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How to Pack and Load a Moving Truck

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If you're moving without the help of a moving company, you probably plan to rent a truck on your own and load it with the help of friends and family.

packing and loading moving truck

Do you how to pack your items to ensure you get the most out of your truck rental?

We suggest renting a truck that is 10 to 15 percent larger than you think you need. In case you misjudge the amount of stuff you have, you'll end up having enough room for everything.

The size truck you need will be determined by the number of rooms you have in your house or apartment.

If you try to cram your belongings into a truck that's too small, you can easily break something. If you get a truck that is too large, everything will move around and end up getting damaged.

How do you pack a moving truck?

A rental truck is not the steadiest place during a commute. The bigger the truck, the less control you have. If you hit bumps or potholes, your items could go flying around, and if not properly packed, could end up broken or damaged beyond repair. Protect your items as much as you can before loading them in.

  • Stack plates vertically like you would in a dishwasher. This makes it less likely for them to get broken. Add plate dividers for added protection.
  • Wrap large furniture, like couches or upholstered chairs, with blankets to keep them from getting damaged during the trip.
  • Anything made of wood needs foam furniture padding as it prevents scratches during transit as well as the loading and unloading process.
  • Move mattresses inside mattress bags to keep them clean.
  • Tape together any parts that are dissembled, like bed frames and table legs.
  • Hardware, like nuts and bolts, should be taped to corresponding furniture inside of a Ziploc bag.
  • Roll up carpets and area rugs. You can pack longer items inside of the rolled rug -- just add towels to each end, so these items don't fall out.

TIP: Invest in a dolly to move the larger and heavier items in and out of your home as well as moving harnesses to strap items down.

How do you load a moving truck?

Once you have your boxes ready, walk through your home and determine the order in which you plan on loading the truck. If you're feeling really ambitious, we recommend sketching out a floor plan for how the truck should be packed.

The best way to load a truck is to start with the larger items first. Have help on hand -- these items are large in size and heavy in weight. These items will go upright on the back wall (closest to the cab) of the truck. As you load these heavier items, balance the weight in the truck by placing them on opposite sides of each other.

What order should you load your moving truck?

  • Large appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, ovens and dish washers
  • Heavy furniture like mattresses, box springs, bookcases or bureaus
  • Longer items like floor lamps or skis

TIP: When getting ready to load your dressers into the truck, remove the drawers so all you're carrying is the frame of the dresser. Once the frame is on the truck, you can put the drawers back in and secure shut with rope.

When should you load boxes?

Load boxes last. These items can be placed on any flat surface -- under chairs, on top of dressers and chairs. Your goal is to fill any remaining gaps to save on space and keep those larger items in place.

Stack them by weight -- heaviest to lightest. The smallest and lightest boxes should be the last loaded and placed on top of the moderate-sized boxes to prevent them from being crushed. Any awkward or weirdly shaped items can be placed in atop the pile.

What if there's space left?

Stuff the holes! When all is said and done, you'll need to fill the gaps between boxes to prevent shifting. Stuff these areas with non-breakable items like bags of clothes or linens. It will double as extra padding.

  Posted by Nicole Schurott on October 10, 2018

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