Packing Your Truck

If you’re moving and you’ve decided for one reason or another to DIY, understanding how to maximize space in your truck is a must. You want to make as few trips as possible. If you’re local, you can handle multiple loads; but, if this is a long-distance move, you have only one chance to get it right.

The first thing you need to do is choose the correct size moving truck. You want to save yourself as much hassle as possible, and having the right truck will go a long way in making your move easier

Following are some tips to help you make the most of your moving truck space while keeping your move safe and convenient.

Get Your Belongings Ready to Go

Assemble Your Packing Supplies

By now you have everything packed securely into high-quality cardboard boxes and plastic crates. The furniture and large items are just sitting there waiting to be loaded onto the truck. Don’t forget the other supplies– the moving blankets and padding to fill the gaps between large items and boxes to protect your belongings if there is any shifting during the drive. Moving straps are another important item – we’ll talk more about them later. Just make sure that you have enough of these items to meet your needs. 

Break Down Tables and Bed Frames

Furniture takes up the most space on your truck. You can save room by disassembling tables and bed frames. Start by taking the legs off of the tables so that you can store them, along with the legs, in an upright position. Then, go for the bed frames and headboards as well as any desks and dressers that can be broken down. For large pieces that you can’t take apart, try storing moving boxes and other items inside drawers or on top of these furnishings. 

Roll Up Rugs

Area rugs should be rolled and secured with string or plastic ties, and then they can be wrapped in paper or plastic wrap or secured in large plastic bags made for this purpose. By doing this, you’ll prevent the extra strain on the rug’s backing, which could later cause stretching or cracking. Rugs should be placed upright on the truck.

Time to Load the Truck

Distribute Weight Evenly

This is probably the most important factor in packing your truck. Even distribution of weight will make the truck easier to drive, load and unload without boxes and furniture shifting and falling over or damaging other items. To be sure the weight is evenly distributed, heavier items should be located towards the front (near the cab) and along the walls. Medium items should be placed on heavier items, and the lightest items should be on the top. Everything should be secured with moving straps.

Load the Largest and Heaviest Items First

Start with the largest, heaviest items. Load mattresses, bed frames, tables, chairs, large appliances, couches, sectionals, coffee tables and occasional tables. To save space, place couches, headboards, rugs, and tables in an upright position. Locate large appliances like washers, dryers and refrigerators toward the front of the truck, near the cab. Be sure to use extra padding and moving blankets around these items to prevent damage. 

Load the Lightest Items Last

As soon as you finish with the cumbersome, heavy items, load up the medium to lightweight items: small furniture, boxes, pictures, mirrors, and TVs. It’s best to keep valuables and jewelry with you in the truck cab or in your car; but if you’re loading them into the truck, clearly label them and place them in an easy-to-reach spot along with moving day essentials and your overnight bag.

Use Moving Straps

As you pack the truck, secure everything with moving straps to prevent shifting. Strap down one section at a time, staring with the heavier items that you load first, then the medium-weight items, and so on. Don’t forget to strap the moving boxes.

These tips are common sense, but we all need a little help during a move. Moving day is always chaotic, and guidelines and structure will smooth the bumps and get you to your destination with little or no damage to you or your possessions.

Pack it Like a Pro!

Packing is part art and a science. Doing it properly and with some careful thought will ensure that your stacks of boxes will not fall over and possibly hurt you or damage your other things.

Tips for Packing Boxes:

1. Stay organized: Before putting your things in a box, make a list and assign each item to its respective box. Make labels for each box and attach these labels to all sides of the box as well as the top of the box.

When making your list, also write down the estimated replacement value for each, particularly if you want to ensure your things. If there are breakables, place “fragile” stickers on the box.

2. Use no more than two sizes of boxes: This way, stacking the boxes will be easier and more organized. Boxes should be sturdy enough that the bottom box can withstand the weight of all the other boxes being stacked on top of it.

3. Keep your items safe: As often as possible, put your items in boxes to prevent them from getting dusty.

4. Try not to waste space: Fill up the entire box but not all with heavy materials. You need to fill up a box completely to avoid its tendency to collapse or tip over. However, you should avoid filling it up with heavy items so that it won’t be hard for you to carry.  When packing, fill the box with the heavy items first and then fill it to capacity with lighter items.

5. Avoid using plastic bags: Putting items in sealed plastic bags may seem like a good idea but it can actually invite mildew.

6. Pack books smart: When packing books, use smaller book boxes rather than putting them all in one large box. Store the books flat in the boxes rather than standing on end so that their spines will not be damaged.

7. Avoid a watery mess: Freezers and refrigerators should be stored with the door slightly open. Electrical appliances should be completely dry–defrost freezers and refrigerators, drain washing machines completely.

8. Pad your breakables: Pack breakables in bubble wrap or packing paper. Wrap mirrors and picture frames with bubble wrap.

9. Use wardrobe boxes: When packing clothes we recommend that you make use of clothes or wardrobe boxes where you can. Hang the clothes inside to ensure that they retain their shape.

10. Make use of old towels or sheets: When wrapping your things, use cloth and not plastic.

11. Store tools and equipment safely: When preparing metal tools and equipment for storage, you should drain these of fuel completely. A rub down with some oil will also help to prevent rust from forming.

12. Seal boxes with packing tape: Sealing your boxes will help ward off dust.

Tips for Organizing Your Self Storage Unit:

1. Plan ahead. Make a general plan of how you will place the boxes and furniture inside your storage unit before you get started.

2. Pallet the ground: Before putting the boxes in, arrange raised pallets according to your plan. This will prevent rats, silverfish and ants from making their home underneath your boxes. Be sure to also thoroughly clean the storage area.

3. Avoid mildew: Avoid putting in wet items as these may invite mildew, mold and other types of water damage.

4. Use shelves for storage: If there are shelves available, make use of them! Store smaller items or things you would like to keep handy.

5. Store smart: Store mirrors and frames standing on end, never flat.

6. Maintain accessibility: Stack boxes in such as way that each box can be easily accessed. Don’t store stacks and stacks of boxes together. Make an aisle that will allow you to access a box without having to move anything out of the way.

7. Keep important things front and center: Place the boxes with the things that you’ll most frequently need at the front part of a storage unit.

8. Dismantle furniture to save space: For instance, to store a table, you can remove the legs. Just be sure that all bolts and screws are kept in a labeled container and that you actually know how to put the piece of furniture back again.

9. Save space: Create more space in your storage box by using the hollow areas of big furniture. For instance, you can put in a box or two inside a wardrobe. The same goes for refrigerators, washing machines or stoves.

10. Avoid nasty situations: Place moisture absorbers, mothballs and rat bait in key areas.