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How to Ship Stuff to College: 5 Expert Tips

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Shipping is an affordable and convenient way to get your things to college. Whether mom needs to ship you those winter clothes you forgot or you’re shipping an entire dorm room worth of stuff ahead of move in day. But it’s not enough to toss some items in a box, ship it, and hope it all gets to its destination in one piece. It’s important you thoughtfully pack your items and ship them with care. That way your packages end up in the right place, free from damage. As the #1 student shipping provider, we at Collegeboxes have put together these five easy tips for successful college shipping to get you started.

1. Pack Like a Pro

There’s a right way and a wrong way to pack boxes for shipping. Of course, much of it depends on what you’re packing. But in general, you’ll want to keep these tips in mind: 

  • Distribute weight evenly – If you’re packing a lot of heavy items like books, be sure to distribute them evenly among your boxes. This prevents any single box from being overloaded. Mix heavy items with lighter items to keep things balanced. 
  • Don’t overpack your boxes – You may think you’ll be saving a few bucks by packing two boxes’ worth of contents into one, but all you’ll really be doing is making your single box too heavy to carry and potentially damaging your items. 
  • Position items correctly – When using boxes, you’ll want to pack heavy items on the bottom and light items on the top. You may also want to center your heavy items as best you can to keep the boxes from toppling while in transit.  
  • Fill empty gaps – Always fill void spaces to keep your items from shifting too much. You can do this in a couple easy ways: 1) Pack smaller, lighter items around your larger items, or 2) use folded towels, clothes, and crumpled newspapers. 
  • Use the ‘H’ tape method – Packing is only half the battle. Successful shipping also involves a great tape job. It’s best to use the ‘H’ tape method by using at least three strips of tape on the top and bottom of your boxes in the shape of a capital H shape. 

2. Use Packing Supplies

Many students find out the hard way that a few flimsy boxes and towels aren’t enough to keep their things in one piece. Don’t be like them. Be sure to use some professional-grade packing and shipping supplies for extra protection. As a division of U-Haul, we know a thing or two about packing supplies. Here are just a handful of items that we recommend to students and parents: 

  • Packing Paper – Great for filling void space. 
  • Enviro-Bubble® – Best for wrapping and protecting fragile items.  
  • Packing tape – Always use tape designed for packing/shipping; NEVER duct or masking. 

3. Use Double Wall Boxes

We also recommend you avoid using the standard cardboard boxes that you find at big box hardware or home stores. These boxes might be fine for small moving and storage jobs, but in a shipping environment, they simply don’t hold up. Instead, we recommend heavy-duty – or double wall – boxes. The reason? The double corrugated design is made to withstand the rigors of a long journey on a delivery truck. Double wall boxes don’t weaken nearly as fast or as much as single wall boxes, so they’re less likely to collapse or crush over time, which means your stuff won’t either. 

Need boxes built for shipping? The Collegeboxes Supply Kit comes with everything you need to safely ship your dorm room essentials to college, home, or anywhere else, all for just $39.99.

4. Keep Things Light

Shipping to college dorms is a great way to move your belongings at the start of the school year. Just keep in mind that shipping costs are determined by number of packages shipped, weight, and distance. As much as you would like to ship your entire wardrobe to your dorm, it’s not practical. We recommend packing essentials like clothing but plan to buy other items like room décor and appliances when you get there. Use our college packing list to see what else we recommend you bring, buy, or leave behind. 

5. Find a College Shipping Provider

Truth be told, you can bring your belongings to any shipping provider and ship your stuff yourself. However, you’ll be better off trusting a specialized college shipping provider, like Collegeboxes. The primary reason, it’s more convenient. We pick up right from your doorstep and delivery to dorm room so all you have to worry about is packing. We also provide everything you need from packing supplies to shipping labels. Learn more about college shipping with Collegeboxes.