What to Bring

Students on move-in day

While the first-year dorms offer many amenities, there are a few items all students are likely to need as well as some you should leave at home. Decisions about what to bring with you are complicated by the fact that all dorm rooms are small, and you will not know in advance the configuration of your assigned space. Floor plans and room dimensions are not provided to students. Once you have your housing assignment in August, check with your roommates to strategize and avoid bringing duplicate items. It's also easy to purchase items once you're on campus, either ordering online or shopping at one of the retail stores nearby.


Each student is provided with several pieces of furniture in the dorms:

  • Twin x-long bed and mattress (38" x 80")
  • Dresser
  • Wardrobe or closet
  • Desk and desk chair
  • Bookcase
  • Floor Lamp

Your suite will also contain recycling and compost bins, however trash bins are not provided. See guidelines for recycling and composting on the Office for Sustainability's website.

Items to Pack

When packing for your move, err on the side of bringing less. We recommend you bring:

  • Clothes for winter and spring weather
  • Active wear to take advantage of the outdoor spaces
  • Towels
  • Bed linens (pillow, mattress pad, sheets, blanket/comforter)
  • Mobile phone
  • Computer
  • Laundry hamper/basket and detergent
  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Trash can
  • School supplies
  • Surge protector/power strip
  • Desk lamp
  • Non-damaging, temporary adhesive for posters, pictures, and wall art

Prohibited Items

The following items are not permitted:

  • Pets
  • Candles or incense
  • Halogen lights
  • Fire arms or weapons
  • Space heaters
  • Cooking appliances with heating elements, such as toaster ovens, air fryers, hot plates, griddles, rice cookers, tea ketttles, coffee makers, or crock pots
  • Microwave ovens, except for the combination micro-fridges available for rent through HSA Dorm Essentials
  • Exercise equipment
  • Dart boards
  • Hoverboards
  • Cleaners containing ammonia or chlorine
  • Pest control products
  • Natural-cut Christmas trees

View fire safety guidelines for more information.

Renting Items through Harvard Student Agencies

HSA Dorm Essentials rents fans, refrigerators, safes, and water coolers. The College permits the use of a combination microwave/refrigerator that is available for rent. No other type of microwave oven is allowed in the dorms. MicroFridges are academic year rentals, and if ordered by early August, will be in your dorm room when you arrive in August.

HSA Dorm Essentials is a business within Harvard Student Agencies (HSA), a student run company and non-profit that provides educational and business opportunities to students. HSA also offers laundry delivery and dry cleaning service through HSA Cleaners.

"Harvard" or "Harvard University" does not endorse these external products or services. 

Used Items from Harvard Habitat for Humanity

Each September, Harvard Habitat for Humanity sells furnishings and office supplies left behind by students the previous year. Watch for information on their Facebook page. Buying used items will save you money, and keep usable items out of landfills.

In the spring, you can donate items in good condition to Harvard Habitat if you're not able to take them home with you.

"Harvard" or "Harvard University" does not endorse these external products or services.