Retrieving Your Belongings


A related announcement on retrieving your belongings is available here.

Please note that Residents in Fraternity/Sorority Chapter Housing will receive a separate notification.

Return to Campus FAQ

  1. What if I can’t come to campus to get my items during this timeframe? 

    These timelines are necessary in order to help us practice social distancing and provide appropriate move-out assistance. Those who are not able to come to campus during the established time period are strongly encouraged to choose from the other options available to them. 

  2. Is it safe to travel to Philadelphia? 

    We recognize there are many factors to consider when deciding if the Return to Campus option is right for you. We recommend looking at the Philadelphia Department of Health’s website to get the most up-to-date information. If you do not want to travel to campus, we will store your belongings at no cost to you. If you are a graduate of the Class of 2020 or an exchange student, we will ship your belongings to you at no cost.

  3. I’m considering the Return to Campus option, but I’m concerned about packing and moving in 3 hours. What should I do? 

    We encourage residents to come prepared to pack as efficiently as possible. To help with that, students will not need to move bulk items out of their rooms that they are intending to leave behind. Students will also have two carts assigned to them, and with minimal folks allowed in the residential buildings at a time, we anticipate easier access in and out of building. There will also be staff available to assist you.

  4. Will there be an opportunity to donate items that I don’t want or can’t ship or store? 

    There will be limited PennMOVES drop-off locations available near Hill (serving Hill, Lauder, Sansom, and KCECH), the Quad, and Hamilton Village. Items will be donated to Goodwill of Greater Philadelphia.

  5. I can’t come to campus. Can I have a family member or friend come to campus to pack and move my belongings? 

    Only the resident of the room and one guest can come to campus, enter your room, and pack and move. You can coordinate with the moving company to provide access to family and friends to pick up your belongings once they are at the storage facility.

  6. I missed the Tuesday deadline, can I change the default? [internal] 

    Please email so we can discuss the different options with you. Please put in the subject line: Missed Move Out Deadline. 

Storing and Shipping Items

  1. I really want my items shipped to me rather than stored. Why can’t Penn use the money they are paying for storing my items to simply ship them to me?

    •    We understand that many of our residents would like to have their items shipped to their summer location. Unfortunately, given the significant cost of the process, the University has decided that shipping items to our residents who will return to campus is not an option. Instead, we have directed resources to storing items to make it easier for students to return to campus.

  2. Can I have some items stored and some items shipped?

    The University will not pay for both shipping and storage. You will be able to work with the moving companies if you have specific requests, but you will be responsible for the costs for any arrangements beyond what the University has stipulated.

  3. I cannot return to campus. But I may need some item shipped to me and cannot afford the shipping costs. Is there assistance available to me?

    Students who cannot afford to have their belongings shipped to them should take advantage of the free option to have their belongings packed and stored by the University until they can retrieve them when they return to campus.  Penn is not offering funding to cover shipping costs unless you are a graduating senior or exchange student.

  4. Can I choose what needs to be packed and what can be left behind?  

    •    Yes, Students will be able to work with the moving companies if they have specific requests around the packing, storing, and shipping of their items. Items left behind can be donated to Goodwill of Greater Philadelphia as part of PennMOVES. Be aware that you will be responsible for the costs for any arrangements beyond what the University has stipulated.

  5. Are there any limitations on what can be shipped or stored?

    Because of safety concerns and pest control issues, the items listed below can’t be stored or shipped. You have the option of donating these items (as well as other items that you no longer need or want). The University will collect these items and donate them to Goodwill of Greater Philadelphia . Any items that are prohibited by the University’s Code of Conduct or the Residential Handbook will also not be returned.

    Items that will not be shipped or stored include: Aerosol Cans; Cleaning Products (liquid bleach, ammonia, and detergent); Fireworks; Fire Extinguishers; Flammable items (charcoal, lighter fluid, oils, fuels, matches); Food without Adequate Preservation or Open Food; Batteries; Nail Polish and Remover; Paints/Varnishes; Personal Care Products (Shampoos and Hairspray), and Plants.

  6. What about large items like bikes and desks? Can they be shipped or stored?

    Bikes can be shipped and/or stored. Other large furniture can be stored, if that is an option available to you, but they cannot be shipped.

  7. What are the dimensions of the boxes?

    Movers will be using different size boxes according to what they are packing (books vs. clothes), but the most common size is 3 or 4 cubic feet.

  8. I have items that are of significant value, how will those be handled?

    All your belongings will be packed and stored safely and securely. You can work with the vendors to have your valuables shipped rather than stored, but you will be responsible for the costs and arrangements.

  9. What happens if my items are lost or damaged?

    Reach out to who will put you in contact with the vendor.

  10. What should I do with the library books and books that I rented from the Bookstore that are in my room?

    Library books can be left at the Information Center of your College House and Residential Services will return them to the library for you.

    If you have rental books from the Penn Bookstore that need to be returned, you have three options.

    1. If you are moving your items yourself, the Penn Bookstore will be open to accept rental returns during the hours of Move-Out.
    2. If you are storing your items, you can return them to the Bookstore once you return to campus and your late fees will be waived.
    3. You can also ship rental books back to the Bookstore at no cost. Visit the Bookstore website for directions on how to return your books.

Storing Items

  1. If I have my belongings are stored, when will be able to retrieve my items? 

    You can access your items when you return to campus. If you plan to live on campus, your items will be placed in your room when you return. Residents moving off campus would receive their belongings in a centralized location on campus, either directly from the trucks of the movers or from a secure indoor space.

  2. Is there a limit for how long my items will be stored? 

    Your items will be stored until you return to campus. 

  3. Can I access my items from storage before I return to campus?

    Residents can reach out to to be put in touch with the moving companies to access items.

  4. Are the storage facilities temperature controlled?  How secure are they?

    Yes, the storage facilities are temperature controlled, and have security measures in place which is the standard for most storage facilities in our region.

  5. I’m returning to my same room next year. Why can’t I leave my belongings in the room? 

    Every summer, Facilities & Real Estate Services perform routine and preventative maintenance in all our residential buildings. All items must be removed in order to provide sufficient access to the rooms to perform this necessary work.

Other Questions

  1. Can I provide my own movers or make arrangements with other companies on my own?

    All residents are required to use University-contracted vendors that are assigned to their building.

  2. I am submatriculting to a program at Penn, but I received the email for graduating students. What are my options?

    Please email so we can discuss the different options with you. Please put in the subject line: Submatric. 

  3. I received the email about retrieving my belongings, but I already moved all of my items from my room. Is there anything I need to do?

    Please email so we can discuss the different options with you. Please put in the subject line: Moved Out.