Moving on your own – that is handling the move yourself instead of hiring professional movers – can be a daunting task for many reasons. For starters, you must know the proper way to pack up your belongings to ensure their safety for the long haul. Next, you must determine what size rental moving truck you need to accommodate all the stuff you’re taking with you. And finally, you need to know the right way to load a moving truck that maximizes the available space and reduces the risk of damage to your items.
Continue reading for our comprehensive guide on how to pack & load a moving truck like the pros – including all the steps to guarantee that your household goods are safely loaded and properly secured into the truck.
Steps Before Loading the Moving Truck
Before you even think about loading your rental moving truck, there are a couple tasks that must be addressed. These steps will help you achieve a quicker, safer, and overall more efficient truck loading when that time comes.
Choose the correct size rental truck
The very first task when it comes to packing and loading a moving truck is to secure the actual moving truck in the appropriate size. The last thing you want is to rent a moving truck that is too small and end up having to make multiple trips between locations.
On the other hand, you want to avoid booking a rental truck that is too big, as you’ll be paying extra for additional storage that you don’t even need. To ensure that you choose the right size truck, speak with the experts at the rental company for some guidance.
Disassemble large furniture items
One of the best ways to simplify and speed up the loading process is to take apart all of the large furniture pieces that you plan to take with you. The lighter and more compact your furniture is, the easier it will be to haul it out of your house without risk of injury or damage. Then, once outside, it’s much safer to load the disassembled components into the rental truck.
Though, you’ll still want to make sure that each furniture piece is safely covered with thick protective blankets. This guarantees safe transportation to your new home.
Safely pack all your boxes
Aside from your furniture and potentially some appliances, the remainder of your stuff is likely going to be packed in cardboard boxes of varying sizes. These boxes should be loaded into the moving truck last, but we’ll explain this in further detail later.
Though, before you can begin loading up your moving truck, the packing process should be 100% complete. Undeniably, packing is the most time-consuming part of moving and can often take several days. To help ease the process along without hiring a team of professional packers, establish a good packing timeline and checklist.
Clear the exit path
Handling the loading of the moving truck yourself means that you’ll have to make several trips back and forth from inside your home to the truck itself. To make sure that the loading process goes as smoothly as possible, meticulously inspect the path to the truck and clear all debris and obstacles out of the way. This route must also be free of mud, snow, ice, fallen branches, wet spots, and anything else that could prove hazardous.
Prepare the essential equipment
Moving day safety is absolutely critical. To prevent personal injury or expensive damage to your property as you are lifting and loading the items into the truck, make sure that you have all the necessary moving equipment.
When you’re moving your home without the assistance of professional movers, it’s highly recommended that you have a dolly to help you transport all the bulky and heavy items to the truck – such as heavy boxes, furniture, and appliances. Depending on your specific needs, you may want to consider renting or purchasing either an appliance dolly or furniture dolly.
Other equipment that you’ll need include moving straps for securing items inside the truck and furniture sliders to prevent damage to your flooring.
Enlist help to load the moving truck
If you’ve chosen not to hire a professional moving company to help you with your move, you’re still likely going to need some extra hands on deck. Ask your friends, family members, or potentially some of your close neighbors if they are available to help you pack the moving truck. Make sure that you reach out to them early enough to both increase the odds of them agreeing and minimize the interruption to their plans.
How to Pack a Moving Truck Like a Professional
At this point, you should be ready to begin the process of loading the moving truck for the journey to your destination location. The following steps will enable you to load the moving truck properly and like a true professional.
- Connect the ramp
Not all rental trucks come with a loading ramp, but it’s highly recommended that you make sure that the one you are booking does. These ramps help make the loading process safer and easier. Once you pick up the truck and park it in front of your home, your first task is to connect the loading ramp to specific location on the tailgate of the vehicle.
After the ramp has been attached, check to verify that it is secure and won’t shift while in use.
- Start with the heaviest and largest items
Now, you may be wondering: what should I load into the moving truck first? Follow the advice of the pros and start by loading the biggest and heaviest items first. This includes appliances, furniture, and any special items that are both hefty and large. By loading these items first, the weight gets distributed evenly and keeps the truck stable on the road.
The proper way to arrange these items is as follows:
- Tall appliances and furniture (or, anything that needs to stay upright) – at the front of the truck, touching the wall closest to the cab.
- Long furniture pieces (including mattresses, couches, and the like) – along the truck’s long sides.
- Tables, chairs, desks, etc. – in the middle of the space, parallel to the items on either side.
Once you’ve loaded all the heavy and big items into the truck, use straps or rope to secure them. These items cannot shift during transport, otherwise they risk getting damaged or causing damage to the goods around them. Before you move onto the boxes, confirm that no appliance or furniture item is able to move around freely.
- Load the moving boxes
With all the heavy, large items secure, start loading the moving boxes, one at a time. Position them in the spots between the other items that are already in place. As you are arranging, make sure that you keep the heavier boxes at the bottom, and stack the lighter ones on top.
The cardboard boxes can be packed in rows – from the floor to the ceiling of the truck. Any boxes that include fragile items should be slipped into hollow furniture pieces like chairs, desks, and tables.
Pro Tip: Always load the boxes containing your essential items last. That way, you’ll have easy access to everything you need when you arrive at your new home.
- Fill in the gaps
For the gaps in between the cardboard boxes and furniture, stuff them with soft, non-breakable items – like bags of clothing, linens, blankets, pillows, etc. By doing this, your belongings will be packed tightly into the moving truck and you thwart any unnecessary shifting during transport.