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What does my child need to take to university?

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With students heading off to University or College, it is a real time of mixed emotions for everyone, parents and students alike.  Excitement but also nervousness and uncertainty.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a seasoned pro or a newbie, the question of what Students should take to university is on many people’s minds right now and we are sure you want to send them off with a piece of home, love and everything they need.  As my daughter is going into her second year, I have put together a list which I hope will help you make sure you have everything covered.

Essential Kit

If they are going into non-catered halls or shared flats or houses there is some essentials that they will need.

The basics necessities:

  • Cutlery: spoon, fork, tea, spoon, knife
  • Mugs & glasses (several as you can guarantee they will have friends no doubt there will be a few breakages)
  • Crockery: Plate, bowls
  • Pans (of slightly different sizes), frying pan (one with a lid is handy).
  • Spatula, mixing spoon, slotted spoon, whisk, garlic press.  We particularly recommend silicone spoons and utensils, especially as they are heat resistant so won’t be burt if left in a pan.  We have a range of homewares.
  • Can & bottle opener, peeler.
  • Sharp knives.
  • Sieve/ Colander, measuring jug & grater. Check out the a new product Colandish which acts as both a strainer & bowl.
  • Chopping board (ideally 2, colour coded, one for meat and one for no meat)
  • Tea Towels and dishcloths (A few because who knows when the washing up will get done, or the laundry for that matter!)
  • Baking tray
  • Baking tin (use for cakes, brownies or lasagne)
  • Some Tupperware (or suggest they clean out and keep some of their takeaway containers!)
  • Clothes Airer/Drying rack.
  • Extension lead.
  • Mattress Protector or topper (some of those beds are basic!).
  • Blanket/throw. (Useful for covering a sofa or to snuggle up with)
  • A Couple of sets of bedding, pillow cases & towels (again, laundry seems low on many student’s agendas)


When shopping a top tip is to try and keep thinks unique.  They are less likely to get lost or go walkies and let’s face it the number of people purchasing from the main retailers will make identification of individual items difficult. Maybe go through your own cupboards to reuse and give them something familiar.  It might even allow you to treat yourself to some new items.

It is also a good idea to name items with waterproof name labels to avoid confusion.  I love the stick on labels from Easy2Name, which are dishwasher proof. Just a word of caution, don’t stick on items which may go in the oven or on the underside of pans, for these you could always label with marker pen.

Luxury items you might want to think about are a Coffee machine, blender or similar, I know mine love their smoothies and they are a great way of them getting some of their 5 a day. However, I would hold fire on buying items before going to uni, as you might end up with a kitchen full of these!  It is worth waiting to see if a flatmate has one that you can use or you can club together with your flatmates to buy these items to share or get your own in due course if needed.

Other tips and things not so easily thought of are: 

  • Laundry bags and collapsible laundry baskets, very useful for when they do actually do laundry but then they can be easily stored in their bedroom.
  • Hangers that go over the back of the doors for coats and bags.
  • Study Light or side light.
  • Battery powered candles, flame less tea lights or fairy lights, for the girls, as real candles are understandably not permitted. 
  • Reed diffuser to mask smells!

Student Cooking

So now they have the kit, it is crucial that before they head off, you show your child how to do some of the basics.  It is invaluable that you teach them how to make some basic dishes, their money will run out very quickly if they rely on takeaways, deliveries or ready meals.

Our partners at Kiddy Cook have created a brilliant “Student Survival Pack”, which I can highly recommend.  It includes 10 tried and tested TikTok inspired instagram videos and recipe cards.  The videos are brilliant.  They have also got some great hints and tips on their blog for ‘Preparing Your Young Person For University’, it well worth a read.  There are lots easy recipes for other nutritious meals in the numerous student cookbooks on the market.  Alternatively suggest they check out the website StudentEats.

Settling In

As we said, it is a daunting time for new students, many leaving home for the first time and so it is often nice to also send them off with some treats or perhaps send them something after they arrive, as a little pick me up.  Making new friends is important and what better ice breaker than them baking something tasty for their new flatmates? 

Our foolproof, but delicious, Baking Mix Eco Pouches and Gourmet Pancake Mixes, will enable them to do just that without the need to buy loads of different ingredients and our pancake mix and baking mix subscriptions are a nice way of them getting a new treat every month. We also have a range of gifts and homewares that are ideal for students in our curated student gift collection


And Finally..

So best of luck as you gather everything together and they pack up their numerous coats, shoes & clothing. Car loading becomes a dark art as you attempt to squeeze everything in. I would recomment investing in some vaccum storage bags for clothes and duvets/pillows to help save space.  Also underbed storage boxes are great for transporting kit and also can then be used in their new accommodation as extra storage.

So safe travels and remember you might want take some tissues. I did!