Frequently Asked Questions
We regularly review and update our FAQ page. All the most common questions are here, with our best attempt at a clear and succinct answer. You will also find the same questions and answers on the pages that describe our services.
Please call and let us know if you have a question not covered below.
Satellite Stations during Spring Moveout
I live in a dorm. How do I use John’s Pack & Ship during spring move-out?
During the last week the residence halls are open, certain dorms host JPS satellite stations where students can buy supplies and drop off items for shipping and storage. You will need to register for service to work with us at a satellite station.
When you register, you will enter shipping and/or storage information. We'll use that to create labels for your belongings.
Students can bring their belongings down to the station all at once or over a period of days. Box everything you can, but bring fragile Items and items too large to pack just as they are.
Sorry–we do not have the manpower to come up to dorm rooms during our peak week when satellite stations are open. Use rolling carts provided by your dorm office.
I live in a dorm with a satellite station but I can't come to your station during open hours. what are my options?
We do not schedule in-room pick-ups in dorms that have station hours the same day. Often students will give us most of their belongings in advance and just save that last box or two until the departure day. Then they can either bring them to our store in a cab or leave them with a friend who can come to the JPS station when it opens. (We do find there are more errors when students leave belongings for a friend to handle.)
Some students opt for the John's Moms service instead of working with the station, since these can be set for any time of day as long as you reserve well in advance.
We cannot give you permission to leave items unattended for us to retrieve later, since the residence halls belong to UM, not JPS. You will need to check in with your residence hall director if you feel you have no other option but leaving your things behind. Again, we do not recommend leaving your belongings behind, since it's hard to control for error when you are not present.
I'm working with your dorm station, but I'll still have a few last things, like my bedding, and I'm leaving before you open. What can I do?
Students in dorms with stations have three options for dealing with their last things:
1) Have a friend bring belongings back to the dorm station during open hours.
2) Drop items at our store on the way out of town–we will waive the drop fee for students registered for dorm stations.
3) Schedule a personal pick-up in a time/place outside of your dorm where someone will take responsibility for meeting us – for example, at your sorority or a friend's apartment. You will pay the pick-up fee of $25.
if I don’t live in a residence hall with a satellite station. How do I get my stuff to you for shipping, storage, professional packing?
Students living in private houses, apartments, sororities, fraternities, and residence halls without stations can reserve personal pick-ups.
We call the day before your scheduled pick-up date to confirm the appointment and go over other details. If we cannot reach you, the pick-up is subject to cancellation. Read more about pick-ups below.
When does JPS pick up?
Starting about one week prior to graduation, pick-ups happen between 8am and 1pm, Monday through Saturday. At all other times, they happen between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. You will select a three-hour time slot at checkout, but we cannot promise a specific time within this window. If you have any serious conflicts, such as a final or a flight, we will do our best to work with you.
How far in advance should I schedule my pick-up? Can I change it?
We recommend you schedule your pick-up as soon as you know the date. However, the reservation fee is non-refundable.
You can change your pick-up date without penalty up to two days beforehand. If you schedule or make a change on the day before the pick-up, there is a $20 surcharge; after this time, the surcharge is $35 if we can accommodate you in the planned truck route.
Will you come and get my stuff from my room?
Yes! For personal pick-up in apartments, houses, sororities, and residence halls without open satellite stations that day, we do pick up from the rooms.
Exception: Once satellite stations open in select residence halls, we cannot go to up to the rooms, although we will make exceptions for handicapped students.
Do I have to be present for my pick-up?
You or a trustworthy representative needs to meet us to make sure everything goes well. Call us if there's an issue with this, and we will do our best to help you find a solution.
Can my roommates and I share one pick-up order since You're already coming to the same place at the same time?
Each customer must place his own pick-up order. This creates a secure and accurate account so that we can print labels and keep track of your inventory.
I'm having a pick-up but I will still need my bedding and some other stuff until the last minute. What are my options for getting these things to JPS for storage or shipping?
1) Drop items at our store on the way out of town–we will waive the drop fee if you have already had a pick-up.
2) Have a friend bring your belongings to a dorm station during open hours (see home page)–we will waive the dorm station registration fee, since you are already in the system.
3) Schedule a second pick-up in a time/place where someone will take responsibility for meeting us (i.e. roommate, sorority sisters or house director, landlord/management). You DO have to place a separate order to make sure we schedule the pick-up on our truck route for the day. We cannot put two pick-up dates on one order; for your protection, we need to track where and when we pick up belongings.
Can I come to your store to drop my stuff off?
If you need to come to our store to drop something off for shipping or storage, your will need to create an account online first if you haven't already ordered supplies or service in the same calendar year.
We are located conveniently near I-94 by Briarwood Mall, only 10 minutes from campus, at 727 West Ellsworth #5.
Our complex is across from Costco. By the way, we are a stone’s throw from Zingerman’s Creamery, Coffee Shop, and Bakery!
Our hours are Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm; but we are often here earlier and later during our peak weeks. Call first to make sure someone is there to meet you: 734.665.2664
How much is it to deliver my supplies?
It's free within the UM campus area.
What is your minimum order?
When can I expect my supplies once I place an order?
We will ask for a delivery date when you place an order. Supplies ordered before 5 p.m. can be delivered the next business day (Mon-Sat). Orders placed after 5pm usually take an extra day.
We do not deliver on Sundays, although orders placed before 5 p.m. are still delivered on Monday.
Do I have to be there when you drop off my order? Will you call me ?
You do not need to meet us to receive deliveries. We drop your supply order at your residence without calling, just like UPS.
In residence halls, look in your package room. In apartments, your supplies may be in front of your door or in the office: it depends on the management.
In sororities and fraternities, ask the house mom where she has designated for JPS deliveries. For houses, we usually leave supplies on the front steps, inside a front porch or door, or in the vestibule, depending on the house set-up.
How many boxes should I order?
The average student in a dorm or room uses 4 large boxes plus medium or small boxes for shipping and/or heavy items; 1 roll of bubble wrap, a marker, and a roll of tape (sufficient for up to 8 boxes).
Students who use the John's Moms service usually order a few more: 6 large plus medium and small for shipping and/or heavy items; 2 bubble, 1 tape, 1 marker.
Students in houses and full apartments should go even higher: at least 8 large plus medium and small for shipping and/or heavy items; 4 bubble, 2 tape, 1 marker.
We suggest ordering a few more boxes than you think you’ll need, so that you don’t run out. We will buy back any unused boxes at full price.
During finals week, our satellite stations in the dorms will have plenty of supplies available; students in these dorms do not need to order supplies before the stations open, unless they need to pack up early.
Can I use my own boxes if I am shipping or storing with JPS?
Yes. You will save on the cost of the boxes, but storage fees are still charged according to the size and weight of our standard large box, 18x18x24” and up to 50 lbs.
Can I just buy packing materials and not use your shipping or storage services?
What if I need supplies right away? Can I get a rush order?
Sorry; we don't do rush orders. However, you can come to our store to buy supplies: 727 W. Ellsworth # 5. After 6 p.m., call to be sure someone is there to meet you.
Between April 20-27, you can also visit a dorm satellite station: return to the top of the home page to check hours and locations.
HOW do I label my shipping?
We create personal labels for all shipped items from our database.
We suggest you also write prominently on each item your name the word SHIP.
For furniture, items that need professional packaging, and other unboxed items, you can use masking or shipping tape to write this, but make sure it is well attached.
How do you ship? How long does it take?
We ship through UPS. We will provide you a unique tracking number for every box shipped and help track packages and resolve issues if needed.
We cannot transfer packages to UPS for billing to your personal account number.
Boxes to most destinations arrive within 3 to 7 days of shipment. During the busy move-out season, we ship boxes the next business day unless an item requires professional packing–add an extra day.
During the busy moveout season UPS suspends its day-definite delivery guarantee.
Can I ship a duffel bag or suitcase?
JPS will transfer the contents of the duffel bag or suitcase into a box because this significantly reduces the possibility of damage to your belongings. Shipped containers themselves are not insured against damage–only their contents. The straps and odd shapes of bags do not mix well with conveyor belts and often catch, ripping the bag open.
Additionally, suitcases and bags are not standard sizes and therefore incur oversize and/or overweight charges.
How much does it cost to ship something?
We ship through UPS; we cannot send packages using your personal account number with FedEx, UPS, or any other agent. We must receive payment for each item we send out.
A typical large box weighs 55 pounds. With ground shipping, it will go to IL for $64, to NY or NJ for $70, to south FL for $105 and to CA for $145. Visit the price guide for more details, and note that these are general estimates. The prices do not include UPS fuel surcharges which fluctuate from week to week.
We do not give shipping quotes over the phone.
How do I pack things for shipping?
See shipping questions above or click here.
Can JPS pack my belongings for me?
Yes, you can hire one of “John’s Moms” to work with you and help you organize and pack up your belongings. Our John’s Mom’s are not qualified to pack fragile belongings like TV’s, dishes or electronics.
Do I have to be there for the John's Moms packing service? Can you come and pack up my room after I leave?
Typically, you or a trustworthy representative must be there to work with John's Moms. However, give us a call if you have a special situation.
What about plastic drawers, under-bed BOXES, and other CONTAINERS? Do they have to be boxed for storage?
You do not need to box your own containers for storage. Instead, economize by packing other things inside the containers. (Exception: do not use a fridge or large/heavy furniture as a container)
Drawers with rollers should have their wheels removed if possible and stored in one of the drawers. We will shrink wrap or tape the drawers shut.
We may tape plastic containers together in bundles so that they are approximately the volume of a large box (18x18x24”) and under $50 so we can price them the standard storage fee ($40). Just give them to us as they are and we will figure out the most cost-efficient way to group them.
Does everything need to be boxed or covered when I give it to you for storage?
You should box everything you can, but large, non-fragile items such as bikes, mattresses, futons, rolling drawers, plastic totes, shelves and refrigerators do not need to be boxed.
Please note that if your container is not in a cardboard box, it can get damaged. Insurance covers the content of a container, not its appearance.
We use tape to keep doors/drawers from opening in transport and this can leave an adhesive film when removed. Futons and couches get dirty. Plastic drawers and totes often lose wheels and occasionally crack.So if you’re concerned about dings, scuffs, and dust, cover items yourself or ask for us to cover them for you. If you don’t specifically ask, we will assume they are fine as is. (Exception: we do cover all mattresses.)
Note that we should professionally pack fragile items like TV's, printers and microwave ovens in order to insure them (see below).
How do I pack something that’s too big to fit in one of your boxes like a small carpet, a tall fan, a vacuum, or a folding chair?
The most economical way to pack these items is to use one of our large boxes and leave the top open. You can put several tall items in the same box if they are lightweight and narrow. Obviously the items will stick out from the top of the box. When we receive it, we cap it with a second large box. As long as this box weighs less than 50 pounds, we will store it as an “oversized” box ($55).
Although this is more expensive than storing a standard box ($40), it’s still much more economical than paying for each of the tall items individually.
How Do you pack Fragile things like my TV?
We transport them to our store for packaging. Please do not attempt to pack a TV yourself unless you have all the original packaging materials. We advise against packing a TV with towels or pillows for cushioning. They are often damaged when packed this way.
How do I label my stuff? How do you keep track of everything?
We create personal labels for all stored items from our database, which tracks your inventory.
We suggest you also write prominently on each item your name the word STORE. If your storage is for EARLY DELIVERY (under four months, esp. items not for fall term delivery) or TO BE CLEANED, write this as well.
For furniture and other unboxed items, you can use masking or shipping tape, but make sure it is well attached.
Should I use the climate-controlled facility?
Climate control is not necessary, even for electronics or clothing, since our warehouse is dry and temperate. However, we do offer this option for people who prefer it.
Storing a basic box in the air-conditioned room costs $80. Label all your items A/C and alert the employees who take your storage that they are not to go to the warehouse with fall delivery items.
I want to store my winter clothes and dirty bedding . Can you take care of cleaning them?
Our sister company, Busybody's Laundry can clean your belongings during the time they are stored with us. We will handle the connection: You just need to put these items in a separate box marked “TO BE CLEANED” on the top and sides with a fat black marker.
The laundry charge will be added to your invoice after the items are cleaned. Click here for general prices.
If you are storing laundry with other belongings to economize, then make sure it is very obvious which things in the box are for cleaning.
If you have both dry cleaning and washing, separate the dry cleaning in a bag and label it clearly.
What if I only need storage for a short time?
Students returning to Ann Arbor in less than four months may opt for short-term storage. However, since the majority of our costs are associated with the labor involved in pick-up and delivery, there is no discount. The price is the same for any time period between 0-4 months.
All short-term storage items must be labelled clearly as EARLY DELIVERY with the delivery date. Be sure to alert the person who handles your order that it is for short-term storage only, so that it goes to our office rather than our warehouse.
What if I don't know my move-in date yet?
We ask for a delivery date and address when we receive items for storage, but if you don't know just contact us well before the delivery date to give that information. For fall delivery, you must call before August 1st to avoid late fees; if you are moving in early, then we need to know your date before July 1st.
Will my belongings be waiting for me when I return? Where do I find them?
Students moving into residence halls will find their belongings in the dorm package room.
Students movinginto Landmark, Zaragon and ArborBlu will find their belongings already in their rooms, provided the lease paperwork is in order.
We have excellent relationships with many sororities. Students moving into the following houses get in-room delivery prior to their return, as long as we have a room number: ADPi, AEPhi, AXO, DPhiE,KKG, PiBetaPhi, SDT, Sigma Kappa, TriDelt, XO and Zeta.
Students moving into another building or house can arrange for in-room delivery before their return with the consent of the landlord.
Students in University Towers must meet us in the main lobby by the elevator at the time of delivery, due to strict parking limitations.
What if I store my belongings with JPS and later decide to not return after all?
If you change your return plans or not returning to UM , JPS can either continue storing your things or ship them to a forwarding address; additional fees will apply.
I’m just moving from one place to another. Can you help me get my things to my new location?
You can schedule an intra-campus move with JPS to reserve two strong guys and a truck for two hours who will move you from one campus residence to another on the same day. The service does not include packing materials, which should be ordered in advance. The move will take longer if packing is not finished before the guys arrive.
We do not assemble or disassemble furniture; nor do we attach or remove things to or from walls.
JPS schedules moves on Monday through Saturday between 9 and 5. Other times may be possible given enough advance notice. Call us at 734.665.2664 to to confirm availability.
We do not offer this service during our peak seasons: finals week or fall move-in week.
Note that for small moves, it is often more economical to call an Uber even if you have to make a few trips.
John's Pack & Ship is the only storage service that will take dirty stuff and return it clean. That's because we also own Busybody's Laundry, which operates out of the same facility. Prices of commonly cleaned items are shown on our price guide.
Click here to reach the Busybody's website.