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Old 04-15-2008, 06:19 AM
Location: Camberville
12,048 posts, read 16,789,785 times
Reputation: 19819


So I'm going abroad all of next year and I need to move my stuff out of my dorm. Last year I only went home for 2 weeks before coming back to the area for the summer so I just stored all of my stuff in the basement of my sublet. However, since I'm going to be gone for the full year in 4 very different climates, I need to ship all of my clothes, scarves, hats, shoes etc. home as well as my books. Driving it isn't an option since I go to college 1000 miles away.

What's the best way to ship a large volume of clothes and books? UPS or the post office? Where can I find large boxes easily? I don't have a car so while I have friends that are willing to take me, we can't go hunting around because everyone is studying for finals.

For some reason it didn't hit me that I only have 3 weeks to do all of this until now, so any help or advice would be awesome! Thanks.
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Old 04-15-2008, 04:12 PM
305 posts, read 1,534,250 times
Reputation: 149
I would ship books via "Media Mail" by the US Post Office. While the USPO recognizes that it should cost less to ship books, UPS doesn't care what's inside and charges by weight.

If you need boxes, go to eBay. It's where I got all my moving boxes. Boxes NEW are very, expensive. A medium 18x18x24 box will cost you anywheres from $2.75 - $3.75 per box. Buying used will save a TON of money.

I bought 40 used boxes on eBay for $2 plus shipping, which was $40. It was actually 2 sets of 20 boxes and because I bought two sets, the seller refunded the $2. So it turned out I paid $1 a box. A DOLLAR A BOX!!! And these were boxes used by the high-priced moving van companies (United Van Lines, Allied Van Lines, etc.)

You can also ship the clothes and books via freight. I don't know how much that would cost, I only know that you need to prepare for a wait to receive them.

Besides, I don't know why you just don't rent a van (like a Dodge Caravan or some type of mini-van) and drive the 1,000 miles with the van loaded with your stuff. Unless I'm missing something here, 1,000 miles is really not that far.

I've driven from San Diego to NY in a mini-loaded with all my belongings and it only took 3.5 days and saved a TON of money.

You'll have to weigh out the cost of doing that versus shipping.

Also, try looking for used boxes on Craig's list.

If you don't want used, go online to UHaul and expect to pay a pretty penny for the boxes AND the cost in shipping the boxes. Unless you have a UHaul in the town you live ... you can go directly to them and buy the boxes.

UPS also sells moving/packing boxes. Again, it will be expensive. But you can get a bunch of them at one time.

Good luck!
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Old 04-15-2008, 04:28 PM
Location: Camberville
12,048 posts, read 16,789,785 times
Reputation: 19819
Thanks! I actually can't really drive (haven't in over two years and I've never driven on an interstate) so unless I want to go home in a body bag, renting is not an option. Not to mention no reputable rental company will give car keys to a 20 year old.

I only realistically need 5 or 6 boxes so the cost of the boxes themselves aren't really an issue. Also, my campus mail room will be closed all of next week due to spring break so ebaying them really isn't an option. I'll check out Uhaul and UPS.
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Old 04-15-2008, 06:02 PM
Location: WA
319 posts, read 1,755,298 times
Reputation: 139
You might be able to find broken-down boxes for free (think bookstore, cafeteria, office supplies) if your school has recycling dumpsters. They might need some major crossing out and labeling over, but they would be free for you to ship your items in. Do check for strength though, and use appropriate tape (the clear or brown kind, not duck tape). Remember to get small boxes for books as they get heavy very quickly.
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Old 04-16-2008, 05:11 PM
15,359 posts, read 27,562,376 times
Reputation: 18826
Also, check Craigslist for free boxes. Good luck.
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Old 04-17-2008, 03:28 PM
Location: Chaos Central
1,122 posts, read 3,690,337 times
Reputation: 894
Just a thought -
Do you know anyone at school who comes from your hometown area?
Someone who drives, I mean, and either owns or can rent a larger vehicle? The college students in my area have more money than I do - or at least, their parents do which is why this occurs to me.

You might be able to find someone reliable to drive you and your stuff home, if you pay the travel costs and promise to let them visit their folks too before you both head back to school.....
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Old 04-17-2008, 04:46 PM
58 posts, read 179,921 times
Reputation: 34
Default Boxes

Sam's Club has two sizes, package of 10 boxes is about $13.50.
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