What to Bring to Residence

Posted by Lauren Dick on August 9, 2018

Get In The Know | New to YU | On-board to York

Your York University residence move-in date is right around the corner, so it’s time to start packing! Each residence room comes equipped by York U’s Housing Services with a twin bed, desk, desk light, chest of drawers, closet and garbage pail, and after that it’s up to you to personalize your room on September 1. I have now lived in York U’s Keele Campus residences for three years, and it is time for me to share my time-earned tips and tricks for deciding what to bring to residence!

Pictures of three friends in a residence room.
Read the #YUBlog’s post, “Residence: What You Should Know,” to learn more information about the residence life experience.

The Difference Between Needs and Wants

One of the first things we need to tackle before we can decide what to bring to campus is the difference between needs and wants. For example, you may want to bring your entire wardrobe, but you only need to bring the essentials. The following lists will be divided between need-to-haves and nice-to-haves so that you can mix-and-match between the options and make a customized packing list!

Your Room Style

Your residence room style will help you pick out what you need to bring to residence. Generally, room styles are divided into two different categories (traditional rooms and suite-style rooms) and further into two subcategories (single room or double room).

Traditional Rooms

A traditional room is either a single or double room where you share the common room and washroom with the entire floor. If you are living in a traditional room, you must purchase a York U meal plan.

Your traditional room style might influence what to bring to residence, because if you are living in a traditional room, you aren’t likely to need much, if any, cookware to use in your common room’s kitchenette since you have a meal plan.

Suite-Style Rooms

Suite-style rooms offer either a single or double room where you share a common room, a bathroom and a full kitchen with a select few (in sets of either 2, 4, 6 or 12 suitemates).

If you are living in a suite, you may decide to bring along some pots and pans to use in your full kitchen in addition to using your meal plan.

Single Room or Double Room

Regardless of whether you are in a traditional or suite-style room, your packing list may also be influenced on whether or not you will be sharing your room. If you are living in a single room, you will have more space for your stuff compared to living in a double room where both you and your roommate will be bringing belongings into your joint residence room.

Please note that only incoming students with a minimum 90% average who applied by June 1 and requested a single space are guaranteed a single room. The rest will be offered pending availability. If you have any additional questions, please consult the Housing Services’ Future Students FAQ.

Each building has its own unique floorplans (as seen with the Bethune, Stong and Vanier residences), so be sure to check out your Keele Campus residence’s floorplans and Glendon Campus residence’s floorplans!

What Should I Bring to Residence?

The next thing you need to keep in mind when packing for residence is the different areas of your room. For instance, the packing list for your bedroom is different than it is for your washroom. Keep in mind that the following list is a generic checklist for any resident – feel free to change the checklist to match your tastes or preferences!


  • Twin-sized Linens
  • Bar fridge (really useful!)
    • Fitted Sheet
  • Extension cords (really helpful!)
    • Bed sheet
  • Fan (great to cool off)
    • Pillow cases
  • Pictures/posters/etc.*
    • Duvet/blanket/etc.
  • Over-the-door coat hanger
  • Pillows (amount depends on preference)
  • Drying rack for your laundry
  • Clothes hangers (amount depends on clothing selection)
  • Small mat for your shoes (nice in the winter)
  • Laundry basket, laundry detergent etc.*
  • Under-bed storage totes under 12” tall (ones with wheels are preferable)
  • Clock (you can tell the time and set an alarm on your phone, but a clock is more reliable)
  • Any knick-knacks that make it feel like home
*There is a designated laundry area (washing machines and dryers) in each of the residence buildings. These laundry facilities are accessible using your YU card and require a small service charge. *Keep in mind that you are not permitted to damage the walls of the room, so sticky tack and tape are your best options to hold up pictures, posters and more!
Picture of a Glendon residence room.
Personalizing your room helps you make a home away from home.


  • Generic Hygiene*
  • Mouth wash, dental floss etc.
    • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Face wash
    • Hairbrush
  • Hair dryer/hair straightener/etc.
    • Shampoo (& conditioner)
  • Loofa
    • Body wash/soap
  • Shower cap
    • Face/hand/body towel
  • Razor &/or shaving cream
    • Items specific to your personal beauty/hygiene routine (face cream etc.)
*Keep in mind that York U’s Keele Campus offers a variety of places to purchase any personal hygiene products that you may need, including a Shoppers Drug Mart in York Lanes!

Kitchen (mainly for suite-style rooms)

  • Pots and pans (amount depends on cooking preferences)
  • Drying rack for your dishes (a towel works in a pinch!)
  • Cutlery (approx. four of each)
  • Cheese grater
  • Cooking utensils (wooden spoon, spatula etc.)
  • Bag clips
  • Cutting board & cutting knives
  • Any preferred cooking utensils etc.
  • Mixing bowl (one)
  • Plastic food containers (amount depends on cooking habits)
  • Plates (approx. four)
  • Sandwich/freezer bags (amount depends on cooking habits)
  • Bowls (approx. two)
  • Cups/travel mug
  • Dish soap, dishrag, scratch pad etc.


Clothes are a more personal choice, but as a general guideline:
  • Seasonally-appropriate clothing (raincoat, winter jacket, summer clothing versus winter clothing, etc.)
  • Slip-on shoes to walk around your suite/dorm floor
  • Seasonally-appropriate footwear
  • Bathrobe (for walking to-and-from the shower)
  • Lecture-appropriate clothing (some lecture halls can get a little chilly!)
  • Umbrella & rain boots
If you plan on going home every so often, consider tailoring your residence wardrobe to match the seasons (bringing back a heavier coat when you go home for the mid-Fall holidays etc.).


Picture of a residence wardrobe.
Storage space is limited, so be aware of how many clothes you are bringing.

Personal Effects

  • YU Card (necessary for exams)
  • Earplugs
  • A form of identification (driver’s license, health card etc.)
  • York U acceptance package (this information package is full of information and resources!)
If applicable:
  • Any medical supplies*
*York U’s Keele Campus houses a York Lanes Dental Clinic, an Appletree Medical Centre and a Shoppers Drug Mart and more prepared to help you with any medical needs, all in York Lanes!


School Supplies

  • Electronics
  • Calendar to go on your wall (to keep track of assignments etc.)
    • Computer/iPad/tablet/etc.
    • Charger cable(s)
    • Headphones (in case of online lectures etc.)
    • Printer, ink, printer paper etc.
  • Studying supplies*
    • Paper, pens, pencils, highlighters etc.
*Studying supplies may go into the “Nice-to-Have” category depending on individual study habits (if you prefer digital or paper studying methods etc.). If you run out of studying supplies, the York University Bookstore is here to help!


Photograph of someone writing in a bullet journal.
Each person has their own studying habits – be sure to bring the proper materials to help you succeed!

Keep in mind that each residence building is unique, so while you may be able to bring a kettle into one residence, another residence may not allow it. Larger appliances like hot plates, microwaves etc. are also sometimes restricted – consult the Undergraduate Residence Occupancy Agreement to determine your boundaries.

I hope this guide is a great starting-off point to help guide you on what to bring to residence.

Welcome to York U!

If you have any questions, please ask in the comments below or tweet us at @YorkUStudents.

Lauren Dick
Lauren Dick

Lauren Dick graduated in Spring 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Professional Writing and a Professional Certificate in Marketing. She loves to curl up with a good story and a warm cup of tea (only English Breakfast, mind you), and she hopes her blog posts will continue to encourage current and incoming students to learn more about York U and its community.

See other posts by Lauren Dick

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