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Tips for an Easy DIY Move

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If you are planning a DIY move, you may be prepared to trade cost for convenience. However, there are many ways to ensure that your DIY move is easy and stress-free. To avoid mishap and unnecessary hassle for your upcoming move, just follow these simple suggestions.

Book your truck in advance

Just like movers, truck rentals book up fast. Maker sure you make your reservation at least several weeks in advance. If you are moving during peak season--between May and September--you should reserve the truck a couple of months before your scheduled moving date.

Give yourself enough time

A DIY move can take days to execute if you are moving long distance. While local moves may only require one day, many relocations will require at least several days to complete. Make sure to allot enough time to complete your move without hastily rushing. You may want to plan a few more days than you expect you'll need to be on the safe side.

If you will have to take time off from work, make sure to discuss it with your employer far in advance to ensure that it is not a problem.

Downsize your belongings

The more you move, the more time it will take to pack and load your truck. Make your DIY move easier by lightening your load and eliminating useless junk that will only clutter up your new home. Have a moving sale to make some extra money for your move, donate unwanted items to charity, sell them online, or pass them on to loved ones. If you prefer to just throw away your unnecessary belongings, make sure to recycle appropriate items properly.

Get help

Though it is referred to as a "do-it-yourself" move, it is difficult to complete alone. You should always enlist the aid of a few brawny friends to help you with the heavy lifting. Moving heavy items can cause injury if not done correctly, and you should never attempt to carry more than you can handle. Many bulky belongings such as furniture and appliances cannot be safely carried by one person, especially up or down stairs.

To make your move even easier, rally up loved one to help you pack by planning a "packing party". Invite everyone over, play some upbeat music, and offer food and drinks. Just remember to keep the alcoholic beverages at a minimum--everyone will be handling your stuff!

Get free supplies

Buying brand new boxes and packing supplies can rack up your moving bill considerably. While fragile and valuable items should always be wrapped and boxed in high-quality materials, other items can be packed in used boxes. Visit your local grocer, liquor store or bookstore for old boxes, or visit Freecycle or the U-Haul Box Exchange for donations. You can also ask friends or family that have moved recently for their old cartons.

When packing your goods in used boxes, make sure they are sturdy and always reinforce the bottoms with packing tape.

Pack least important to most important

If you are handling the move yourself, that means packing tasks as well. Since you won't be able to pack up the contents of your entire home in one day like professional movers, you will have to tackle the job a little at a time.

To keep your packing process from interfering with daily life, always pack least important to most important. The items that are essential to your routine--such as toiletries, bedding, and cookware--should be saved for last. Begin with packing your least important items--out of season attire, decorations, knick knacks, books, and movies.

Leave specialty items to the pros

Do you have a piano? Pool table? Grandfather clock? An assortment of valuable artwork and antiques? These belongings should be transported by professional movers to ensure they are not damaged. Items like pianos, grandfather clocks and pool tables are complicated to disassemble, and the slightest error can prevent them from working properly again. Specialty movers are moving companies that focus on the transport of difficult items, and have all the proper supplies and methods to ensure your belongings are handled correctly and delivered without a scratch.

Load the truck properly

While you may think you can just pack your rental truck to capacity and hit the road, there is a proper strategy for loading to ensure your goods remain stationary and do not sustain damage. Always pack your heaviest appliances first, towards the front of the truck (the area closest to the cab).

You can then load some of your other large items, like your mattresses, headboards, sofas, and tabletops along the sides of the truck. You should put them in upright, and secure them to the panels on the sides of the truck. Follow with other heavy items, like dressers, tables, chairs, and bookcases in the center of the truck.

Last load all of your boxes. Try to keep weight evenly distributed, and don't place heavy boxes on top of furniture items. Fill any negative space underneath tables or other items with smaller boxes to help keep these items stationary and save space.

Plan your route

Before beginning your journey to your destination, make sure you have your route mapped out. If you are moving long distance, designate your stops for food and rest in advance for the most streamlined and efficient trip. Planning your travel path in advance will allow you to prepare for road weight restrictions or avoid low bridges that will not accommodate your truck. Also, maneuvering a cumbersome moving truck will be much easier if you are confident in navigating your route. Getting confused or lost will only make your trip stressful and difficult. If you do not already own one, you may be able to rent a GPS unit from your rental truck agency.

Conserve fuel

Driving a large truck weighed down with all of your earthly possessions can burn a lot of fuel. To conserve gas and save money during your DIY move, employ gas-saving techniques such as using cruise control, refraining from excessive speeding, and keeping A/C use to a minimum. The lighter your load, the less gas you will burn, so be sure to purge your junk before your move!

Do you need a parking permit?

If you live in an apartment or in a busy city, you may require a parking permit for your rental truck. Speak with your homeowner's association, landlord, or property management to determine if a permit is required. You may not need one if you are parking on private property, unless you wish to reserve space.

To get your permit, contact the appropriate city office. You can visit your city's government page and search for "moving parking permits", or call the city and request a transfer to the department that issues street parking permits. Most city websites have a main contact number for non-emergency information listed on their websites.

Nicole La Capria  Posted by Nicole La Capria on February 14, 2014

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