So, you’ve decided to go for it. You’re going to move, and you’re going to go it alone. Well, you might recruit a few friends, but you’re certainly not going to pay for movers.
What you likely will pay for, however, is a moving truck. You probably don’t have a huge truck sitting in your driveway. And even if you own a pickup or a van, you may not want to make multiple trips in it. With a moving truck, all it takes is one round trip.
Moving trucks are convenient, but you’ll need a bit of know-how to pack one properly. Professional movers have years of experience in moving people’s stuff. You don’t have that experience just yet, but the moving and storage experts here at Stor-It have compiled 10 helpful tips for maximizing efficiency when using a moving truck. With the help of this guide, you’ll be well on your way!
1. Conduct Price Comparisons
Do your research before renting anything. That way, you can be sure you’re getting the best vehicle at the best rate. Give yourself time to call truck rental companies (there are more than you think) to see what vehicles and deals they offer. Ask plenty of questions to make sure there aren’t any hidden fees that may come with a rental. Plenty of companies offer “super-low rates” only to add on prices behind the scenes. Do your due diligence. Online is a good place to start, but it’s best to talk to someone to make you’re getting the offer you want.
2. Reserve Your Truck Early
Most areas of the country have moving booms – a period when lots of people are moving and it can be difficult to find a truck. The first and last of the month are big moving periods. If you live in a college town, back-to-school time (late summer) and right after graduation (late spring) are both periods where moving trucks are few and far between. Avoid any situation where you can’t find a moving truck on your moving day by reserving your moving truck weeks in advance.
3. Get Insurance on Your Truck
Even if you drive 18-wheelers through the narrow New York City streets as a career, you still aren’t immune to accidents. Getting insurance will keep you financially covered should one occur. Moving trucks are expensive vehicles and you never know what’s going to happen between Point A and Point B. Your goal is to save money by not hiring movers, not throw away thousands of dollars for repairs on a truck you rented and didn’t insure.
4. Prep Your Belongings
Packing a moving truck requires a step-by-step process that’s important to get right. As a general rule, load from back to front, and fill out each section all the way to the truck’s sides as you go. Start by loading your home’s largest items such as refrigerators, armoires, couches, and desks into the back of the moving truck. You can put smaller, lighter items on top of these large items – just make sure they are cushioned or tied down. Long items such as floor lamps and bedframes should be placed along the truck’s interior so that you can maximize your space. Ideally, you’ll group these longer items together so you can conserve extra space in the rest of the truck for everything else. Smaller furniture is loaded in next. Finally, the front of the truck (the stuff you load in last) should be reserved for stacked boxes, which we will talk about shortly.
5. Disassemble What You Can
Some of your largest furniture items can be disassembled into pieces for ease of moving (sectionals are named specifically because they can be split up into sections!). If you’re like most furniture owners, you probably didn’t hang onto all of the instruction manuals for every piece of furniture in your house. Luckily for you, most manuals are now available online. There are also numerous YouTube tutorials on how to assemble and disassemble specific pieces of larger furniture. Before getting started, make sure that you have the right tools for the disassembly and reassembly. Keep a couple of reusable zippered plastic bags with you to hold all of the nuts, bolts, and screws from the disassembled furniture.
6. Get Proper Packing Supplies
To maximize efficiency when using a moving truck, you first need to maximize efficiency when packing. Near the beginning of your moving process, figure out what supplies you need to move successfully. Sturdy moving boxes? Definitely. A dolly or a hand cart? Most likely. Tape, bubble wrap, and furniture covers? Yes, yes, and yes. Buy the smaller items and expendables; rent the larger stuff. You’ll want to get both from a place that specializes in moving. For one, that’s usually how you get the best deal on your supplies. For two, you’ll ensure that you’re getting high-quality moving supplies that won’t let you down during your move.
7. Use Similar-Sized Boxes
Aim for uniformity when choosing packing boxes. If you have boxes of all different shapes and sizes, you’re running the risk of misshapen, easy-to-topple box stacks. Get uniform-sized boxes that can stack easily on top of each other. This will help you load and unload quickly, which may save you money on your moving truck rental. Also, be sure to put your heaviest boxes on the bottom of the stack and your lightest ones at the top. This will improve stability and spare you from additional heavy lifting. Wondering where you can buy same-sized moving boxes? Pick them up in bundles at a moving or storage center near you.
8. Ask for Help (and Offer Something in Return)
Trying to tackle a big move totally solo is a no-go. Recruit friends, family, and even acquaintances to help you with your move. Filling up a moving truck takes a lot of manpower, but it doesn’t have to cost a lot of cash. Ideally, you have some strong friends who owe you favors and will work for pizza and beverages. But if that is not the case, you may have to open up your pocketbook a bit (still nowhere near as wide as it would be if you were hiring movers). If you try moving even a quarter of your house without the proper help, you will surely get both burnt out and sloppy in your truck packing, which can put both your body and your belongings at risk.
9. Put Your Possessions in the Perfect Positions
There are specific ways to pack certain large items in your house. Roll up your rugs tightly (top side inwards) and store them either horizontally or vertically in your moving truck. Most rugs are heavy, so avoid storing them above your head in the moving truck if you can. Couches, tables, and headboards should be placed into the truck in upright positions to make sure that they start and finish the ride in the same condition. When in doubt, store items the way that they’re supposed to be used. This ensures that no unnecessary weight is placed on the parts of the furniture that aren’t weight-bearing.
10. Use Moving Straps and Plastic Wrap
Among the many supplies you can utilize during the moving process, moving straps and plastic wrap are perhaps the most important when using a moving truck. We recommend strapping down your items section by section, working as you go from back to front. (There are few things more frustrating than trying to climb over a bunch of stuff that you just loaded into a trailer so that you can put up your moving straps.) Be smart about what you strap down and when you do it. Furthermore, anything with drawers or doors (cabinets, fridges, etc.) should be wrapped in plastic wrap. Be sure to purchase mover’s plastic wrap that won’t tear or cost you a fortune. If you don’t know what mover’s plastic wrap is, ask about it when you go to visit a reputable retailer of moving supplies.
Shop Moving Supplies and More Here at Stor-It Self Storage
You have your moving truck covered – now it’s time to take care of everything else. Our team at Stor-It is second to none and is here to help you with all your packing and moving needs. With 14 locations around Southern Idaho and more coming soon, we are Idaho’s oldest, largest, and most trusted storage company. Each of our facilities has moving boxes, packing tape, Styrofoam peanuts, and other packing and moving supplies available for sale at prices perfect for any budget. Our facilities also offer rental hand carts, dollies, moving blankets, moving straps, and many other larger supplies at affordable prices. Contact us or visit our facilities in person to see for yourself today how convenient and affordable a Stor-It storage unit can be.