Moving Made Simple: Choosing, Packing, Loading

Posted on: 12 July 2016

If you're planning an out-of-state move, you have a big job on your hands. According to some estimates, moving out of state will cost you between $5,000 to over $12,000. Although there aren't many ways to make moving less of a chore, you can probably make the move cheaper and a little easier.

Choosing Your Truck

One of the biggest decisions you need to make early in the moving process is what size truck to rent. It's important to make this decision as early as possible, as moving trucks tend to become scarce at peak moving times.

Although you might think that choosing a smaller truck will cost you less money, this isn't always the case (although you will pay a little less in fuel costs). Generally, it takes about 150-200 feet of cubic space to move a room's worth of belongings. You'll also need to account for belongings occupying spaces like garages, dining rooms, etc.

  • 15-foot truck - 2 bedrooms
  • 20-foot truck - 2-3 bedrooms
  • 26-foot truck - 4-5 bedrooms

Also consider that if you're towing a vehicle behind the moving truck, you can also pack this vehicle full of items, which can save you some space. It's important to err on a size that's a little too big, as it's better to have too much space than too little.

Packing Up Your Stuff

When it comes to packing your items, you can save money if you're willing to be little resourceful.

  • Boxes: why would you buy boxes when there are likely so many free boxes around? For smaller boxes, grocery stores and liquor stores often have a bountiful collection of free boxes for the taking. For bigger boxes, appliance and office supply stores are replete with an abundance of free boxes.
  • Packing Material and Blankets: to prevent scratching or breaking your precious belonging in the packing, moving, and unpacking process, it's a good idea to wrap items tightly with cloth fabrics like blankets, towels, jackets, sweaters, and other thicker fabric items. If you run out of your stash of these items, you may want to consider visiting your local thrift store. You can often buy unwanted fabric items in bulk for very affordable prices.

When it comes to boxing up your stuff, it's important to make sure that items are protected and organized:

  • Picture and Label: when boxing up items, it's a good idea to label and take a picture with smartphone of each box. This will make it easier to sort and locate items when you're unpacking them.
  • Wrap and Tape: items are often damaged or broken when they shift during the moving process. To prevent items from moving or shifting, you will want to wrap any delicate items (as discussed above) with a soft and/or thick fabric. After you wrap each item, you can make the items even more secure by taping the boxes with tape.

Loading the Truck

Now that you have your truck and your stuff is secured and packed, it's time to load everything up. Although no two moves are the same, here are some general rules to follow when loading up your moving truck.

  • Organize before you load: one of the biggest mistakes you can make is loading up your moving truck before you've organized your stuff. Thus, you should consider creating a staging area of sorts adjacent to your moving truck. In this staging area it's important to organize items based on weight and size. You will want your biggest and heaviest items loaded into the truck first. It is important to layer these items so that you can secure them with a tow strap or rope secured to the back of the moving truck. This is particularly important for items like appliances, pianos, or dense pieces of furniture.
  • Keep it low: having the lowest center of gravity will make your moving load more stable and less likely to shift during the moving process. If possible, keep all items 1 to 2 feet below the roof of the moving truck. You should also consider loading the tallest items near the near axle of the moving truck.

For more information and help, contact a professional moving company, such as Bekins Van Lines Inc.