Renting your own moving truck can be a convenient and cost-effective way to handle your next move, but you can do some damage to your belongings if you don’t take time to learn how to pack a moving truck beforehand.

While it’s important to make sure that all of your stuff fits on your truck, it’s even more important to make sure that it all fits properly. With that in mind, we’ve put together some suggestions on how to pack a moving truck as smooth and secure as possible.

Follow these tips:

  1. Gather Supplies

After you’ve packed up your stuff, and recruited family and/or friends to help you move, it’s time to get ready to load. (If you could still use a little more manpower, let us know. We’d love to help. Click here for a fast and free quote.)

While you’re picking up your truck, make sure to also pick up the following items to protect your belongings while in transit:

  • A tarp or plastic sheeting to guard your stuff against dust and dirt
  • Moving blankets and/or padding to provide a layer of cushioning around your items
  • Stretch wrap to secure padding to furniture
  • Mattress and furniture covers to protect against scratches and water
  • Packing tape to secure any loose boxes
  • Rope, bungee cords, ratchet straps, and tie-downs to keep items from moving around
  • Soft items like bags of clothes, pillows, or linens that can be used to fill holes between items for extra protection

These items can help protect you and your helpers while you load and unload:

  • A step-stool or smaller ladder for reaching the top of the truck
  • A dolly and moving straps for lifting and moving heavy items
  • Durable shoes with a good grip
  • Thick gloves for lifting heavy items or items with sharp edges
  • Prep and Protect

Once everything is packed, it’s time to map out where it will go in the truck. Jot down how many boxes you have for each room, what size they are, and where they need to go in your new place. Then, start grouping boxes of equal size together. Group your appliances and furniture together by size, as well. This will help your move go faster.

As you’re getting everything into position, make sure everything is packed securely. Add extra packing tape to any loose boxes. Wrap your furniture, mirrors, pictures, and other unboxed items with padding and stretch wrap to protect them from dirt, scratches, and punctures. Break down anything you can—like tables, bed frames, entertainment centers, and dresser mirrors—in order to make it easier to move and to free up space on the truck.

Now it’s time to start packing the moving truck.

  1. Get a Move On

Packing a moving truck is sort of like putting together a jigsaw puzzle or playing a game of Tetris. The goal is to tightly pack of all your various pieces so they stay secure and don’t shift during the ride. You want to place your heaviest items on the bottom and your lightest items on top, while also filling the spaces in between.

Move your stuff in this order:

  • First, move your heaviest items like your stove, refrigerator, washer, dryer, and dishwasher. Place them in their upright positions against the wall closest to the cab, and make sure to evenly distribute their weight between both sides of the truck.
  • Pack your longer items next. This includes mattresses, box springs, sofas, headboards, and tall mirrors. You can either place them upright along the longest walls of the truck or on their sides in order to free up more space for additional items.
  • Now it’s time to move your boxes. Start with the heaviest ones. Make sure they don’t contain any fragile items, and stack them on top of your furniture, appliances, and chairs. Slide them under any tables, too. Next, stack your lighter boxes on top the heavy ones. Make equal rows all the way to top of the truck.
  • Next, fill any spaces on top of your boxes or in between your items with soft items like bags of clothes, stuffed animals, bedding, and linens.
  • Lastly, load your extremely fragile items last. If you are really concerned that they might get damaged no matter how securely you pack them, do not load them onto the truck. Transport them in your car instead.

Congratulations on your upcoming move! The whole process might feel overwhelming, but if you follow the above steps, you’ll go from moving to moved in no time.

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