One Trip Wonder: How to Efficiently Use a Moving Truck

Moving can be a huge undertaking, whether you’re moving cross country or just across town. The moving truck can be a big expense that has a time limit on it. Using it efficiently can save you money. Make sure to choose the right size truck for your household size. Use these tips to be more organized and save time with your truck.

Packing First

Before you ever start loading the truck, efficiency starts with packing. Pack as much as you can before you bring the truck to your home. Have a good selection of boxes for your belongings. Use a TV box kit to pack your valuable electronics. Get mattress bags to protect your bed. Have packing paper, tape and markers. Label everything as you pack. Use plenty of packing paper and bubble wrap with your most fragile items. Roll up and tape rugs. Secure drawers with saran wrap or rubber bands.

Start packing the rooms and items you use the least. Heavy items should go into smaller boxes. Empty dresses and pack everything into boxes. Take furniture apart and wrap fragile items in packing paper or bubble wrap. Place screws, nuts and bolts into sandwich bags. Label each bag to know which fasteners go with which item. Keep out medication and anything you need to use on moving day. Pack that stuff last and label the box “open first.”

Loading the moving truck

If you’ve packed efficiently, loading the moving truck should be one of the easiest parts of the move. Make sure you have a dolly and lots of furniture pads. Pull out the ramp and make sure it is secure, clean and dry. Don’t push the dolly up the ramp, but pull it to avoid hurting yourself.

Load the boxes first into the truck. Stack them vertically, with the heaviest boxes on the bottom, lightest on the top. Load the furniture next, starting with the mattresses and box springs. Stand them vertically. Put glass pieces like mirrors between the box springs and mattresses for added cushioning. Strap these pieces to the side wall.

Next, load the furniture. Start with the largest pieces. Stand couches on their side, with the feet toward the wall. Use the pillows to fill in empty spaces. As you load dressers and other pieces of furniture, drape blanket pads on each piece to protect the finish. Load appliances and wardrobe boxes last. This way, they are the first items off the truck at your new home.

Work in layers. Secure each layer independently of other layers. Try to evenly distribute weight from front to back and side to side. Be careful of loading metal items next to things wrapped in plastic. Make sure to close the back of the truck properly. Replace the ramp and secure it.

Driving the Truck

Although you don’t need a special license to drive a moving truck, you may want to drive around your neighborhood to see how the truck handles. This also lets you check that your load is secure before you get on the interstate. Use extra caution when approaching intersections. Watch for cars in the blind spot. Pay attention to overhead clearance signs, too. Take corners and curves gently to ensure the load doesn’t shift. Don’t be scared by the truck’s size, but do keep in mind that it will drive a bit differently.