and side plate
  • Basic cutlery
  • Coffee mug and drink glass
  • Saucepan
  • Baking tray
  • Basic kitchen knives

Armed with these items and a basic set of kitchen utensils such as a wooden spoon, tongs and such, you can at least start making very basics meals.  And if all else fails, you can put together a pan of pasta and sauce or some noodles.

The next level

Of course, there are plenty of first-year students who are adept at cooking and even enjoy it.  So, then the list becomes more about what you can use the most – items that do multiple jobs are really handy in this situation.

Casserole dishes are one example, as is a wok.  Both can be used to create a host of different dishes and are easy to store even if you have limited space.  Good storage boxes are also important because if you can cook in batches and store for a couple of days, then you save yourself time and money.  If you can find storage that doubles as something else, such as a mixing bowl, then even better.


Organising your kitchen essentials is one of those jobs best done early so you can ensure you have everything you need.  Of course, remember that you can buy things while you are away so don’t stress about having every single thing you need before you depart.

Published:  June 1, 2017