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Furniture, Household Goods, and Utilities

When looking for a home, be sure to budget for the cost of furniture, household goods, and utilities, such as linens, cookware and utilities fees.

Several stores near campus and online vendors sell furniture and household goods at relatively affordable prices.


Brand New Items

Most of the shops also sell online. Most of the time, there is a Sales or Clearance section on their website where you can purchase items at a discounted prices. Many of these shops may offer a free delivery to your house for orders over $50.

Cost Plus World Market • 3655 E. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena
Crate and Barrel • 75 W. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena
Home Goods • 3803 E. Foothill Boulevard, Pasadena
IKEA • 600 N. San Fernando Boulevard, Burbank
Marshalls • 3855 E. Foothill Boulevard, Pasadena
Pottery Barn • 1 E. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena
Target • 777 E. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena (walking distance from Caltech)
TJ Maxx • 455 S. Lake Avenue, Pasadena (walking distance from Caltech)

Wholesales and Outlets

Costco   • 2207 West Commonwealth Avenue, Alhambra
Pottery Barn outlet   • 5701 Outlet Tejon Ranch Drive, Arvin
Crate and Barrel outlet   • 1785 Fourth Street, Los Angeles.

Used Items

Caltech and JPL

Caltech and JPL community members sell household goods to other community members on the Caltech Postdoc Association (CPA) Mailing List and on Marketplace.  You can register for both lists before you arrive in Pasadena.  You can email the Marketplace Administrator with "International Relocation Marketplace" in the subject line. It may take 1 or 2 weeks to be added. 

Caltech Surplus Material Program.  Surplus furniture is available to the Caltech and JPL community for free for on-campus use, or for a nominal fee for personal use. 

The Furniture Pool and Toy Library (FPTL) are services offered by the Caltech Women’s Club to the Caltech and JPL community.  For a nominal fee, $12 per year (as of April 2017), members can borrow household items as well as useful items for babies and children.  The FPTL is open once a week, every Thursday from 10:00am to 1:00pm.

Thrift Stores

ACTS Thrift Shop • 1311 North Altadena Drive, Pasadena
Craigslist • Search under "For Sale," select "Furniture"
Goodwill • 340 S. Fair Oaks, Pasadena
Huntington Collection • 766 S. Fair Oaks, Pasadena
Salvation Army • 56 W. Del Mar Boulevard, Pasadena
Out of the Closet • 1726 E. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena

Flea Markets in Pasadena

Pasadena City College flea market 
Rose Bowl Flea Market

Yard Sales, Garage Sales and Estate Sales

On weekends, people sell their used clothing, furniture, toys and household items from their own yards or garages.  You can find listings on Craigslist (search under "For Sale," select "Garage Sale"), Penny Saver,  Pasadena Star-News and EstatesSales.

Electricity, Gas, Water

Utilities usually include water, electricity, gas, and trash collection.  Occasionally, utilities may also include home phone (land line), and cable/internet.

For graduate students in campus housing, utilities are explained by Institute Housing.

If you are renting an apartment or a house off campus, full or partial payment of utilities is often required by the property owner or manager.  You may need to establish your own utility services for the house or apartment.  If you buy a home or an apartment that has a Home Owners Association (HOA), the HOA monthly fee may pay for some utilities. 

The City of Pasadena provides a list of utility providers.  Pasadena Water and Power (PWP) provides water and electricity in Pasadena.  Southern California Edison provides electricity and The Gas Company provides gas service in Southern California.

Conversions and Equivalences

Measurements.  The United States uses the English measurement system in daily life.  Use Math Connect to convert from metric to English measurements.

Temperature.  Temperature is expressed in Fahrenheit.  To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit, use the Fahrenheit to Celsius Converter.

Money and Currency.  A currency calculator is available on

Clothes and Shoe Sizes.  Clothes and shoe are available on Online

Power.  United States uses 110 volts.



DISCLAIMER:  The information provided on this website is for general information only.  Caltech does not endorse or recommend any of the organizations listed.