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One of my favourite things about students moving off campus for the first time is hearing about the items they think to bring and the items they don’t. I’ve heard of student households living for an entire semester without a single cooking pot, people who forget that toilet paper doesn’t magically appear when you’re on your own, and the other million small things that can easily be forgotten. This list won’t 100% prepare you and your student for their move off campus, however, it’s a good starting point for planning ahead!
- Furniture: who’s going to be responsible for furnishing the main areas of the house? Many students forget that off campus, they’re usually not only responsible for their own bedroom furniture but also couches, tables, chairs and whatever else they want
- Small appliances: While it’s pretty standard to have a refrigerator and oven provided, other appliances such as microwaves, coffee makers, and kettles are not usually included.
- Can opener: This seems to commonly get forgotten. Many students use canned foods as a backup when they have nothing else they want to eat. However, without a can opener, students’ options become pretty limited.
- Cleaning supplies: While the stereotypical student might not do a ton of cleaning, I can guarantee he/she will do less if cleaning supplies aren’t readily available. Having a few basics can go a long way and multitasking products are usually an asset. On a similar note, most houses don’t have vacuums included.
- Extra bedding: If your student is lucky enough to have a sofa bed, having an extra set of bedding is a huge plus. Also, having a spare set of sheets means that a student doesn’t have to wash and remake their bed all in one day.
- Snack food (particularly of the healthier type): One of my fondest memories of residence was being able to get food more or less 24/7. Unfortunately, when you live off campus, there aren’t usually vending machines readily available to satisfy your late night chocolate craving. Snack foods are especially important for students who might not be practiced grocery shoppers and could need something to fill them up.
While the above list gives you an idea of some of the random extras that students might need, you might not know that many items are needed until move in day. For example, is there a shower curtain, does your student’s room have a heavy enough window covering, are there appropriate garbage and recycling containers where needed in the house, are there mirrors up? Don’t expect your student to know if these items are necessary or not ahead of time, just because they were in the house when your student first saw it doesn’t mean that they’ll still be there.
Fortunately, even if you or your student forgets something that seems absolutely necessary, there are plenty of stores in Guelph where your student can pick up what they need. Either that, or drop off the forgotten item as an excuse to visit them if distance allows.
If you have any questions about your student preparing to move off campus, please let me know by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org!