Win everything but the kitchen sink!

British teens will head off to university with a staggering £712 worth of their parent’s valuables (which will never be given back), according to a new report

A new study of parents with children at university has revealed that, from laundry baskets, to toasted sandwich makers, TVs, and even beds and FRIDGES, the real cost of sending your child to university is often more than most parents bargained for.

To add to the escalating costs, a quarter of mums and dads will also be coerced into an obligatory trip to IKEA (or similar shop), shelling out an average of £650 on FURTHER items, to help get their offspring settled.

In terms of the home items taken by teens, bedding (56 percent) was the most common item, but parents also reported losing laptops (54 percent) all varieties of pots, pans and cooking items (46 percent) and even expensive televisions (40 percent).

And once they are gone, the chances of getting items back are slim, with 42 percent of parents saying they never expect to see any of their beloved possessions again.

The research, from leading student insurer, Endsleigh Insurance Services found while most of the stuff was sent willingly, 11 percent of kids just assumed they could take things, and a sneaky one in a hundred ran off with the goods after being told not to.

Headphones (42 percent), kettles (33 percent) and tablets (25 percent) also left the family home, while some parents even lost garden equipment (3 percent), entire shelving units (7 percent) and even blinds stripped from the windows (3 percent).

And the discussions can become fraught, with around one in five parents admitting to arguing about what their kids could take. And 13 percent of parents said they ended up rowing between themselves about what they would let their children take from the family home.

One in five parents only allowed their children to take what they needed, but seven percent said they took as much as they could when they headed off for Freshers’ week. A generous 11 percent bought their children entirely new items to help set them up for their new life at university.

Jeff Brinley, CEO at Endsleigh Insurance Services, said: “Heading off to university for the first time can be an exciting, yet daunting experience for students, but it seems the nation’s parents really are going the extra mile to ensure their children feel completely happy and settled in their new homes.

“From expensive gadgets such as iPads and widescreen televisions, to furniture, bedding, and even fridge freezers – it appears today’s Freshers are starting off their university experiences with quite an impressive array of valuables taken from their family homes.

“That’s why, with the new term on its way, we’re giving students the chance to literally win everything but the kitchen sink – the ultimate student package worth £2,000, to kit out their new accommodation, without having to take a thing from mum and dad!”


Of course, not all students will be grateful for the head start. In fact, the poll of 1,500 parents of freshers found exactly half of the youngsters were said to have shown their gratitude to the helpful start they were given.

Yet, however the kids reacted, over half of the parents polled said they were more than happy to spend the money.

And a massive 94 percent agreed it was their duty to prepare their child as best as possible before they leave home.

The research showed it can be tough to watch the kids fly the nest, with parents marking it seven out of ten in terms of heartbreak. Three in ten parents went as far to say it was one of the hardest things they have ever done.

And it won’t stop them worrying, with 48 percent of parents admitting they are anxious about what their kids are up to every single day.

A staggering 93 percent agree it is harder for kids moving into their first home, or student halls than it was in their day.

One in eight parents said that while seeing their kids go was sad, it gave them and their partner a chance to rekindle their relationship.

And deep down, parents are moved by their children’s achievements, with six in ten saying they are proud of the people they have become after heading off to university.

Regionally, Leicester parents made the biggest financial sacrifice for their kids, losing out on a massive £953 worth of items from the family home, nearly twice as much as Norwich (£499).

In response to the findings, Endsleigh is giving students the chance to win everything but the kitchen sink, with five ultimate university packages up for grabs, each worth £2,000. Prizes include iPads, H&M homeware, Paperchase stationery, Tesco vouchers and more. To enter, students simply need to visit by Sunday 13 October, explaining in 100 words why they deserve the prize. T&Cs apply.

The top 50 items most commonly taken by students

  1. Bedding                     56%
  2.  Laptop                       54%
  3.  Cups                         49%
  4.  Books                        49%
  5.  Cutlery                      47%
  6.  Pots and pans         46%
  7.  Plates                        44%
  8.  Headphones             42%
  9.  Television                 40%
  10.  Kettle                         33%
  11.  DVDs                        32%
  12.  Games console       31%
  13.  CDs                           30%
  14.  Tablet                        25%
  15.  Cushions                 24%
  16.  Laundry basket       24%
  17.  Table lamp               23%
  18.  Mirror                         22%
  19.  Toaster                      22%
  20.  Picture frames         17%
  21.  Jugs                          16%
  22.  DVD player              15%
  23.  Toastie maker          15%
  24.  Desktop computer   14%
  25.  Bed                            14%
  26.  Toiletry holders        14%
  27.  Microwave                14%
  28.  Bath matt                  14%
  29.  Desk chair                13%
  30.  Curtains                    12%
  31.  Bedside table           12%
  32.  Toothbrush holders  12%
  33.  Standard lamp         11%
  34.  Rugs                         11%
  35.  Desk                          11%
  36.  Plants                        10%
  37.  Drawers                    9%
  38.  Blender                     9%
  39.  Wardrobe                  8%
  40.  Lampshades            8%
  41.  Smartwatch              7%
  42.  Smoothie maker      7%
  43.  Shelves                    7%
  44.  Sofa                           5%
  45.  Armchair                   3%
  46.  Dining chairs           3%
  47.  Gardening equipment 3%
  48.  Living room units    3%
  49.  Dining table             3%
  50.  Blinds                        3%


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