Moving, especially long-distance moving, can be a stressful and chaotic time. It’s no surprise that many individuals and families choose to utilize a professional moving company, outsourcing the packing, loading, driving, unloading and unpacking that constitutes a typical move, but not everyone can afford to hire a moving company, while others may voluntarily choose to move themselves. Americans are known for their self-reliance and can-do attitude, and if we have the time and physical capacity to do so, we choose to handle a task such as moving ourselves.
It’s Not That Simple
However, moving isn’t as simple as loading a truck, driving from point A to point B and unloading the truck, especially if you want to ensure that the journey is safe and that your belongings arrive with as little breakage or damage as possible. The key to any do-it-yourself move involves properly packing and loading your rental truck, which will ensure that you and your belongings arrive safely and in one piece!
Plan the Internal Layout
Those of us who have hurriedly thrown bags of groceries or other purchases in the trunk of a car know that hastily and haphazardly moving items can result in unintended consequences such as broken eggs, punctured milk cartons and bruised fruit. Now, imagine those things happening to your most prized belongings, from your antique furniture to your collection of record albums! Needless to say, it’s important to ensure that you have packed your moving truck in a manner that minimizes internal movement, reduces the chances of breakage and other damage and makes loading and unloading as hassle- and stress-free as possible.
To begin, plan where different categories of items in various sections of the truck. Furniture, appliances and other large items should be securely fastened towards the front of the truck, while longer items such as segments of bed frames should be loaded first. Before loading furniture and appliances, clean and disassemble these items, then store the nuts, bolts and other removable accessories in sealable bags that can be taped to the item or clearly labeled and stored together. Next, ensure that all removable parts and accessories such as light bulbs are removed from appliances. You can carefully wrap and pack bulbs, but you may choose to eliminate the risk of breakage and simply purchase new bulbs once you arrive at your destination. Finally, be sure to wrap furniture and appliances in moving blankets, and use pillows or cushions to fill in significant gaps and spaces to reduce the possibility of breakage.
Choose the Right Cardboard Boxes
It can be easy to believe that all cardboard boxes are the same, especially when faced with the choice of purchasing expensive moving boxes or grabbing free boxes from your local beverage retailer. However, choosing the free or convenient option can be problematic, especially when you are loading a moving truck. It is optimal to use professional moving boxes that are sturdy and identical, which will enable to create neat, consistent stacks of boxes that will be less likely to fall over or collapse. In addition to choosing the right type of box, it’s also important to stack the boxes in the right order. Professional moving boxes should include a printed weight limit, and you should adhere to that limit when packing. Finally, store heavier boxes on the bottom of your stacks, with lighter boxes on top – this will not only prevent boxes from collapsing and damaging your belongings, but it will also reduce the possibility of injury due to falling boxes when loading and unloading.
Prepare for the Possibility of Theft
While the thought of having our personal belongings stolen during the moving process can be distasteful, it’s important to face the fact that a rental moving truck, parked in a restaurant or motel parking lot, is a prime target for thieves. While it is impossible to completely prevent the possibility of vandalism and theft, there are steps you can take to mitigate the fallout from a break-in.
First, never pack personal items such as medicines or personal documents or irreplaceable items such as family photos or keepsakes in the back of a moving truck. Next, position boxes with your more valuable (but replaceable) belongings further towards the front of the truck, as thieves will more likely break in and quickly grab the most easily-accessible boxes. Finally, park your moving truck with the bed door facing your hotel room, as this will deter some thieves who are seeking an easy target.