By Peggy Bisbey, Certified Self Storage Manager
In Part 1 earlier this month, we reviewed how to choose the right size moving truck. Now we are going to discuss how to pack a moving truck like it matters – maximizing your space and reducing the risk of damage during the move.
Rental trucks used for moving are designed to hold a certain amount of items, typically measured in cubic feet. For instance, there are 16-cubic-foot trucks, 24-cubic-foot trucks and other sizes both smaller and larger. But, the capacity of the truck means nothing if you don’t know how to maximize your storage space by packing and loading it like an expert.
More common than not, professional movers know how to effectively load goods into a truck. However, some do not. (And likely, you are not a professional mover and may not know the best methods of how to pack a moving truck.) This could possibly result in cubic feet wasted and left unused. This could even mean leaving some household items behind for trash removal because they won’t fit and it’s not feasible to make another trip. Here are some tips on how you can load a moving truck like a pro to use all the available space.
Load Large Items First…or Not
There are two schools of thought when it comes to what should be loaded into the truck first. Some experts believe that the largest items should be loaded in first to ensure you have the room necessary for them. By doing this, you can fit boxes in and around the large items to “fill in the gaps” as a start, then finish off loading the truck with the rest of the boxes stacked floor to ceiling.
Others believe you should load your boxes in first, building a wall of boxes from the back side of the truck toward the door. You can line them up at the back and progress forward, or you can start at the back and line one side of the truck. If you have a lot of equal-sized boxes, you might find it easier to go with the wall of boxes to maximize your space, as they will stack nicely and not waste any space in between like you would with boxes of all sizes.
Whichever way you choose, be sure you tie the boxes down to avoid an avalanche. You may not have them bumped right up against the large items with no space in between, which is typical. By tying them down, whether against the back or side, you can ensure they will stay stacked even if you take a turn or two a little too fast.
Distribute Weight Evenly
Distributing the weight evenly throughout the truck will not only make it easier to load and unload but it will make the truck easier to control once you get on the road. Load the heaviest items against the walls so you can keep the middle of the floor open for the lighter items and easier loading.
Loading Pictures and Mirrors
Pictures and mirrors can break all too easily in the back of a moving truck, so protect them by sliding them between mattresses. They should still be wrapped with bubble wrap, moving blankets or packing paper and packed; but by placing them between mattresses in addition to that first layer of protection will make the best use of your space while ensuring nothing gets placed on top of them.
Disassemble Tables for Packing
Tables take up a ton of space when left assembled. To condense the size of the table, just take it apart and load it in the truck in pieces. You can set the table on its side, flat against the wall and it hardly takes up any space. Then wrap the legs together with bubble wrap and tie them so they are one piece, keeping them together and making them easier to move. Or, if the table is too problematic to take apart, load it into the truck first all the way at the back and store boxes and other items underneath it and on top of it to maximize your space. Either way you load it, be sure to wrap the top with moving blankets to protect it from scratches and damage as things shift around and rub against it while you are driving.
Store Sofas Up On End
A sofa takes up more cubic feet in a moving truck when laid in the truck horizontally; therefore, set it on its end and drastically reduce the amount of space it needs. Most moving trucks have high enough ceilings to accommodate a long sofa placed vertically. Be sure to place the sofa in a plastic cover or wrap it with blankets to prevent tears in the fabric or excessive dirt from the truck floor and all the contents within.
You don’t want to store your books on a bookshelf as it’s being moved, but it can definitely be a convenient solution for storing smaller boxes. By loading up your bookshelf with boxes, you’re using that space to the fullest, otherwise the space on the inside of the bookshelf would be holding nothing but air while the boxes would be taking up space in another part of the truck. After you load the bookshelf into the truck and the lighter, smaller boxes on the shelves, wrap around it with plastic shrink/stretch wrap to keep the boxes in place while you move. Otherwise, you risk the bumps of the road shifting the boxes around and possibly having those boxes falling off the shelves.
Packing like an expert means you will have your truck loaded up floor to ceiling, but this doesn’t mean that these items won’t still shift during transport. That is inevitable with all the turns, bumps and construction you may encounter on your trip. To protect all of your items, use packing straps throughout the process to keep certain items safe and secure. Rather than strapping it all in at the end, strap down sections at a time for optimum safety. This will also make it easier when it is time to unload. By removing straps one section at a time, the remainder of the items stay put until you are ready for them, preventing things from falling down and getting damaged.
By following these simple tips on how to pack a moving truck, you will not only pack more efficiently but your move will go much smoother than you may have imagined. If you are ready to move, you can secure our free moving truck and rent a self storage online 24/7/365, or give us a call today and our friendly property managers will be glad to help you get started.