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11 Things You Need for Residence Living

If you applied for housing and recently got in—congratulations! You skipped the stress of finding a reasonably priced place close to campus with roommates that you can stand to be around. If you’re moving out of your parents’ place for the first time, living on-campus is a stepping stone into adulthood. If not, it’s still a great way to focus on your academic progression and meet new people.

Here are 11 things you’ll need for your new residence room:


This is the only area in the house that you and your roommates will most likely use at the same time. This can be fun, but it can also be irritating if you’re in a hurry or don’t like sharing space. Also, be mindful of what you bring, students only have two cupboards and a drawer each for all of their kitchen supplies.

1. Appliances

Before you bring in your own coffee machine, blender, or toaster, wait until you can talk with your roommates and split the costs. There’s no use in having twelve toasters and twelve blenders in the same kitchen. The three appliances mentioned above are the only ones recommended to bring by BCIT’s Housing Staff—usually, all other electronic appliances collect dust.

2. Dishes

One cup for yourself, one for a guest as an extra. This applies to all your standard kitchenware, including bowls, plates, mugs, and wine glasses (yes, you’re allowed to drink alcohol in the kitchen and bedrooms if you’re over 19). For other kitchen supplies, bring the basics: ladle, spatula, grater, can opener, and anything else you regularly use. Not used to cooking? Don’t overbuy, you’ll soon find out what you need.

3. Pots and Pans

One large pot and one large pan are perfect for meal prepping. Some people like having small ones, but they really just take up space—an egg cooks just as well in a large pan.

4. Dish Towels and Cleaning Supplies

Dish towels, dish soap, sponges, and laundry detergent are musts and can either be purchased before you arrive, or split between yourself and your housemates.


This is the most important part of the house. Make sure you communicate with your housemates when you need to use the bathroom—schedules might help. It would suck to be waiting for your turn at 7:45, when you have an 8 am class, and your roommate is still in the shower.

1. Shower Caddy/Pack

Since residences have communal showers, bring a shower caddy (weird toolbox for your soap, shampoo, and other miscellaneous bathroom needs) to carry all of your toiletries to and from your room.

TIP: If public showers gross you out, bring a pair of shower flip flops.

2. Towels

Unless you plan on doing laundry every few days, bring several towels.


A huger perk to living on-campus is that it will come furnished. Lucky for you, every piece of necessary bedroom furniture (bed, mattress, desk, desk lamp, dresser) will already be there. You will only need to worry about your other belongings and maintaining a clean bedroom.

1. Sheets and a Blanket

All residence beds are twin beds. Although it is recommended to have two pairs of sheets, as long as you are clean and regularly washing them, it should be fine. As much as I want to say to load up on big fuzzy blankets, sticking to one is best: you don’t have that much storage space.

2. Hangers

Typical residence dorms have closets but hangers and shoe racks are things you’ll have to pick up before settling in.

3. Mini Fridge

Sometimes there isn’t enough space in the fridge for everything you buy, other times you simply don’t want to walk all the way to the kitchen for a late-night RedBull pick-me-up. A mini-fridge is a bit expensive, but a valuable luxury.

4. Iron

Unless you prefer using your hairdryer or straightener as a makeshift iron, a clothes iron is recommended. Ironing your clothes will make you look fresh for job interviews, presentations, and the office. BCIT housing provides an ironing board—no need to worry about that.

TIP: If you don’t want to get an ironing board out each time, grab a travel-sized clothes steamer.

5. Laundry Basket/Bag

BCIT housing is coin laundry! Woohoo! (said no one, ever.) Bring a laundry basket or bag to carry all your stuff to the laundry room.


After these items are checked off your shopping list, it’s easier to get settled, personalize your space and transition into the school year.

Want to make your dorm room look like an Ikea showroom? Look for great décor suggestions and places to shop in our upcoming September issue of LINK.

Want to see more? Watch BCIT’s housing video tour here.