So you’ve got your very own place for the first time. Problem is, it’s the size of a broom closet and there is a stranger living two feet from y our side of the room. How can you make your new digs feel like home? Read on….

First thing’s first, remember that, if you’re going to live in res, don’t—DO NOT—bring too much stuff! One of the biggest challenges of living in this kind of space is trying not to piss off your roommate. The rooms tend to be really, really small so the less stuff you have the better. Here are the essentials:

BAR FRIDGE It’s not for what you might think. This is something you can usually buy or rent during frosh week for approximately $100. It’s great for keeping fruit, midnight snacks, or whatever.
HOT POT If your residence will allow one of these babies, you’re in luck. A hot pot is great for heating up water for coffee or cocoa. Get the kind with a removable lid and you will also be able to make pasta, heat up soup, etc.
SNACK MASTER Also referred to as a sandwich maker. Get one of these and you are guaranteed to be popular. They make the best-grilled cheese sandwiches and a bunch of other res room delicacies.
GEORGE FOREMAN GRILL Again, check with your residence to make sure it’s allowed in the rooms. This is a great item to have if you want to be able to make your own burgers late at night. They taste great and are low fat!
POSTERS, PICTURES, FLAGS, ETC. The most space that you’ll have in your room for expressing yourself is the walls… so go crazy! Usually during frosh week/orientation there is a big poster sale where you can get a lot of wall space bang for your buck. Also, this is a great place to put pics of loved ones and the family dog—in case you get homesick.
PILLOWS AND SHEETS You may or may not be provided with standard issue bedding in res. Either way, you don’t want to feel like you’ve just entered prison instead of dorm, so bring your own comfy cozy stuff.
COMPUTER AND COMPUTER CHAIR If you have a computer you will definitely want to bring it with you. If you were thinking of upgrading to that shiny new laptop, however, you may want to reconsider until after you’ve moved out of residence: although the security is generally pretty good in most dorms, many students leave their doors open or unlocked as they visit from room to room or floor to floor. And desktop computers are harder to throw into a knapsack. You might also want to bring a proper chair for late night essay-writing. You are provided with a desk and chair, but do your back a favour and bring a comfy chair if you can afford one.
TRINKETS, BAUBLES, AND OTHER NEAT STUFF Bring whatever else makes you feel happy and look cool. Remember your side of the room should reflect your personality and should be welcoming to others. If you have stuff that you think you might like to bring but are worried about space and how your new roomie will feel about it, bring it back to res after your first holiday at home, such as Thanksgiving or Rosh Hashanna.