Moving to Ottawa for University this year? We have some tips for you!

Monday, August 29, 2016




As much as it pains me to say it, summer is finally coming to an end with the start of school right around the corner.  For many people including myself, this means moving time. For those of you not familiar with moving time, it can be defined as: That last minute scramble trying to figure what you have, what you don’t and how you’re going to fit it into a tiny SUV to transport it to your new home.  It’s a stressful and exciting time all at once but we at the Free Store have a few suggestions to make your experience a little less daunting.


  1. Understand your living arrangements.
    I know it may sound obvious but think carefully about where you’re living and with whom. If you’re living in a traditional residence such as Thompson, Stanton or Marchand you probably won’t need any kitchen supplies as you’ll be spending a lot of your time in the dining hall especially during the first few weeks. Even if you’re an avid baker and want to show off your culinary prowess you probably won’t have much time for it until later in the semester once you’re settled. However, you will have tonnes of time to check out the Free Store (located at 647 King Edward) where you will likely find all the supplies you will need to become the next MasterChef.

    Also think about the people you will be living with.  If you’re living with roommates in Brooks, Hyman Soloway or in off-campus housing, it doesn’t make much sense for you and all three of your roommates to each bring a microwave.  Be sure to discuss through with your roommates what each person plans on bringing to avoid duplicate items taking up extra room in your cupboards that could be better used storing Kraft dinner.  If you do discover there are some items no one already has on hand, before you head out to Walmart take a quick look through the Free Store. You will probably be pleasantly surprised by what all you can find there from kitchen items, to bedding and towels to even home décor items.
  2. Trust me you won’t need as many school supplies as you think.One of the most common problems students face is thinking they need the same amount of stationary items as they used in high school. For many students who have one, your life= your laptop, which you will use for taking notes in class, studying in the library and watching YouTube videos when you know you should be writing that paper.  If you suspect you may be one of these people don’t worry about bringing ten different notebooks for each class, you won’t need them.  If you do end up realizing later on that you study better off paper, we have notebooks, binders, pens and pencils always in abundance at the Free Store.  Also if you don’t think you’ll be doing that much printing, skip buying the stapler and printer and just use those at the library. Printing with a student card costs less than 10 cents a page and there is a communal stapler and hole punch located near the service desk.
  3. Avoid using cardboard boxes when you can.
    If there is one thing I will encourage you to buy it’s durable plastic storage containers like those you can find at most stores like Canadian Tire or Walmart. Trust me, these are going to be life savers! Not only are they larger and more durable than cardboard boxes, but they can last for years! They’re great for storing your summer clothes during Ottawa’s frigid winters, organizing you’re closet and they’ll come in handy the next time you decide to move.
  4. Meet your neighbours.
    One of the great things about going to the University of Ottawa, especially if you’re living in residence or in Sandy Hill is making awesome connections with other students living around you. Not only may these people prove to be lifelong friends but they can sometimes help you out when you’re in a jam; especially when there are items that you need for a specific day or occasion that you may only need to use once. This is where neighbours can help! Don’t have cards but need them for games night? Ask next door! Forgot a muffin tin but are really craving some homemade baked goods? Check with your neighbours! You’d be surprised how friendly and willing people will be to share especially if you offer to give them food in return.

  5. Free Store! Free Store! Free Store!
    Oh yeah did I mention we have a FREE STORE, where you guessed it everything is FREE to students. Be sure to come check us out for all your clothing and household good needs! 

 ~ lauren - free store coordinator

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