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what do they really need to take to uni?

(160 Posts)
cricketballs Mon 28-Jul-14 08:09:18

I have posted this in Higher Education, but I'm reposting here for traffic.....

After years of buying things for primary, secondary and college which were never needed, I'm determined not to waste money again! I have no personal experience of living in halls, so what do they actually need to take! On open day the student guides did say don't purchase a kettle/toaster until they move in as in a self catered flat with 6 bedrooms has no need for 6 kettles! But, need to start buying things so we dont have to do a huge shop - so what do they need?

We're currently planning like you so will watch this with interest.

MiL has bought ds1 his bed linen and new towels.

That's as far as we've got .grin

cricketballs Mon 28-Jul-14 08:15:41

I did ask some friends at the weekend who had lived in halls, one suggestion was to only get 1 plate/bowl etc so they have to wash them in order to eat again grin

A copy of Jamie's Ministry of Food, and a Tesco voucher.

Madaboutthrows Mon 28-Jul-14 08:17:59

Washing powder/liquid

tuckingfablet Mon 28-Jul-14 08:22:07

a usb stick is very useful especially if they don't own their owna printer. you dont need masses of pots and pans because you mostly live off ready meals or oven stuff. I own a wok that I carted around 4 years of uni halls/houses that never once got used grin
can you check what others are bringing/if anything is supplied in the kitchen as usually you end up with a million kettles and toasters.
I had plastic plates that I loved because of their super easy cleaning and indestructible quality grin
bedroom you want stuff to make it feel homely, so blankets and pictures. a bedside lamp/desk lamp were useful too as it was nicer than having the big light on all the time.
hmm I can't think of anything else atm...

oooh a thermos mug for early morning lectures so you can have coffee on your way grin

commsgirl Mon 28-Jul-14 08:23:14

Bed linen
If ensuite - loo roll, bathroom cleaning products
Plates, bowls, mugs, cutlery etc - I'd get two of everything to start with and see how they get on.
Basic pan set/frying pan/any other cooking utensils you think they'll definitely use.

Yes to waiting until they move in for kettle/toaster and other things in shared areas, wait and see what the setup is. We went out and bought one between us all. It really does depend on who they end up sharing with. Most people are happy to share everything but I have been in flats where everything is labelled/separate cupboards and everyone just uses their own stuff.

Eebahgum Mon 28-Jul-14 08:28:24

Erm, no, can't think of anything. Sorry.

Mostlyjustaluker Mon 28-Jul-14 08:28:43

I would wait until they have their place and know where they are going. If they are going into. Altered hall they will need less than non catered. At 18 they should really be making the list of what they need/want.

AllMimsyWereTheBorogoves Mon 28-Jul-14 08:28:57

My son is at Oxford (going back for the final year in the autumn, so we've had two years of this now) and we bought him nothing at all to take with him. In the first year he was in a room in a house very near his college and didn't need (or want) to self-cater. He could have done some very basic catering in the house and I think he did usually have fruit, cereal and milk on hand, but that was about all. He was able to get very cheap meals at college.

For the second year he was in a block a bit farther away sharing a flat with friends. He had his own room and they all shared a kitchen. He did cook a little but seemed to rely for equipment on what was already there or provided by his flatmates. They cook more than he does. He paid his way, as it were, by washing up a lot (so he tells me).

From memory, when he first left, I gave him some of our old cutlery, an ancient melamine cup and some towels to take from home. As far as I can recall (all very hazy now, time passes so quickly!) we got his bedding in Oxford so we didn't have to carry it (no car). He bought himself a bowl, plate and one or two other things. He doesn't have his own kettle because he doesn't drink tea or coffee and there's always been one in the kitchen anyway. I think there's always been a microwave and fridge provided too.

If he'd been self-catering properly I think we'd still have waited to see what was provided/what other people brought before buying anything and done it there - or rather, we'd have left him some money and he would have sorted it out over the first few days.

Good luck to him!

Those of you with experience of this; did you get a new mattress for the bed?

I don't know if I'm being pfb about this as my instinct is to replace it, ds1 couldn't care less.

Somanyillustrations Mon 28-Jul-14 08:33:06

Extension lead and coat hangers! I remember sending my mum out for them as I unpacked my room when I went. Pop up washing basket from pound shop, yy to only one bowl/plate/cup etc.

cricketballs Mon 28-Jul-14 08:35:17

DS has an unconditional offer and his accommodation has been confirmed (deposit also paid). He is in uni owned accommodation, self catered flat with 6 bedrooms. Although he has some idea of what he needs, I am determined not to waste money on things that he won't use/need

Mostlyjustaluker Mon 28-Jul-14 08:35:56

No don't get a new mattress. At some halls you have to remove most things for the hols as they rent them off. A mattress would be difficult to use. Most halls have single beds but student houses often have double beds. Just buy him a mattress protector if you are worried.

AuntieStella Mon 28-Jul-14 08:42:28

I would say take very little, but arrange to visit them a few weeks in and be ready to go shopping then.

Bedding, coffee/tea making paraphernalia (those "one cup" heating elements can be useful), enough glasses/mugs to be sociable. Bottle opener and corkscrew.

If self catering, add no more than two sets of plates, KFS (plus extra tea spoons) washing up liquid and sponges, tea towel, sharp kitchen knife, one saucepan one frying pan, one wooden spoon, one basic cookbook.

Mostlyjustaluker Mon 28-Jul-14 08:43:27

There is lots of stuff on the list above you don't need.

I think he will need the stuff below
Duvet - one with two different 'warmth' layers that fix together is best
Sheets x 2
Duvet/quilt covers x2 sets
Pillows x2
Pillow cases x4
Warm blanket/fleece throw
Underblanket/mattress protector
Bath towel and hand towel x2
Washing bags
2 mugs
2 glasses, picnic ware best
Washing powder

Let him sort his own clothes.

Stationary, a few pens, papers, highlighter. The rest he can get at uni. No way does he need all the stuff on that list!

If he his in self catering halls he will not need all the stuff listed on the website. I am assuming he can cook.

TheAwfulDaughter Mon 28-Jul-14 08:44:14

Is he catered or self catered?

-Bed linen and towels in a colour that won't show the dirt.
-Divisive- but I would advise to bring your own kettle and perhaps a mini fridge depending on how strict they are. When the kitchen has been wrecked from the night before, it's a small mercy to be able to make your own tea in your room without tip toeing over the destruction.
-Stock up on cleaning products for move out and room inspection days (and cleaning obv!)- just some j cloths, sponges and multi purpose cleaner.
-Ditto fabric softener and detergent.
-Put a box together of noodle bowls and soup to stow away so even if they are skint there is food.
-His own printer and some ink would be amazing too. On essay hand in day, there can be some real issues with printing as EVERYONE is trying to access a printer. It is carnage when they break. You can get a cheapy one off amazon.

Pinkje Mon 28-Jul-14 08:45:37

A cheese grater. Absolutely essential.

TheAwfulDaughter Mon 28-Jul-14 08:45:42

A mattress protector is good too- more important for girls for obvious reasons, but student landlords and halls will snatch your deposit for tea, period or overt sex stains, so it's really important to make sure you look after the mattress.

dottyaboutstripes Mon 28-Jul-14 08:46:08

Printer for sure

Nomama Mon 28-Jul-14 08:49:19

Send him with clothes, bedding, and all his stationery.

After that wait until you get to see what is already there, if you are taking him. Sometimes previous occupants leave a lot of useful stuff cos they can't be arsed to pack it bought it between them and no one person wants it. He may only need washing powder, washing up liquid - and they may do better buying BIG packs between them.

They would do better discussing shared and individual shopping too. Often in 6 ways they end up in groups of 2 or 3 and buy coffee, tea, beer and maybe even real food between them, that way they can take advantage of bulk buys.

He most certainly won't need the lists you have seen.

DownByTheRiverside Mon 28-Jul-14 08:51:59

Have a search on MN, there have been numerous very useful threads the last two years.

Luckytwo Mon 28-Jul-14 08:52:03

Door stop.
Bed linen
Very cheap pots and pans set (tesco did one last year for about 20quid, generally the handles fell off but it got my daughter started at least.
She also brought a sandwich toaster rather gran a toaster, as we predicted correctly that others would all bring toasters. -that went down pretty well.
There should be a link on the uni accommodation website which should give you some ideas.

cricketballs Mon 28-Jul-14 08:52:47

Thanks for the suggestions so far! We have read several online lists and I think they are far too extensive which is why I started this thread memories of buying pe equipment that was never used

cricketballs Mon 28-Jul-14 08:54:42

I have found that thread down and I'm having palpitations!

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