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Parents: How to Help Your Child Pack for University

Here’s a list of everything they’ll need to take with them when they (sob) leave…

Eleanor Foulds
by Eleanor Foulds
Last Updated:
22 Sep 2022

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Seeing your child move away to university is a difficult and worrying time for a parent. You want to make sure they are safe and happy and have all the home comforts they have at home.

Here at Whatuni, we know that parents want to help their children in whatever way possible and for most parents this involves helping them with packing and driving them to their new location (where there’ll be that awkward, tear-filled goodbye!).

Whether your child is moving into student halls or into a shared house it’s confusing to know what your child may need, at times it seems easier for them to take everything but we can promise you, your child doesn't need that 40-piece utensil kit, especially when moving into shared accommodation.

With space limited and possible breakage, here at Whatuni we’ve created a helpful guide on what could really be useful for your child when they head off to university in September.

Top Tip: Most of these items are likely ones you’ll already own, but it can be nice to buy new things for your child. So, hop in the car and have one last parent/child fun day out at Ikea.

Your University Packing Checklist:

For their Bedroom:

This is the place where your child is likely to be spending a significant amount of time, so it’s important to organise this space so it is functional. As almost all rooms in university halls and shared accommodation are quite limited for space, keeping clutter to a minimum is important, as well as locating the best ways to store your child's possessions. Pinterest is full of exciting inspiration for creating the perfect space, so take a look there before you head out shopping.

So what items does your child need for their room at university? Must university rooms come with beds, curtains and a desk intact but it may be worth checking this over first. Bedding, pillows and something to do their university work on, whether this is a laptop or a computer, are must-have items. A desk lamp, laundry basket and coat hangers are also things your child should pack.

You'll also want to make sure they have everything they need for the perfect study-space set up too. With most students having a mixture of online and face-to-face learning when they go to university, they'll probably want a space where they can settle down with their laptop or books to make notes. Most university halls come with desks provided so as long as they have all the other essentials they will be good to go.

Some homely items can be a wonderful touch too, such as picture frames, posters etc. as it can be overwhelming living away from home for the first time and these things remind them of their room at home.

For the Kitchen:

The kitchen is the hub for university students, where they can hang out together and also do their cooking, With this being said it is a shared space and dependent on the number of people you are living with it can be a cramped space, so buying for the kitchen can be tricky.

My advice is not to buy expensive crockery sets. It’s highly likely that things will get broken over the next three years, so look for basics brands. Supermarkets do great deals – Tesco have a basic range where dinner plates are £1 and Asda sells decent bowls for £1.50. Mugs can be purchased from Home Bargains for as little as 35p.

Shopping around may be more time consuming but saves you/your child money! And it’s not a huge loss if they get chipped or worse (which they inevitably will).

We would also recommend bringing your own pack of kitchen towels for drying up as towels seem to disappear all of the time. A few pans, a couple of wooden spoons and possibly a glass dish to produce a variety of pasta bakes, is usually a great place to start.

If you’re worried about your child eating at university, I’d recommend purchasing a box of supplies of easy to cook foods such as rice and pasta and tinned tinned tuna and baked beans.    

For the Bathroom:

The bathroom is one of the easiest rooms to buy for as the items are cheap and easy to source. The simple everyday toiletries like toothpaste, deodorant and shampoo can be purchased from anywhere (if you happen to forget any of these, the uni shop will have these stocked.) Other items such as towels and a bath mat are also required.  It’s best to have a couple of each type of towel – to save your child having to do washing every couple of days.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our post and now feel somewhat wiser in helping your child pack for their big move in September. 


- 7 Recipes to Teach Your Child Before They Go to Uni

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