Green Leaves Tree Near Red and Gray Concrete Structure during Daytime

Many university students find that living in residence is a great way to dip their toes into the waters of independence. Some schools offer first-year students priority, often guaranteed, spots in the student residence. This helps them acclimatize to the next stage of their lives with notable benefits, including meal plan offerings, onsite access to the school campus, library, and book store, and more opportunities to make friends. 

University students in residence have access to their own private (or shared) room, a shared bathroom (including toilet, sink, bath/shower), a shared kitchen, laundry facilities, and free access to Wi-fi. 

While the residences provide much of what you’ll need to study and thrive, this packing list will help you avoid purchasing new items unnecessarily, focus on your studies, make friends, and assimilate to post-secondary life instead of focusing on international moving

What Not to Bring

University residences often have strict rules on what can and cannot be brought in from the outside. Common prohibited items can include candles, incense, wireless routers or extenders, heaters and heat lamps, air conditioners, mattresses, personal furniture, pets, weapons, and any illegal substances. Again, check with your local student housing authorities to find out the specifics from your school, especially if you are considering shipping from Canada to Australia or to any other country for your studies.

What To Pack For Traditional Dorm Rooms

Stationery Supplies

  • Pens and pencils 
  • Lined paper, notepads, and printer paper 
  • Highlighters 
  • Stapler/staples, scissors, ruler, pencil sharpener, liquid paper, three-hole punch, paperclips pushpins 
  • Tape 
  • Post-it-notes 
  • Personal organizer/calendar 
  • University Textbooks and Readers (as required by the specific program) 
  • Backpack or computer bag


  • Driver’s Licence/ Passport 
  • Health Card 
  • Student Card & Meal Plan Card 
  • Student documentation (including acceptance letters, scholarship information, and student loan paperwork) 
  • Bank card and credit cards 
  • Contents insurance 
  • Vaccination passports (if applicable)


Whether it’s a bus pass, bike (with a small mechanics kit, helmet, and lock), a car (with a parking space, and parking pass) or two feet and a heart-beat you’ll need to have a plan for how you’ll get around campus while you matriculate.


  • Duvet/comforter, and duvet cover (usually for a twin bed) 
  • Pillows 
  • Spare blanket 
  • 2 sets of sheets (usually for a twin bed) 
  • Laundry bag(s) to take to the Laundromat (laundry soap, dryer sheets and/or dryer balls) 
  • Garbage can 
  • Clothes hangers 
  • Earplugs (for loud roommates, use at the library, and more) 
  • Sleep mask (also helpful for when you need to sleep during the day following cramming for an exam or when your roommate is studying while you’re trying to rest) 
  • Under the bed storage solutions (should your dorm have space to use these, as many dorm beds provide about one foot of storage space you can use)

Electronics & Appliances

  • Laptop & charger 
  • Cellphone & charger 
  • Alarm clock 
  • Reading Lamp/ book lamp (most universities will request that you ensure all lamps are not halogen) 
  • Fan 
  • Automatic shut-off kettle or coffee maker 
  • Power Bar and Surge protector 
  • Headphones 
  • 1-3 USB memory sticks 
  • Compact desk printer, manual, ink, cables, and printer paper 
  • Mini fridge (if you think you’ll use it)
  • An electronic reader or tablet, if applicable (so you don’t have to carry around so many heavy textbooks)  
Macbook Pro


  • Pyjamas 
  • Casual clothes (t-shirts, jeans, hoodies, sweatshirts, jogging pants) 
  • Undergarments (including socks, underwear, bras/jockstrap) 
  • Dressing gown/robe and slippers (particularly important for a communal living space) 
  • Seasonal outerwear (coat, jacket, hat, gloves, scarf, boots for all seasons) 
  • Raincoat, boots, umbrella 
  • Exercises clothes and swimsuit 
  • Shoes (everyday casual, runners for working out, and fancy shoes) 
  • Interview ready outfit (for a part-time job, internships, family events etc.) 

One formal outfit

Stack of light beige towels on white stool


  • Shower Caddy or Bag (to take your items in and out of the bathroom) 
  • Toothpaste and Toothbrush, floss 
  • Soap/shower gel 
  • Shampoo and conditioner 
  • Deodorant 
  • Razor/ shaving cream 
  • Bath towels (3) 
  • Washcloths (5-7 to avoid doing laundry too often) 
  • Hairbrush, combs 
  • Tampons/sanitary towels, menstrual cups 
  • Flip Flops (for shared showers/bathrooms) 
  • Hairdryer, curling iron, straightener, etc.

Health And Safety

  • Medications and prescriptions 
  • Basic first aid kit (e.g., pain relief tablets, plasters, cold and flu medication, allergy tablets, antibacterial lotion or spray, band-aids, etc.) 
  • Glasses, contact lens, saline, and prescriptions 
  • Heating pad/ hot water bottle 
  • Multivitamins 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Birth control/sexual health protection 
  • Face masks

Personal Décor Items

  • Posters and select knickknacks 
  • Photos 
  • Double-sided sticky mounts to hang items without damage 
  • Whiteboard with dry erase marker to hang on your door (for messages) 
  • Favourite board games and other games 
  • Musical Instrument (if applicable)
Jack of Diamonds on Playing Cards


  • Snacks and drinks 
  • Tea/coffee 
  • Cleaning supplies, garbage bags 
  • Reusable water bottle and travel mug 
  • Simple essential personal dishes (bowl, coffee mug, water glass, basic cutlery, and dishpan & soap for dishes or handwashing clothes) 
  • Weekend away bag (for when you go home) 
  • Sewing kit for repairs 
  • A small emergency stash of cash 
  • Deck of cards 
  • Matches or a lighter 
  • Padlock/combination lock 
  • Iron/Mini Ironing board

Residence Suites

Group of People Watching on Laptop

What might be included in my suite?

Connect with your school’s housing services to get a comprehensive listing of what is included in your suite, so you aren’t buying or packing needlessly. Many suites will include common area couches, tables, chairs, plungers, shower curtains, a mop and a bucket, broom and dustpan, vacuum, recycling bins, and toilet brush. 

Most residence suites are shared spaces with several other students which can make for a great experience, for example, if you are moving from Canada to France; and it’s a great way to get familiar with a different language. This means you’ll need a few additional items for your shared space but will also need to coordinate with one another to ensure you don’t end up with three televisions but no can openers. 

Here are some items you may need/want to stock your shared space:


  • Pots and pans 
  • Cooking sheets 
  • Mixing bowls 
  • Bowls (since many students eat a great deal of ramen, cereals, soups, and pastas, you may want to make sure that you have extra bowls to go around)  
  • Dishes and silverware ((including some good knives for chopping & cutting) 
  • Glasses and mugs  
  • Can opener  
  • Knives, wooden spoons, ladle, flipper  
  • Cutting board  
  • Measuring cups and spoons  
  • Strainer  
  • Plastic containers with lids  
  • Blender 
  • Dish rack, dish soap, dish towels, sponges/cloths  
  • Microwave 
  • Coffee maker 
  • Kettle 
  • Toaster 
  • Oven mitts 
  • Tin Foil/ Cling Wrap/ reusable baking liners

Living area

  • Television  
  • Projector & screen 
  • Posters & other common area decorations  
  • Gaming system  
  • Streaming box


  • Trash bags, garbage can 
  • Toilet Paper 

Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Your International Moving Expert

We have over a decade of experience moving customers around the world. Some of our customers like us so much, they’ve used us more than once. Why did they come back to Orbit? Our customer service is what sets us apart – customer service representatives answer every question, no matter how small, and our moving crew shows up on time with all the materials they need to get the job done, the first time, correctly.

To learn more about Orbit, contact us at 416-661-4228.

logo sml