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Your university survival kit

24 July 2018

Students and parents share their pearls of wisdom to help you be properly prepared when you head off to university. 

From students to students

1. “Take a wash bag to stash all your toiletries in – I left my shampoo and stuff in the communal bathroom in the first year and most of it disappeared.”

2. “A double duvet is a must – even if you’re alone in a single bed, you can wrap it round yourself to keep warm.”  

3. “Most places don’t let you stick anything on the walls, so I took a pinboard to display all my favourite postcards and photos.”

4. “I bought a great big pillow for my bed so I could sit up and read in bed – all my friends were envious!”

5. “Use brightly-coloured washi tape to stick pics to the walls; it’s cheap, easy to use, doesn’t mark the walls and looks great."

6. “My favourite thing I took to uni was this wall storage. You can clip all sorts of accessories to it to personalise your room and help you stay organised.”

7. “The blanket I took was brilliant for using instead of a duvet in our boiling hot halls and for keeping me warm in our freezing house in the second year.”  

8. “I felt a bit uncool taking my teapot to uni but it really helped me get to know people – whenever they stopped by, I’d make them a cuppa.” 

9. “Most halls have a laundry room but don’t pump your cash into the automatic driers; instead save money (and energy) by hanging your clothes on a drying rack.”

10. “It’s a tiny thing but a door stop means you can prop your halls room door open to encourage people to come in. And also jam it shut to block them out when you’re working.”

From parents to parents

1. “Get your child to check with the university or landlord before you arrive, to see what’s provided and what you need to buy.”

2. “Space is always an issue at uni, so students should only take autumn and winter clothes. They can pick up summer clothes next year when the weather begins to warm up.”

3. “It’s probably not best to buy white bedding as it’s likely to be thrown into the wash with all sorts of colours (or not get washed at all!)”

4. “Opt for sturdy tumblers – the multitasking glass is good for wine, spirits and, occasionally, water and less likely to get broken during those impromptu room parties.”

5. “Student rooms never have enough storage so buy storage boxes to put clothes/shoes/papers in. You can also use them to move from halls to student house – or back home over the summer.”

6. “A washable quilt. Things get spilled. And a mattress protector works both ways!”

7. “Don’t spend too much on anything, just buy the basics. Chances are what you buy will get broken, lost or disappear and you’ll have to replenish next year.”

8. “A laundry bin is a must – it’ll encourage them to deal with their own washing for the first time. No more magic washing pixies!”

9. “Plastic tubs will encourage them to make food (or even keeping leftover takeaways) rather than buying all the time.”

10. “Encourage them to cull before they go. My son took all his games and games console and then didn’t have time to play them.”

Uni essentials


IKEA GRUSBLAD duvet, 12 TOG A good choice if you need extra warmth while sleeping.

Duvet, 12 TOG



More options available




IKEA SKÅDIS pegboard combination




IKEA FROST drying rack, in/outdoor Simple to fold up and put away.


IKEA SNAJDA laundry bag


IKEA PROVINSROS quilt cover and 2 pillowcases

Quilt cover and 2 pillowcases


200 x 200/50 x 80 cm

More options available


IKEA TJENA storage box with lid