If you've rented a truck and you're moving yourself, you'll want to plan out how you're going to pack everything: what goes where, what should go on top of what, what's first and last. Throughout this process, there are steps that you can take to ensure that you and those who are helping you are safe and that your belongings won't get damaged.
Though they won't win any blanket beauty contests, thick, cotton packing blankets (or moving blankets or moving pads) are essential to keeping your furniture protected. Finished wood can quickly look unfinished after a move; part of the packing process is stacking lighter things on top of the heavy, sturdier items. Your furniture can act as a solid foundation for packing, but, if it's not properly protected, items on top of and around it could slide and scratch it. That's not to mention items bumping into each other or the walls of the truck during the drive.
You can rent or purchase packing blankets from moving and rental companies. Get enough to protect any furniture exposed to the wall or furniture that is going to have items stacked on top of it.
TIP: Many people find uses for packing blankets beyond their move. They can function as drop-cloths, economical sound-proofing, and a way to protect your furniture from pet hair. When you are deciding whether or not to buy packing blankets, consider their long-term uses as well.
There are a number of other simple steps you can take toward making your move smoother and safer:
- Always pick up and carry boxes from the bottom. This will protect your things from falling out, which will, in turn, protect your feet.
- Lift heavy boxes with an emphasis on your legs. Don't wear your back out.
- If you don't have one, rent a dolly or a hand truck. The same company you rented the truck or mobile container from should have them. If you have people helping you, think about getting a couple. They make transporting the heavy stuff a breeze, especially with the ramps that moving trucks have.
- Some hand trucks have straps; you may want these for moving big items like refrigerators. That way, you can keep them from tipping forward off the dolly. This is especially useful if you are taking them down stairs.
When loading the truck with a dolly, make sure that you pull it up the ramp. Have someone behind to spot. Trying to push it up the ramp could result in it rolling back down on you or something falling on you.
- Any pillows or furniture cushions you have can be used for extra protection and for packing things tighter.
- Disassemble bed frames and tape them together. Do the same for skis, poles, and other long items. Roll them up in the rugs to protect them and conserve space.
- Try to schedule a specific day to get most of the packing done, so that you can have as much help as possible. Before that day, lay out a rough floor plan for the truck, so you can give people some direction when they come.
Photo by: Nuttakit (Freedigitalphotos.net)