So we are entering the second year of Nia being at uni. She’s no longer in Halls, but now in a house with 5 of her friends. Most halls actually do provide quite a lot of items so we’ve needed to buy some extra items that we didn’t have in the first year. One thing Nia and I both wanted to avoid with her going back to uni is the ‘we forgot’ message three days after she gets there. She’ll have enough to think about with her second-year studies without worrying about whether she packed the right phone charger, a decent kettle or enough forks for the never-ending bowls of pasta and noodles students enjoy.
Avoid the day 3 panic, have a list
So of course, calling on years of project management experience and my exceptional organisational talents, I devised a strategy that would ensure no ‘we forgot’ message a few days after packing Nia’s car. Ok, in simple terms then – we needed a list. And a thorough one at that.
Now, as a mum, there’s a natural tendency to, er perhaps, overdo it when your daughter is heading off for year two of the great higher ed adventure. We wanted to avoid a situation where Nia’s car would be packed with nice-to-haves while the essentials sat in boxes on the driveway.
So really, it’s two lists: must-haves and nice-to-haves. There are a few things to consider when
compiling the nice-to-have list. Will it fit in the car? If it’s a kitchen or household item for a share house, find out if someone else is bringing one. How big is the bedroom? How big is the wardrobe or hanging space? Four winter jackets (as much as your daughter or son loves them all) could take up a lot of space in a small wardrobe or shared hooks in the hallway. As much as Nia needed eight shot glasses when she lived at home for when her friends came around before going out on a Saturday night, how important are they now considering everything else?
Everyone’s essentials or must-have lists will vary. What Nia and I came up with included (and of
course you can copy and paste this if it helps. What we did, and it honestly worked a treat was to share a note on our phones and then did a virtual tick so we wouldn’t double up) this also meant the list could evolve. Nia spent a lot of time watching some great YouTube vlogs that covered what you should and shouldn’t bring. Some people do get home sick, so its actually good (if possible) to source a few of these items from around your own home so things seem familiar.
– Bath towels
– Duvet / quilt
– Bed covers
– Mattress protector (or a mattress topper depending on how good the mattress is)
– Clothes horse / dryer
– Laundry basket (one for room and one for transporting clothes)
– Big bags – Those bags you get from the big sports shops with Velcro handles are very useful
– Pot for kitchen utensils
– Blanket (big enough to cover bed and use when sitting on a couch)
– Plates and bowls
– Cutlery – knives, forks, spoons
– Mugs ( lots of these we got in green, so making it easier to differentiate between her other house mates)
– Two sharp knives
– Chopping board
– Baking tray
– Peeler / grater
– Sieve / colander
– Frying pan
– Wooden spoon
– Tea towels
– Plugs, extension cables and chargers
And space permitting, nice to haves :
– Clothes rail
– Storage boxes
– Small bookcase
– Toiletries box or bag
– Overnight / weekend bag
– Make up if applicable
– Hairbrush if applicable
– Hair dryer if applicable
Other things to consider
Space permitting, take enough clothes to get through around a couple of weeks days without having to do a wash. If your daughter or son is in a shared house, can they save money by using one student Amazon account? Find out which supermarkets are near them and recommend accordingly. Just because they grew up with certain brands in the fridge doesn’t mean you can’t recommend somewhere a bit more price appropriate for the student budget.
And try not to worry…
We all do. But most parents are just a phone call or message away from their student children.
Things will get forgotten or overlooked and 99% of the time it won’t end in disaster – it will be
another useful learning experience in one of life’s great adventures.