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What to invest in when living in temporary housing 

By Ava Zardynezhad, September 14 2022

Living away from home for the first time can be scary. There’s a lot of things you don’t know you’ll need until you’ve moved into an ant-infested apartment, with insects crawling in and out of your cereal box. Here’s a list of a few necessities that made my life easier.

Storage bins 

In a temporary living situation you’re going to end up having a lot of stuff without a place to put them. You might want to keep the box your appliances came in for the next time you move. You might have certain items in bulk without enough cupboard space to store them in — especially if you’re sharing your space with someone. You might also need more space to store your clothes and shoes. Storage bins are great, because they keep your stuff clean. You can stack them on top of each other, so they won’t take up too much space. They also make moving much easier, when the time comes. 


Containers are something you never think you’ll need until you move into student housing. Residence buildings are often old, so having insect problems isn’t uncommon. To keep your food uncontaminated, having lots of air-tight containers will come in handy. You can get a lot of reliable yet cheap selections at the dollar store. 

Tension rods

Certain rental spaces don’t come with curtains or shower caddies. Tension shower caddies and curtain rods are really useful for temporary spaces where you don’t want to damage the walls by drilling holes. You can find affordable options at most department or home hardware stores.  

Thumb tacks 

Student housing walls are paper thin and the paint peels off like tree barks in the spring. It’s a great idea to decorate your space, but using tape can be a gamble. Thumb tacks make a small hole and very minimal damage. 

Power strips and extension cords 

Outlets in a residence bedroom can be limited and depending on the size of your room and furniture, they can be made inaccessible. Having lots of power strips and extension cords is handy and can help you optimize your space without worrying about power outlets. 

Knowing what you’ll need takes a lot of personal experience, but I wouldn’t be anywhere if not for the advice of friends, acquaintances and neighbours who’d done it before me. Asking upper year students in your student housing building or neighbours and flatmates in your temporary housing situation will save you lots of time and help you avoid the mistakes that they made when they started living on their own. Best of luck on this huge step!

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