Tips for Loading Your Moving Truck

By Danni White on August 9, 2017

Moving from one place to another, even if it is just across town, can be time-consuming and a headache. But packing a moving truck or van in preparation to make that major move can be just as overwhelming. Packing a moving truck means calculating the logistics of your furniture so that it is arranged in such a way that your space is maximized and damages are not just minimized but almost non-existent.

Easier said than done? Right. I know. Moving isn’t exactly all it’s cracked up to be. But if you know how to pack up your boxes, to begin with, and then pack them up the right way in the moving truck, you’re over halfway to having a successful move.

Now, if you’ve hired a professional moving company, you don’t need to keep reading this or even worry about how your stuff is going to be packed. They’re professionals and they most likely know what they’re doing. In that case, stop reading and move on to more important things like studying for that major physics exam or going to the gym to keep up with your track and field regime.

But if you’re like most students who don’t yet have the brains (or the money) to hire professional movers to do the job for you, here are a few tips to help you load your moving truck and be well on your way.

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1. The heavy and/or big stuff gets first dibs

The heavy and/or big stuff is going to be your toughest babies, so put them in the truck first. This kind of stuff is your dresser drawers, chairs, living room sets, dishwasher, oven, stove, washing machine, dryer, refrigerator, TV, and so forth. Whatever we normally wouldn’t see you walking down the street with, that’s most likely what will go in this category.

If you set these things upright and closer to the front part of the truck, you’ll have a better chance of getting everything transported safely. Additionally, unevenly distributed weight can cause your vehicle to fishtail, so placing all of your heavy and big appliances in in this way can help to avoid that.

A few other things to note: distribute the weight of the heavy items along the back of the truck near the cab. If you have a lot of stuff, designate two people to be the “loaders” and ensure they line things up horizontally, not vertically. Strap the items when you are completely done to avoid shifting while driving.

2. Give the tall items some leg room

Your tall items will include your box spring and mattress, the headboard and footboard, as well as full-length mirrors, book shelves, and tabletops. These items should be put against the longest walls of the truck and also must be kept upright for safety. Straps and/or ties can help secure these items in place.

Your mattress and coach can help to provide a safety net for other items that are a bit more fragile. Also, with soft fabric-like material up against the walls of the truck, items such as a dresser drawer are less likely to get banged up. To avoid drawers opening and closing as the truck is moving, put such items facing the mattress or the couch.

3. Protect the furniture

In between the heavy and big stuff and the tall items, throw in the softness to help protect everything. Of course, you should be tying and strapping as much as possible. In between all the items, stuff pillows, blankets, and cushions to help protect it from each other.

Strategically placing these softer items between your heavy-duty things will serve as a buffer. This way, nothing gets beat up too badly or damaged during the move. If you don’t have enough blankets and pillows, consider renting moving blankets or purchasing bubble wrap to help keep everything protected.

4. Stack those boxes

Try to pick boxes of similar size so you can easily stack one on top of the other. Like a pyramid put the biggest and heaviest box on the bottom and put a medium weight box on top of that before ending it with a smaller and lighter weight box. Think of the boxes like siblings — big brother holding middle brother holding baby brother.

Be careful to properly label the boxes. Few things are more annoying than packing 50 boxes and having to go through every single one of them to find the one thing you’re looking for. So, label or mark the outside of the box so you can know what is in each box and which box goes to which room. Also, try to ensure the labeling is facing the same direction for easy viewing.

5. Insert the stragglers

Now that all of your major stuff is on board, go back and get everything else that’s probably minor but just as much needed and put it into any open spaces or crevices in the truck. It’s okay to have a little space in between stuff, but not too much room for things to move around while driving.

Use as much extra cushion as is necessary here to protect the smaller, delicate items but don’t cram anything in as that can cause things to get stuck or broken. Keep a log of where you have the small stuff so you can account for it when you get to the new destination.

Danni White is a developmental psychology graduate student at Liberty University. She works in the digital publishing, media, and technology industries. After this degree, she will go on to work on a PhD in social psychology in which she hopes to do research on perception and social cognition’s impact on human behavior. She hopes to apply this research in corporate HR departments and community-based organizations. In her otherwise limited spare time, she blogs, writes and reads. She loves coffee, sports, music, cooking, meeting new people, and binge watching Netflix.

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