MADISON (WKOW)-- It has been a crazy week for students at UW-Madison. Thousands moved out of their off-campus apartments and houses this week, but Wednesday was by far the busiest day.
Students simply call it "Moving Day." It's the one day out of the year where thousands of students find themselves between leases. Several students find themselves homeless for one day each and every year.
"Nothing ever surprises me at this point. It's always mayhem downtown. You're never really sure what to expect," recent graduate Sam Sussman says.
Many students like Sussman have endured four years of moving day trial and error. This year he says he's doing things right. After some wheeling and dealing he was able to move into his off-campus apartment a day early.
"It was really nice to have that option this year to just move everything one time instead of doing it two or three times," Sussman says.
While some students are seasoned veterans, other students are struggling with the move.
"Its just not really having anywhere to sleep, having no home for two days," UW student Alex Gunn says.
Students have come up with a variety of ways to survive during the move. After a long day of hauling boxes and furniture they have the added stress of finding a place to sleep that night.
"I have had one homeless night that I basically slept on my futon mattress outside. Luckily it didn't rain," recent UW-Madison graduate Ryan Armstrong says.
Many students are lucky enough to have a friend's couch to sleep on. Students who aren't as lucky often decide to sleep in their cars, but a popular tradition for many is to never go to sleep at all.
"The next day you're hung over and you're trying to move a bunch of couches and it's not as easy, but you get the job done," Armstrong says.
Moving week is also known as the only time where you can find hundreds of piles of furniture and electronics lining the street. Some students call it "Hippie Christmas" others simply call it a nuisance.
Over the past few years a handful of students and volunteers have worked to collect this stuff before it ends up in the local landfill, but with so many students moving out they can only do so much.
In 2012, students collected more than 24 tons of furniture and electronics during the moving out season. These items are either donated to Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul or are given to incoming students. Organizers of the collection effort say 2013 was another successful year, but they won't have hard numbers for another few weeks.
This week is only the first wave of students moving in and out of downtown Madison. Students on campus will move into the dorms on August 28th and 29th. Classes start the day after Labor Day on September 3rd.
MADISON (WKOW) -- Thousands of people living in downtown Madison had to move out Wednesday as their final leases ended.
However, with many of the new leases beginning tomorrow, many are left without a place to call home for the night.
The situation leaves many students with packed up belongings, but without a place to store them.
"I'm in between places right now," said UW student, Andy Aasen. "I've got half my stuff at a buddy's place and then half the stuff at my fraternity house and I'm really not ready."
For those moving out, there are several drop off sites to donate reusable items.
You can find the list of locations here.
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