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Starting your Apartment Life: A Packing List

Written by Tanaya on Friday, 31 July 2015. Posted in Student Life

Starting your Apartment Life: A Packing List

Coming to the Villas after dorm-style living was a lot more straightforward than I expected it to be.  The fully furnished apartment units, with laundry on site meant a shopping list much shorter than the alternative. The living rooms come with a couch, coffee and end tables, and a dining table with chairs, and best yet, a wide-screen TV! I would suggest bringing a floor lamp or lighting of some kind for the living room, as the lighting provided is enough only for the kitchen. Optionally, décor of any kind (throw pillows, rugs), and DVDs or any gaming systems would be the only other things to bring for your living room.

The kitchen comes with a microwave, stove top + oven, and refrigerator large enough for you and your housemates to share.  There is plenty of storage space, and my housemates and I were easily able to split it up for our various kitchen supplies. In addition to your choice of food stuffs, utensils and microwave-safe crockery is a must. Some things I ended up using a lot were my small non-stick pan, mixing bowl, baking sheet, and a good number of plastic “Tupperware” boxes. Sandwich bags, foil, and plastic wrap are also very useful for taking lunches to school or storing leftovers. Another useful tip: Things are always cheaper in bulk; consider buying food staples like milk, eggs, sugar, etc. in large quantities (Costco!) and then splitting with your housemates.  The one thing I forgot to bring and sorely missed was a hand towel for the kitchen, even two would come in handy.

The bedrooms, similarly, come furnished with XL twin-sized bed frame, mattress, chest of drawers, and desk with chair. For the bedroom, you would bring much of the same stuff you’d expect to bring for the dorms; bathroom caddy, desk lamp, bed sheets/comforter, storage bins, and personal décor. One thing to keep in mind is that now that you’ve got your own place, you’ve also got to keep it clean- so bring on the cleaning supplies! When I lived at Tropicana Villas, we had up a cleaning chart, with rotations for sweeping, ‘Swiffer-ing’, dusting, and vacuuming. You can never have enough paper towels or all-purpose cleaner, and my purchase of the Swiffer WetJet is one I will never regret. Some other easy to forget supplies are garbage bags and toilet paper. Trop does make it easy for you however; you can borrow a vacuum cleaner from the Tropicana Gardens front desk! As for laundry, all you have to bring is detergent and your favorite scented softener: the card-operated laundry room is on site, right down the hall. 

Well that’s it! Make sure you have all your essentials, consider adding on my suggestions above, and get ready to begin your apartment life! Remember than even if you do forget something, it’s not the end of the world, the closest shopping center is less than 10 minutes away. Here’s a useful list to make sure you have everything you need:




Sheets (extra-long twin)










Beach Towel

Toilet Paper

Personal Toiletries




Pots & Pans





Dish Soap




Alarm Clock



Bike lock


Non-halogen Study Lamp

Living Room Lamp


Laundry Hamper

Laundry Soap


About the Author



Tanaya is a pre-biology major at UCSB, from Mission Viejo, California. Her hobbies include painting, singing, playing guitar and Indian drums, and playing basketball. A random fact about Tanaya is that she lived in India for half of her life.


  • In addition to all the fun I had living at the Villas, something that I also think is important no matter where I live is customer service, and the relationship a tenant has with the property manager. Whenever I had a problem with anything, like the water not running right, or being locked out, there was always someone around or someone I could call to help me out, and they were always fast about it, which I really appreciated. Overall, living at the Villas was an awesome experience.

    - Annie J.

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  • We really had a welcoming, community feeling to our building which made it that much better to come back to every day after class or work. The Villas at Tropicana has really felt like a home to me and I can't wait to come back for another year.

    - Ashley J.

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  • I loved spending my senior year at UCSB in a nice apartment that was in Isla Vista but wasn't submersed in the party atmosphere.

    - Emeri K.

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