Yes. Pack light and pack smart! When packing, mix heavier items such as textbooks and laundry detergent with lighter items like bedding and clothes. Due to the pandemic, we do not have volunteers available to assist with moving in. Furthermore, only a few of the residence halls have elevators and we cannot provide moving apparatus such as hand carts and dollies. Be critical about what you are bringing, and practice carrying boxes and bins up and down stairs and hallways to ensure you can transport them.

Yes. While not exhaustive, this is our list of “essentials, maybes, and leave it behind.” Students should pack light and smart.


  • Clothes and shoes (consider space-saving hangers)
  • Bedding and pillow (twin XL sheets, except for students in City Station South, City Station West, and Polytechnic, who will need full/double sheets. Consider purchasing from OCM because the sheets are shipped directly to Rensselaer and a portion of the cost goes to on-campus programming.)
  • Toiletries, hygiene products, and bath towels
  • Laundry: detergent, dryer sheets (if you use them), pop-up hamper
  • Desk lamp; a floor lamp is needed for Albright, Beman, Brinsmade, City Station South, City Station West, and Colvin as these bedrooms do not have overhead lights
  • Book bag, textbooks, and school supplies (consider shipping textbooks)
  • Headphones/earbuds with microphone (for online classes)
  • Power strip (must have grounding, overcurrent protection, and a visible reset)
  • Computer, ethernet cord, and electronics such as cell phone and charging cords
  • Thermometer and medication (prescription and over-the-counter)
  • Masks (we will provide more when you arrive), hand sanitizer, and tissues
  • Fan (some rooms will have AC; keep it small; you will not need it long)
  • Umbrella
  • Small garbage bin and trash bags


  • Refrigerator and microwave (some rooms may have one or both)
  • Food and coffee maker (If you don’t eat Ramen noodles and drink coffee now, you are not going to magically start; consider buying food after you eat in the dining halls a few times)
  • Dishes, cups, and utensils (at most bring one of each)
  • TV (with Coaxial cable), game consoles, and other electronics
  • Games, hobbies, and extra books
  • Decorations (keep it small to photos, etc.)

Leave It Behind

  • Printer (too big; there is one in every building and most papers will be submitted online)
  • Iron and ironing board (unless you are doing it now, you probably are not going to start)
  • Area rug (if you find you need one, consider purchasing or ordering one after arriving)
  • Organizational sets for your desk (you don’t need as many school supplies as you think and definitely don’t need organizers to hold them)
  • Perishable foods
  • Plastic clothes organizers (big, bulky, and remember you are not bringing a lot of items)
  • Athletic and sports equipment

Yes. Rensselaer asks that each student packs a “Two-Week Bag,” which is one to three boxes, pieces of luggage, bins, etc., that will allow you to live comfortably in an isolation room should you test positive for the COVID-19 virus. We suggest including many, but not all, items from our essentials packing list.

Items for your “Two-Week Bag”

  • Clothes and shoes for two weeks
  • Toiletries, hygiene products, and bath towel
  • Desk lamp
  • Textbooks and school supplies
  • Headphones/earbuds with microphone
  • Power strip
  • Computer, ethernet cord, and electronics such as cell phone and charging cords
  • Thermometer and medication (prescription and over-the counter)
  • Hand sanitizer and tissues
  • Small garbage bin and trash bags

Items on the essential packing list that are not necessary for your “Two-Week Bag:”

  • Laundry items (you should pack enough clothing for two weeks)
  • Floor lamp (room will have overhead lighting)
  • Book bag
  • Fan (room will have AC)
  • Umbrella
  • Cleaning items (disinfectants provided)

Yes. We ask that all students write the following information in permanent marker on cardboard boxes and on stickers/mailing labels that can adhere to luggage and bins.

[First and Last Name]
[Building and Room #]
[Cell Phone Number]

Note: For your “Two-Week Bag” write “Essential” above your first and last name.

OCM is a third-party bedding vendor that the Office of Student Living and Learning contracts with every year. Orders are sent via mail directly to Rensselaer. A portion of the cost goes directly to our Resident Student Association (RSA). RSA is a student organization committed to fostering community, facilitating campuswide programming, and advocating for students living on campus. 

At this time, Rensselaer is still working with the vendor and our Emergency Health and Safety team to determine if we can safely deliver these units to campus. Rensselaer has restricted the number of outside vendors due to health and safety concerns.

There will not be volunteers this year. De-densification and other social distance protocols made having move-in volunteers impossible. We strongly encourage students to pack light and pack smart this semester.

We do not provide any moving apparatus such as hand carts or dollies. Consider purchasing or renting this apparatus to assist you with your move. Barton, Blitman, City Station South, City Station West, and Polytechnic are the only halls that have elevators.

We are unable to provide assistance with moving items into your room this semester. Outside vendors, such as professional movers, are not allowed on campus to reduce the possibility of spreading COVID-19. If you experience an extenuating circumstance, please email Student Living and Learning at

Beyond considering the inherent issues (e.g., cost, possible delays) and benefits (e.g., freeing up important room in your luggage) with shipping, we would suggest that you do not mail any of the items in your “Two-Week Bag” other than textbooks. While mail will be delivered over the weekend, it will not be sorted and distributed until Monday; please do not mail anything that is essential (e.g., medication).

Your mail or packages should be addressed as follows and you can begin shipping items to Rensselaer immediately. 

Your Name
Your Residence Hall & Room Number
1999 Burdett Avenue
Troy, New York 12180

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