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She's off to uni in a few weeks - what does she really need to take?

(164 Posts)
oldenoughtowearpurple Fri 19-Aug-11 08:52:02

So DD is off to self-catered uni accommodation for her first year. The accommodation is downright palatial - ensuite, new-build flats for 4-6 mixed sex sharers (not like it was in MY day, I can tell you).

What does she really need to take with her? all hints and tips gratefully received.

senua Fri 19-Aug-11 09:08:08

Essential items: chocolate cake, alcohol and a doorstop to wedge the door open in a welcoming manner.

Apart from that, don't stress: there will be a Wilkinsons/Tesco/Ikea nearby where you can purchase the missing items. In fact, if you purchase bulky items when you get there it will save transportation problems.

exoticfruits Fri 19-Aug-11 09:12:53

Just go through what she is likely to cook and write down the items needed, e.g. baking tray for warming things up, saucepan, wooden spoon etc
Then what she needs to eat them, mugs, plates, cutlery etc
Bedding and towels.
Tea towels, cloths, bin bags.
You don't need to get everything in advance, wait and see e.g. they don't need 6 kettles in the kitchen.
Food to start off is a good idea-unless you have time to shop as soon as you get there.

ProfessionallyOffendedGoblin Fri 19-Aug-11 09:16:43

Took my DD back to uni, filled my car to squeaking point and had to collect two boxes she's left with friends.
Gave her lovely friend a lift back to a different uni.
One suitcase, one box of books, one box of cooking equipment and a bedding bale.
Agree with a fund to buy what she needs as she finds out she needs it.
A first aid kit is good, basics like plasters and headache stuff.

Pippaandpolly Fri 19-Aug-11 09:18:36

Agree with others who say not too much. Would recommend a bottle of wine/some nice biscuits for first evening intros!

AnnaBegins Fri 19-Aug-11 09:34:08

agree with what's on here, make sure she has a few mugs for a cuppa if friends come round, also send her with at least some pasta and sauce as the first day is manic - I cooked for the entire corridor the first night as I was the only one with food!
Check freshers week events - she may need fancy dress at short notice! Also I found a small drying rack/pegs and some string were really useful to save me using the tumble dryers.
Having said that she doesn't need much, the amount of stuff I took grew each year until it filled a van... so good luck grin

MindtheGappp Fri 19-Aug-11 09:34:12

What do they provide in the accommodation?

If they provide nothing, then she will need cooking equipment and something to eat out of, and wash up with.

Laundry basket, bath mat, towels, sheets, duvet etc.

A laptop is standard student kit.

GoEasyPudding Fri 19-Aug-11 11:26:26

A throw for the bed. It makes your bed into the sofa when you have visitors!
A laundry clothes horse and one for the radiator.

saggarmakersbottomknocker Fri 19-Aug-11 11:30:03

Have a look at the packing list on

I recommend you lie down in a darkened room afterwards. shock

My top tip is don't buy new for your students - send them with your old towels/teatowels/utensils and buy new for yourself. I can guarantee that you won't see most of it again. Or if you do it won't be in a fit state to be used.

jade80 Fri 19-Aug-11 11:33:29

Definitely a toastie maker!

exoticfruits Fri 19-Aug-11 11:35:22

That is very sensible saggar-I did the same and had the new stuff -unless it was the basic range in Tesco.

RoseC Fri 19-Aug-11 18:26:12

Bottle opener! People were forever borrowing mine. And a pair of scissors. Everything everyone else has suggested, plus some kind of bleach spray and a packet of cheap cloths, just in case she feels the need to do an emergency clean before her new friends pop over/relatives or siblings visit later on in the term.

Also a washing up bowl. Depending on the accommodation rules she may find it easier to keep plates in her bedroom (I had an ensuite so kept my daily washing up in a bowl in my bathroom). It's also useful for emergency clothes washing.

A good first aid kit, pins for the noticeboard and maybe something to remind her of home? DM bought me a Winnie the Pooh mug for my toothbrush to remind me of DSis.

bagelmonkey Fri 19-Aug-11 18:33:38


bagelmonkey Fri 19-Aug-11 18:33:52


EduStudent Fri 19-Aug-11 19:43:12

Okay. Just going into my 3rd year at uni. Agree with everyone that says send old stuff where possible. This is the stuff I took and have actually needed

Towels (but not humungous, remember they've got to dry in the room)
Bedding - 2 sets, one on, one to wash. Primark are fairly good for the price.
A blanket and a cushion.
Mattress protector or an old sheet to put underneath the top one

Saucepans, 1 biggish and 1 small, or a set of 3 and a frying pan
Baking Tray
Small lasagne type dish
Plates and bowls (I had a set of 4, but could easily have managed with a couple)
Big bread knife and small chopping knife
Chopping board
Wooden spoon/big plastic spoon
Tupperware type boxes (for keeping leftovers or putting lunch in)
Cheese grater
Couple of pint glasses (cheap/nick them from the pub. They WILL go missing)
Couple of mugs
Corkscrew/bottle opener
Tin opener
Tea Towels
Vegetable peeler
Oven gloves
Measuring jug (but then again, I also took scales, a mixing bowl and cake tins)
Toaster and kettle. Yeah, everyone gets them, but everyone butys the cheap ones and they just break after a few months use, so we just kept moving onto the next one.

Extension lead (I had 2 plugs in my room, one under my desk, one by my bed)
Alarm clock
Door wedge (teaspoons suffice in an emergency)
Clothes airer
Torch and batteries (we had a lot of powercuts)
Small suitcase or holdall (for coming home for a weekend or going away or whatever)
Laundry basket (one of those pop up ones)
A big Ikea bag, if you've got one, for laundry and generally hauling stuff about
Desklight (a lot of places don't allow haolgen lamps due to the fire hazard)

Basic first aid stuff (plasters, paracetamol, ibruprofen, immodium etc)
Basic sewing kit
Decent pair of scissors
Exam certificates, or at least a photocopy
Passport photos (if you've got some spare)

And finally, an umbrella. So many people realised they'd forgotten one when it rained on the second day of Freshers.

EduStudent Fri 19-Aug-11 19:47:54

Ooh, that was quite a long list blush

But Primark, the supermarkets and the Poundshop shall be thy friend. Asda was about the best for kitchen stuff when I went.

Waswondering Fri 19-Aug-11 19:50:38

It's a long time since I was a fresher (and then in catered halls!) but I wonder what EduStudent would think about a small, ie 2 person, slow cooker? Chuck in a packet of mince and a tin of tomatoes with a scattering of chopped onions and herbs and there's enough for visitors too - and could reduce the "sharing" of oven/hob facilities in the shared kitchen?

ThePrincessRoyalFiggyrolls Fri 19-Aug-11 20:00:59

A really good mattress protector would be my top tip just in case the mattresses are a bit nylony iyswim - TKMaxx always have them going cheap!

Send with your old bedding and buy yourself something new - it is nice if you are away from home to have something that reminds you of home, or buy her a new one and take an old one.

Same with towels, use her going to uni as a good excuse for updating what you have! Remember students will use towels to mop up spilled wine (oh yes!!!) hair dye blah blah blah

A pillow of your own!!!! - Let her choose her own!!

Extension leads

A sharpie pen to name everything!

Clothes dryer for the radiator

Your old pans, wooden spoons - one small one large (pans obviously!)

Ikea plates, cutlery and mugs and glasses

tea towels - 1-2

Coathangers definitely - unless built in they always get nicked

Bottle opener and can opener

A really good sharp knife of midsize for chopping

Whisk and mixing bowl that can double as salad bowl, serving bowl etc

Bulk washing powder - and perhaps a container to put it in so it doesn't spill everywhere!
Ribena or juice of somesort
Pasta sauces
colander for the pasta!
Hangover kit for freshers week, rehydrating salts, berocca, condoms (sorry mum!) paracetamol, ibroprufen and some kind of deep heat and antiseptic spray
And depending on what kind of cook she is cookbook, cheap meals etc etc and or Delia.

Pretty much what has been said before

unitarian Fri 19-Aug-11 20:06:45

Morrisons is pretty good right now for cheap but durable stuff. 12 piece cutlery set for £3 for example. (DD is now moving out of hall and sharing a flat with 3 friends - that's a whole different ball game when it comes to equipment.)

In Hall there will probably be a mattress protector. She was also provided with a laundry basket and there was a kettle in the communal kitchen. She will probably need bed linen - including duvet and pillow. Check the website for the particular hall.

I would recommend a couple of pans and a small frying pan, a small paring knife and a larger chopping knife, sieve, measuring jug, wooden spoon, a couple of plates and bowls and mugs, of course. A couple of jars or boxes for storing pasta and rice. Storage space in the kitchens is limited and seems not to be at all secure.

Loo rolls!

For immediate use: a bottle of wine, a couple of glasses and some biscuits. Then step away and try not to worry!

RoseC Fri 19-Aug-11 20:08:36

DM bought me a slow cooker (graduated 2009 from BA, in January from MA) and I've only started using it now I'm settled with DP. I'd recommend it if the OP's daughter is generally well organised... in fact, what I'd recommend above all is being able to cook at least two 'batch' basic meals, like spag bol or curry or a stew. She will be instantly and forever popular grin

I'd second the passport photos - I needed two starting undergrad, two starting postgrad and one this year (am on another postgrad course). Also paper, pens and - if she has one - a voice recorder for lectures. I needed one anyway (SEN) but it was a godsend when hungover with a 9am start. And I got to feel very virtuous as one of the few with complete notes (it also aids revision) grin

Moulesfrites Fri 19-Aug-11 20:12:23

Extension leads!! Never enough sockets.

louby86 Fri 19-Aug-11 20:16:37

A plug in air freshener! I'm so glad I had one of those!

EduStudent Fri 19-Aug-11 20:19:14

Waswondering It's one of those things that would be great if you used it. Two of my friends brought steamers - one used it all the time and it was great, the other never used hers once and it just got in the way in the kitchen. It really depends on whether you'll actually get round to using it.

And definitely learn how to cook up mince. Same basic recipe (with some tweaking) will make spag bol, lasagne, shepherd's pie, chilli etc. And they're good ones for making up in batches.

You could think about arranging a Tesco/Sainsbury's/wherever delivery for the second day (about 11am, not too early to make a hangover unbearable, but not too late that they'll be out wanting to do stuff wink ), then you can just take a few bits of food for the first night.

peeriebear Fri 19-Aug-11 20:23:10

Getting all nostalgic now for when I went away to halls <sob> I was only 16 and had the time of my life for two years. Made some of the best friends and the best memories. Good luck to your DD Oldenough! smile

slowcookedtopside Fri 19-Aug-11 20:24:03

I wouldn't send food till she's weighed up her flat sharers. The girls I was on a corridor with were lovely but dh was with chaps who may indeed now be in prison.....

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