How To Pack A Moving Truck Like Us Pros

If you’re wondering how to pack a moving truck and is there really a right way, the answer is yes. From the order in which you pack to the way your organize packing a moving truck it’s all about the space you have to work with and how efficiently you use that space, distribute the weight and pack so you don’t damage your belongings.

If you need a few tips, keep reading to find out how to pack a moving truck like the pros.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of packing a moving truck, the first consideration is determining what size truck are you going to need for your move. For a DIY move you may be thinking to go as small as you possibly can to save some money. Be very cautious with this type of thinking. If you’re doing a longer distance move, the last thing you want is to have to call the rental place and try to book a larger truck at the last minute. Good luck with that. If you’re moving more locally, having a truck that ends up being too small is probably going to mean more than one trip back and forth. No matter what the reason, ending up underestimating the size of truck you’ll need is going to cause headaches and cost you more in the long run.

Check out the information on each of the trucks the rental place offers. They should have a matrix of the size of truck and how much it will hold in terms of how many rooms it will hold. Since you probably don’t know all the details or have vast experience in how to pack a moving truck, it’s a good idea to error on the next size up and not the smaller size.

Get Your Packing Supplies Together

The next step before actually packing a moving truck is to get your packing supplies in order. This would include your boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape, pads, straps, and your dolly. Items will want to shift during the move. Shifting is the number one reason for damage. As we’ve pointed out before when talking about packing boxes, you don’t want any movement inside of your boxes when you pack them. Think of your moving truck as a big box. The same strategy applies. You don’t want any movement inside the box of your truck during transport.

Recruit Help For Packing Your Moving Truck

The final pre-load tip is to recruit your friends to help. It’s never a good idea to take on the challenge of a DIY move by yourself. You could end up injuring yourself, break or damage your belongings, or just the fact that it will take you an immense amount of more time to get the truck packed up. Which could even end up costing you more money to extend your rental window.

Okay… with the pre-task checklist noted, let’s talk about how to pack a moving truck.

Disassemble The Furniture

Start by taking apart any furniture that you can and taping the parts together and labeling them. If hardware such as screws, nuts, washer, or bolts are involved in the disassembly process, but them in a zip lock bag and tape them securely to the underside of the table or with the legs. This will help you maximize the available space that you have to work with. For example, taking the legs off of tables will enable you to pack the table on its edge and upright without the legs sticking out. This will save space and not have your table’s legs exposed where they could get snapped off. Be sure to continue on through your place taking apart bed frames, headboards, desks, and anything else that can be broken down.

What Loads First

When it comes to how to pack a moving truck, you’ll want to start with your heaviest items first. These are the items that take two or more people to actually move. These items should go against the the far wall next to the cab. Be sure to keep these items in their upright position and balance the heavier items evenly across the truck. Proper weight distribution is a key factor when packing a moving truck. If you’re heaviest items are packed too far back in the box of the truck, the truck will be harder to control at higher or highway speeds. The closer to the front wheels you pack your heavier items, the safer the drive will be.

Start with your heavier square shaped items like the fridge, freezer, washer, dryer, etc. These square shaped items will line up nicely with the square shape of the box of your truck and will fit tightly into the front corners.

Furniture Next

Once you’ve knocked out your heavier items when packing your moving truck, it’s time to start with your furniture. Tables, bed frames, bookcases, couches, mattresses, etc. For your longer and narrower pieces place them upright and lengthwise along the sides of the box of the truck. Always keeping in mind to balance your load across the truck. If you put something heavy on the right-hand side, be sure to load something of similar weight across from it on the left-hand side of the truck. Also, keep in mind that any of these items that you pack upright they should be properly secured so they don’t fall against something and damage it during transport. So far, this is what we’ve got:

  • Large appliances like refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers
  • Heavy furniture like mattresses, box springs, sofas or bureaus
  • Smaller furniture like nightstands, bookcases, tables and chairs
  • Longer and slimmer items like headboards, bedrails, mattresses and box springs along the walls of the truck

A Couple Of Quick Tips

  • Roll up and secure your rugs. Roll your rugs up with the top of the rug facing outwardly. This will help in avoiding damaging the rug’s backing.
  • When loading your dressers onto the truck take the drawers out and carry on just the frame. Once you have the frame on the truck where you want it, put drawers back into the frame and secure them shut with some straps.

Load Remaining Boxes – Largest And Heaviest First

The next step in how to pack a moving truck is to bring on your boxes. Follow the same theme as before with loading your largest and heaviest boxes first and keeping your load balancing in mind. you can place the heavier boxes on top of the solid appliances and furniture but should avoid putting the heavier boxes on your softer furniture. Use the spaces underneath the desks and in any gaps on the floor. Work your way up toward the ceiling with your boxes by weight with the lightest boxes at the top. Be sure to use ties and straps to section off your “box walls” to keep them securely in place. Any other odd shaped un-stackable objects will go on at the very back of the truck. Odd shapes and sizes are difficult to pack tightly so make sure the secure them tightly with ties and straps so they can’t move around during transport.

Fill The Holes As You Go

Load up any odd shapes and awkward items last. Use any naturally formed protective cubby holes in and around the furniture to store fragile items. The last items to be loaded are anything that can be stuffed into cracks and crevices that won’t break like bags full of clothes, blankets, linens, and towels… anything that can be used as filler for any of the gaps will work. Remember just like the individual boxes that we packed and stuffed the holes so there would be no movement inside the box, is the same for the “box” that is the moving truck.

Finally, don’t forget to load the first tools you’ll need lastly on the truck… such as your dolly.

When figuring out how to pack a moving truck the best way is to allow yourself enough time to be able to take your time as opposed to an eleventh-hour mad dash. You’ll do some rearranging during the course of packing your moving truck but that’s to be expected. Just take your time and pack tightly and secure the load and you’ll do just fine.



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