Tips To Help You Stress Less Over Moving…From An Expert

April 13, 2019
7 min read

Tips To Help You Stress Less Over Moving…From The Experts

Moving out? Studying abroad? Looking around your room wondering how and where you are going to put all the things you’ve somehow accumulated over the school year? Studying abroad and need storage? Don’t worry, we’ve got tips to help you stress less over moving, and we interviewed an expert.

If you are wondering how and when you will move #allthethings, the beauty is you can hire on-campus student movers who will help you ship and store your items. In fact, we interviewed Michael Levin, Duke student, part-owner and mover with a unique business aptly named University shipping and storage.

Even if you don’t attend Duke, Michael explains the importance of seeking out and using student-run businesses, like his, in order to support on-campus efforts and even find helpful information about moving and life on campus from students who have been there, done that.

What is University shipping & Storage?

University Shipping & Storage ( has been a business run by Duke students since the ’90s. Every other year, four new owners are selected as sophomores to inherit the business and learn the ropes from the graduating senior owners.

Is your business completely student owned?

Yes, we are completely student owned and operated and offer a wide array of services with our value being on convenience, cost-leadership, and flexibility. Our main services as you can see on our website are Summer Storage, Abroad Storage, and Shipping up and down the East Coast after final exams and before orientation week in August.

However, we also occasionally are hired for general moving help. As students, I would say we also provide an additional ‘informal’ service to families sending their students off to college for the first time.

Since we are many families’ first touch-point with Duke students prior to move-in we often field many questions and engage in lengthy conversations with our customers about the transition to college and student life at Duke that are unrelated to shipping or storage.

Whatever it might be: shipping, storage, or “will my student need his/her car on campus?”, we’re always happy to help. 🙂

What services do you offer on the business side?

On the business side, we offer many types of promotions and discounts to help make summer storage or shipping more affordable. Our rates are clearly listed on our website and we make sure our customers know that we will work with them to determine prices for items not listed on there.

No item has ever been too large for us. If it can fit in the apartment/dorm, it can fit in our trucks and storage units. Door-to-door pickup and delivery are fully included in the rates we have listed online (with the exception of shipping where we deliver to local service stops unless you pay a bit extra for home delivery).

Crew in 2016

Do you have any packing tips for students who are moving in or out of a dorm?

  1. A lot of students have large trunks, duffle bags, and boxes. Often we see students who under pack these items to avoid an overweight fee. I tell students and families, if you load up more in a box or bag you will actually save money by incurring overweight fee versus splitting items into boxes.
  2. Plastic buns are a disaster! A lot of students have them in their dorms, but they absolutely do not hold up well under pressure. Stick to large bags, trunks, and boxes mentioned above.
  3. Don’t stress. A unique side to our business is that we are completely student-run and have experience living in the dorms and existing on campus. Whether you are a student or parent with questions, we draw from our own experience and can help ease your mind and get you ready for the actual on-campus experience.
  4. We are around 24/7!  If you are up at 3:30 am thinking about moving day, so are we. Usually, it is those middle of the night wake-ups where you remember you have to start thinking about moving. I can guarantee one of us working the business are up as well. Send us a Facebook message, call us, or shoot over an email.
  5. Pack boxes full and to the top to avoid any risk of the box collapsing.
  6. Look online to see if it would be cheaper or would make more sense to pack heavier bags or boxes, then add an additional item. Otherwise, you must distribute weight evenly.
  7. Use large packing saran wrap to hold your plastic bin towers together. Tape is not always effective (see #2!)
  8. Always label items on all sides with your name and an item count for easy identification.
  9. Wrap fragile items in sheets and towels before placing in boxes.

Check out University Shipping and Storage’s hilarious 2019 commercial here.

How does the move in or move out process work and where do you service?

University Shipping and Storage services students in MA, RI, CT, PA, NJ, NY, MD, DE, and VA by offering the transportation of belongings to and from Duke.*

We make two runs each year, once in the fall and again in the spring, during University move-in and move-out days. University Shipping will also store items over the summer or for students who are studying abroad in the fall semester. We will drop off stored possessions at our customer’s room in the fall or spring.

Our movers will come to your dorm or apartment during finals week for move out and deliver your items to your home or a convenient location nearby. We will also store them for the summer or fall study abroad semester and bring them to your new dorm or apartment when you return.

Why choose students over an outside moving company?

For one, many of our students are gaining business experience we will use in the working world. Some have student loan debt they wish to pay off in the process as well. More than that, we have the training from senior members of the business and have been operating since the 90s. Because we are students, we are more affordable and more efficient.

We are here for students and families in a relationship-based way. We understand the campus and can give insight and answer any questions parents and students have.

Even if you aren’t on Duke’s campus, simply Google Search student-run moving companies or ask an RA for a list of groups on campus. They are all over at almost every College!

How can parents and students get a hold of you and the crew?

Contact information:

Ryan Fader – 609-464-2698

Steven Gitsin – 516-637-7449

Michael Levin – 610-585-9699

Guy Tchwanto – 313-570-5214

Send an email here:

Website: University Shipping and Storage

Facebook Message: Send a message here

Thank you to Michael and University Shipping and Storage for giving us the skinny on how to make moving day less of a headache. If you are in the Duke area, give Michael and his crew a call! If you are out of their serviced area, find your on-campus moving services and find out if you can support student businesses and make moving a breeze.

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Warby Parker