How to Pack a Moving Truck – Ultimate Tips for Relocating Like a Pro

October 14, 2020

If you’re wondering how to pack a moving truck correctly, you have come to the right place. During this step of your long-distance relocation, it’s crucial to position your furniture, cardboards, and other belongings in good order. That way, you’ll have more storage space in the back of your vehicle. Packing a moving truck can be tricky, but you’ll be ready to do the whole job like a pro and move successfully into your new home with our tips.

Choose the Size of the Vehicle Carefully

When you start making your household inventory list remember to schedule a truck rental for your relocation date. Rental companies offer a wide variety of sizes and shapes you can choose from. We highly recommend avoiding smaller (and cheaper) ones. Maybe your moving budget is tight, but if you decide to rent a smaller cargo van, you are risking multiple drives back and forth. That will definitely cost you more money and time.

Wondering how much can you fit in a 26-foot moving truck? This size is perfect for packing 3- to 5-bedroom homes. Just be careful because the capacities, dimensions, and weight limit may vary depending on the rental company. Let’s say that approximate dimensions are 25’11” x 8’1″ x 8’1″ and the weight limit is around 10,000 lbs.

How Long Does It Take to Pack a Moving Truck?

How to pack a truck efficiently for a relocation is one thing, but the time spent doing it is another. You should have in mind that the amount of time will depend on a couple of factors:

  • The size of your home
  • The flights of stairs you’ll need to navigate
  • The size of your elevator
  • The number of hallways or walkways
  • The number of people working on your relocation.
A man and woman holding the cardboard and placing them in a cargo van
The amount of time spent on packing is individual.

Obtain Enough Boxes and Packing Supplies

The right amount of boxes and packing supplies are mandatory for the protection of your belongings during transit. You’ll have to obtain a lot of sturdy boxes, tape, plastic wrap, and a dolly to help you haul more massive things. Use blankets and furniture pads to fill in all the gaps. They will prevent shifting and scraping while on the road. You should also cover your mattress with a mattress bag and obtain straps for holding belongings in place. Packing your belongings carefully with a sufficient amount of supplies is also essential if you plan on leaving some of it in a storage unit.

Where to Find the Best Free Boxes?

Relocation can be a significant financial burden, but there are ways to cut some expenses. For example, you can easily find free boxes near you. Go to your nearest supermarket, bookstore, liquor store, or office depot. You’ll be doing them a huge favor. When people finish with the move, they usually list their used cardboards on Craigslist and Freecycle. Join their community and find a bunch of free boxes for your upcoming move.

An image of a few cardboards stacked on top of each other
Your closest liquor store has so many cardboards that you can use for your upcoming move.

Disassemble All Your Furniture Items

Your furniture will take up a lot of space. That is why you should disassemble it into smaller pieces. For example, you can take apart dining tables by taking the legs off. This can be done with bed frames, dressers, lamps, etc. All disassembled pieces can be placed inside beddings or rolled-up rugs. If you cannot take apart larger furniture, you can store cardboards and other smaller belongings into its drawers.

A man and woman sitting on the floor in their home
You should disassemble your coffee table if you want to have more room in the vehicle.

Load Your Largest and Heaviest Items First

How to pack a moving truck efficiently? By starting with the largest and heaviest belongings. These should include tables, chairs, bed frames, mattresses, washer/dryers, refrigerators, stoves, couches, and coffee tables. You don’t want these items to damage or crash your other belongings. Therefore, you should place them at the bottom of your rental vehicle. The heaviest should be stored in the front, i.e., closest to the driver’s cab. To make the most out of the storage space, remember that smaller household objects can be placed inside some of these larger appliances.

A man and woman are lifting their couch
Your couch and other larger things should be packed first.

Useful Tip: Pack Your Long Items Upright

Loading your long things vertically is the best way to pack a moving truck and have more space in it. Things that should be placed in the upright position include headboards, couches, mattresses, large mirrors, bookcases, and tables. Remember to provide padding and protection to avoid items scratching against each other. For example, you can use blankets and plastic wrap to cover chairs and couches.

An image of a mattress, pillow, and a teddy bear
The best way to load a moving truck and have more room is to put your mattress and similarly shaped belongings vertically.

Load Your Oddly-Shaped and Lighter Items Last

When you finish with large and heavy objects, you should start loading lightweight and medium ones onto the vehicle. These should include cardboards, pictures, and medium-sized mirrors. When you load these objects, make sure to put them on top of the furniture. If you place something underneath the furniture, you are risking them to get crushed during transit. After all, packaging fragile items is a complicated process and you must secure their stability and safety.

Now is the time to fill holes and empty spaces. You can stuff gaps with things that won’t break during transportation. These could be your shoes, boots, clothes, blankets, linens, towels, and hangers. And the last thing you should load is your bag of overnight moving essentials. This bag should contain pajamas, a change of clothes, and toiletries. Also, put it at an easily reachable spot.

A woman putting a fragile tape over a cardboard box
Cardboards containing fragile belongings should be placed on top of the furniture.

What Should You Not Pack in a Moving Truck?

You should place your valuables and collectibles into a separate, clearly-labeled box and transport them in your car if possible. Your moving binder with important documents should also travel with you. Just be careful and don’t get distracted while taking a break during your drive.

The significant number of long-distance movers won’t transport anything flammable, hazardous, poisonous, and perishable. Even if these are properly packed, they still impose a big risk of stains, spills, and even more horrible accidents. Some of the most common household items are highly dangerous. Click on the video below and see the best way to store or dispose of hazardous materials.

Tips for Loading a Moving Truck

Relocation is a challenging job that will require a lot of your energy and time. Everything will run smoothly if you stay focused and organized. You’ll need all resources possible, especially when packing a moving truck. That is why we will provide some additional tips just for you.

Find a Sitter or a Walker for Your Pets on the Relocation Day

The first tip is not about loading a vehicle but is closely tightened to the whole process. If you’re moving with pets, you should think about hiring a sitter during the relocation day. Your beloved furry friends are highly sensitive to the changing environment, and they will surely have a strong reaction. Also, your doors will have to be opened throughout the day, and you don’t want your pet to wander off while you’re handling the loading.

Where to Find a Truck Rental?

When you start planning your move, you can rest assured knowing that rental companies can be found easily and quickly. Many of them are offering trucks of various sizes that come with loading docks. Your research shouldn’t be a problem, but be careful to choose the one that will fit your budget and needs.

How Do You Secure Boxes in a Moving Truck?

Moving straps are the best tool you should obtain to secure your cardboards in a vehicle. For example, as soon as you put your heavy things, you should strap them in place. Then, you should strap the second tier with medium-sized cardboards, and so on.

Make Sure That Weight Is Distributed Evenly

This is probably the most crucial task in your relocation process. You should make sure that the weight is distributed evenly throughout the vehicle. That way, you’ll much easily do the whole work without worrying about cardboards falling over. Just place heavy objects against the walls and towards the cab, and you’re ready to go. Also, make sure that medium-weight objects are placed on top of the heaviest ones, and that your lighter possessions are on the very top.

Save Room and Roll up Rugs

You can save a lot of room in the vehicle by rolling up all your rugs. Remember to clean them properly before rolling and wrap them carefully in plastic wrap. To avoid any damage, you should roll your rug with the top side facing out. When your carpet is packed, be sure to put it upright.

Pack Stuff Into Suitable Containers

Learn how to pack clothes for moving and find suitable cardboards or suitcases for them. Your electric equipment, decorative pieces, and kitchen utensils could be packed in the cardboards they came in. If you don’t have such materials anymore, be sure to find the appropriately sized cardboards and use padding and bubble wraps to prevent damage. If you need to transport many books, try finding the best-sized cardboard to save room in a vehicle. You can also tape all disassembled parts, like table legs and bed frames, together.

Don’t Over-Pack Your Cardboards

It’s essential not to over-pack your cardboards. People who don’t have much experience with long-distance relocation can easily make such a mistake because they want to lower the cardboard number. Yet, over-packing can lead to ripping and losing or damaging valued possessions along the way. For example, instead of placing all your kitchen appliances into one single box, you should use at least two. As long as the cardboards are adequately labeled, you’ll be fine.

Lock up Your Moving Truck

Overnight moving-truck theft, unfortunately, happens more often than it should. You can protect your belongings by locking it up. When you pick up your vehicle, a rental company worker will inspect it with you to determine if there are any pre-existing damages. This is a moment to check if the doors are working correctly. You should also see if the door latch on the back works perfectly

An image of a truck on the road
Remember to lock up the vehicle.

That’s a Wrap on How to Pack a Moving Truck Successfully

Hopefully, our article on how to pack a truck for long-distance moving will come in handy when you start planning your move. Just be careful not to rush your packing and loading. If the whole process is too scary or sounds too complicated, you can hire efficient and reliable long-distance moving services. Professional cross-country movers and packers will do all the packing in no time. If you’re not planning to travel in your car, consider booking auto shipping services as well. With an excellent long-distance moving company, you will relieve stress levels and better enjoy your new journey.

Eleanor Stewart