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Cornell University

What to Pack & What Not to Bring

What will be provided in your room/apartment: Visit Housing Amenities for details about furnishings, laundry facilities, Internet service, phone service, and other importation information.

What you should pack when you move to campus

It's a good idea to check with your roommate (if you have one), so you don't duplicate items. Some good items to make sure you have when you arrive to campus include:

  • sheets and bedding that fit an extra-long twin bed, sized 8" thick by 36" wide by 80" long
  • a pillow and towels
  • personal care items
  • clothing for New York summer and early fall weather
  • your computer
  • small office supplies

You should consider shipping other items that you might want to have on hand for the semester - either from home or from retailers:

  • a container to carry toiletries back and forth to the bathroom, a bathrobe, and flip-flops to wear in the shower
  • stackable storage crates, organizers that fit under a bed, and clothes hangers
  • office supplies, including a UL-approved outlet strip with breaker switch (extension cords are prohibited)
  • an alarm clock and a fan (most buildings are not air-conditioned)
  • a minifridge that draws no more than 7.3 amps [840 watts] to start and 1.4 amps [160 watts] while running. Students may not bring microfridges (microwave-refrigerator combinations), but microfridges may be rented and placed in your room. Microfridges may be ordered from My MicroFridge. Order beforehand to have the unit placed in your room before you arrive.
  • a bike! Most buildings on campus have designated bicycle racks or storage areas (please keep in mind that some racks are outside, and remember to bring a lock and helmet); you must register your bike with Transportation Services when you get to campus

Order Room Essentials from DormCo

The Cornell Store and Cornell Housing & Residential Life are collaborating with DormCo to provide a convenient solution for ordering room essentials. DormCo offers high-quality bedding and over 5,000 budget-friendly products to help make your room or apartment one of a kind. On-campus students: let us do the heavy lifting! Order by Friday, August 2, 2024 and we’ll put your order in your room before you arrive! View details and order.

Dump and Run

Dump and Run is an annual sale where students can purchase gently used items that were donated by outgoing students the year before. Items include a wide range or clothing and linens as well as useful items like shelving, storage containers, lamps, fans, sporting equipment, and so much more! Check out the Dump and Run page to learn more!

Insurance

One more thing to consider: All students should think about insurance coverage for their personal property. You will want to make certain that your cell phone, laptop, clothing, and other personal property items are covered for incidents that result in damage or loss of your belongings. If you are not currently covered under a policy with your family, consider Cornell University's preferred personal property insurance provider, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. Participation in this plan is optional, but strongly encouraged. Find out more here.

What NOT to bring or ship

There are several items that you are not permitted to have in your room (please also refer to the Community Living Standards and your Housing License Terms and Conditions):

  • self-balancing scooters, commonly known as hover boards (for fire safety reasons related to the battery)
  • e-bikes, e-scooters, and e-skateboards are allowed on campus, but they are not allowed in student rooms or anywhere in the residential buildings other than the bike rooms. They must be stored and charged in the bike rooms. First-year students are provided a bus pass to help them get around on campus and off.
  • extension cords and multiplug adapters
  • "spider" lamps, and any lamp (particularly a halogen lamp) that requires a bulb greater than 150 watts. LED lights are permitted.
  • mall kitchen appliances are not allowed — for example, appliances with exposed immersion coils, traditional coffee pots, toasters/toaster ovens, rice cookers, hot pots, slow cookers, air fryers
  • freestanding microwave ovens (except in the Townhouse apartments, where microwaves are permitted)
  • a minifridge that draws more than 7.3 amps (800 watts) to start and 1.4 amps while running
  • a microfridge (microwave-refrigerator combination). See above. They may be rented from My MicroFridge.
  • large appliances — portable washing machines, dish washers, full-size refrigerators
  • candles, candle/wax warmers, and incense burners
  • air conditioning units of any kind
  • pets, except for fish in a 10 gallon or smaller tank
  • emotional support animals (ESAs) must be approved by Student Disability Services before they are brought to campus
  • weapons and firearms (these must be registered and kept with Cornell University Police)
  • a desk lamp, cinder blocks, and extra furniture, for space reasons and to avoid duplication with items that will already be provided in your room

Please be aware that any rental from Big Red Beds is not an approved piece of furniture and you will be required to remove it. 

Shopping in Ithaca

Many families, particularly those traveling from a distance or flying, wait until they get to Ithaca before buying items like bedding, towels, organizational units, school supplies, and toiletries. Many items can be bought at The Cornell Store; others can be found at the nearby mall or in stores in downtown Ithaca.

Bringing a car to campus

We strongly discourage new students from bringing their cars. Traffic and parking are restricted on campus; mostly you'll be walking or using public transit. If you do plan to bring a car, you must register it with Transportation Services and pay a parking fee.