Packing and Shipping Students to College

It’s that time of year… summer is waning and students are heading off to school. College freshman and upper classmen alike are wondering what they should take with them. The list includes bedding, books, computers, toys, and sports equipment, to name a few. If the college doesn’t provide a “to-do” list, there are plenty of resources online – College Packing List and Dorm Room Checklist are just two of them. A list like one of these can help simplify the process of gathering belongings needed for the school year        .

Once all the items are collected, the next question is how to pack and ship them. Some simple steps to follow are:

  1. Make a complete list of all items including the value of each.
  2. Separate the fragile items from the non-fragile ones.
    – Don’t pack glassware and computer equipment wrapped in clothing or bedding.
  3. Pack similar non-fragile items together for easy unpacking in the dorm or apartment.
    – Don’t make the boxes too heavy; you might have to carry them up a few flights.
    – Pack books in smaller boxes no larger that 16”x16”x16”.
    – Pack bedding or clothing in boxes that are easy to carry 18”x18”x18” or 20”x20”x20”.
  4. Pack fragile items allowing for at least 2″ of protective packaging materials around all dimensions.
  5. Decide whether you’ll move the boxes with the family car or ship them.
  6. Check with the college about receiving and storing a shipment until the student arrives.
  7. Ship with a reliable carrier with tracking and declared value coverage.

If you decide to ship, choose a professional packing and shipping store. They can assist with the packing, especially the fragile items, and help determine the most cost-effective shipping method. If the load is small (two or three boxes), UPS or FedEx ground service will probably do. If the shipment is larger (all items needed for a dorm room or small apartment), LTL freight on a pallet will most likely be more economical.

College student shipping – their stuff, that is – can be simple and easy. Get that part of the “leaving home” process out of the way and enjoy some time together before the big day.