The Ultimate Guide on How to Pack a Moving Truck

By in How-to October 26, 2020

Did you know that around one million people move with a rented moving truck and 1.35 million does it with no assistance at all each year? If you’re about to move soon without the help of long-distance movers, you must know how to pack a moving truck like a professional.

If you’re packing a lorry or van for the first time, there are plenty of things and factors you should consider: from furniture positioning to utilizing the space effectively. Even though this process may look like an easy task, dealing with tons of boxes and large items can bring you a big headache. For this reason, we’ve decided to help you with our moving tips and hacks to mitigate your moving stress as much as possible. This step-by-step guide will provide you with not only handy tips for moving out of state but some great words of advice if relocating out for the first time.

How to Pack a Moving Truck Properly

When relocating across the country, one of the crucial questions is definitely related to the cheapest way to move out of state. To save your time and money, you should find the best way to pack a moving truck, which will help you not make multiple trips back and forth between houses.

After creating a moving to-do list and expenses checklist, your next step should be determining what preliminary steps you need to take before packing all your household items and loading onto a lorry. Some of the most important are:

  • Obtain all the necessary packing materials
  • Find out the right method for loading the heaviest and lightest things
  • Find the ways to utilize space (disassemble the furniture, take off legs from chairs and tables)
  • Learn how to pack books for relocation in a way that packages with your hardcovers don’t occupy half of the lorry
  • Get the right moving straps to secure all your belongings and prevent from shifting
  • Make sure that the weight is evenly distributed
Good preparations are the key to a successful relocation
Jot down all the factors related to your loading process and be efficient when the relocation day arrives

Find Out What Size Truck Rental You Need Ahead of Time

Unless you’re facing last-minute relocation, it’s useful to know that you should reserve your truck at least a month before the relocation date. Depending on your needs, you can opt for smaller vans to those larger trucks. Don’t worry, most long-distance moving companies offer numerous shapes and sizes. And if you’re wondering How much can you fit in a 26-foot moving truck?, you can rest assured that these trucks’ capacity is for a 3-5 bedroom home with a weight limit of 10,000 lbs. They are suitable for large moves and provide a possibility to attach a cargo hold if needed. Still, if you need less space, you should pick a smaller lorry or even a van. So, let’s find out how to choose the proper size.      

How to Choose the Best Rental Truck for Your Moving

When looking for the best way to load a moving truck, you should determine the best-sized rental truck for your relocation. Here are some things to consider before you decide what model is your best bet:

  • The size of your furnishings and belongings
  • The distance of your move
  • Gas prices.

Depending on the size of your possessions, you can choose among these:

  • The 8 ft. pickup
  • 9 ft. cargo van or 10 ft. moving trucks (for one-bedroom or small studio move)
  • The 15 ft. and 20 ft. trucks for a medium to large relocation
  • 26 ft. trucks for large moves.
Sometimes it is better to choose the bigger model and be sure that everything fits inside
What lorry will satisfy your needs? That depends on the overall size of your things

Gather Packing Supplies

If you’re looking for the packing materials for moving and wondering where to get free moving boxes, you should have plenty of boxes in a similar size. If you can get it free of charge, even better. Still, keep in mind that the best solution is to buy new boxes because similarly shaped packages will make loading your possessions much easier and efficient. You can always contact professional long distance movers and order moving supplies you need, from small boxes to mirror picture boxes.

High-Quality Materials Will Keep Your Furniture Free From Damage

Why is it important to arrange the best packing materials for moving furniture? Because they guarantee that your possessions will stay safe amid transportation. Besides boxes and packing tapes, you’ll need much more supplies such as:

  • Bubble wrap
  • Plastic wrap
  • Corrugated cardboard sheets
  • Mattress bags
  • Sofa covers
  • Sealable plastic bags.

Make sure to clean and dust your furniture before you start stowing. This is important because dust and debris can cause scratches on your possessions during transportation. Also, bringing dirt and dust into your future home wouldn’t be such a good idea.

Don’t Forget This: Dolly and Hand Truck

Depending on the size of your relocation, dollies and hand trucks are often needed equipment. You should obtain or buy a two-wheel dolly to move packages and square objects, while for large and heavy pieces of furniture, you’ll need a four-wheel.

If you use containers of similar size, you won't have a problem with stacking
Try to obtain packages of similar size

Ask for Help

Are you convinced that you can stow and load a lorry by yourself? Well, that’s doable only if you plan to do that forever. Think about all that heavy stuff, massive bed frames, and cumbersome packages crammed with books. That’s a job for at least five to six strong people. With their help, you will speed up the process, save your money, and reduce the possibility of injuries. Also, when you’re surrounded by friends who carry packages into the truck’s storage, you can have more time to check if something is left to pack. Usually, the most commonly forgotten things to pack happen because you’re in a mess and can’t perform all the things on your checklist.

Additional tip: If you’re relocating with pets, your friends and family members can take care of your dog for a day or a few hours so that you can finish all your tasks smoothly.

With friends, the stowing process will be much easier
Help is always welcome

Disassemble All Furniture Items

You know how the furniture is bulky and sometimes oddly shaped. It can take up a lot of space on a truck. Be practical and take apart all items you can. This will maximize storage space and distribute the weight of heavy objects more evenly. Here are some examples of what you can disassemble:

  • Remove the cushions from sofas
  • Take apart all beds and bed frames. Remember to tape bed frames together after that
  • Take apart bed rails or table legs. You can roll them into carpets or large rugs
  • Disassemble lamp bases and lamp parts
Taking apart bed frames and table legs will provide you with more room in your lorry
Disassemble all that you can and save all screws and bolts separately in a zip bag

Tips for Loading a Moving Truck

Now, it’s time to start loading the lorry. How to pack a truck for long-distance relocation and how to pack it efficiently are the essential questions. To do this properly, there are some rules you should follow if you want to load your lorry like a pro:

  • Start with the heaviest and largest things – these should be placed near the driver’s cab. What are these items? Refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers, tables, mattresses, couches, etc.
  • To save space, place all tables, headboards, and couches in a vertical position. You should use moving pads or plastic wrap to protect upholstered sofas and chairs
  • The medium and lightweight objects should be loaded in the end. This group contains smaller furniture, appliances, pictures, TVs, mirrors, etc. Of course, make sure these objects are properly protected before placing them into the truck’s space.
  • Pack appliances and electronics in their original boxes, and mattresses in mattress bags
  • When it comes to jewelry and important documents, they should be stored separately in clearly-labeled boxes. Also, think about placing them on top of other things, and avoid their potential crushing
  • The so-called “mom’s attic” should be packed with the most fragile items, such as glassware, electronics, dishes, etc.

How Long Does It Take to Pack a Moving Truck

When professional movers load a truck, this can last from an hour (for a 10′ van) to four to five hours for 24′ or 26′ trucks. This is the average time when this job is done by two packers and on the lower floors. You should add 20% of the time for each floor above the first, and 20% more for every 50 feet of distance from the home to the lorry. Of course, this only applies to experts and trustworthy packers. Be aware when choosing your movers – check them thoroughly before hiring their services and avoid moving scams.

But, if you’re loading your belongings DIY and with friends’ help, it can last for several hours, or maybe a whole day. It’s hard to say precisely when the work will be done because that depends on the number of helpers, items, and the size of your lorry. Also, if you’re moving for the first time and have no experience, this can last longer than with a professional cross country moving company.

Additional Tip: What You Shouldn’t Pack in a Moving Truck

When relocating with the state to state professionals, they have strict rules about items movers won’t move. These include perishables, hazardous items, liquids, plants, etc. If you’re relocating by yourself, you should also avoid placing this stuff in your truck’s space. Still, if there’s enough room in your vehicle and you plan to move the car to another state by yourself, you can transport some things, such as canvas art, antique table lamps, first-aid kit, important documents, jewelry, or plants in your car.

You can place plants or valuable picture in your car - it's a better option than in a lorry rental
Don't pack things that movers avoid to place into their trucks

Once You Load Your Truck Efficiently, You Can Enjoy Your Long-Distance Relocation

We hope that our guide on how to pack a truck is useful and will help you load all your belongings efficiently and stress-free. Still, before you sit behind the truck’s wheel, take into consideration some additional words of advice that can make the relocation go smoother. Whether you’re relocating for love or a new job opportunity, we hope you’ve done some things ahead of time: changed your address, found out what do you need to rent an apartment, decided about the best time of the year to move, and finally, the last but not least organized moving away party.