If you’re planning to take on the brunt of the moving process on your own, there are many things to plan and prepare for.

One of the major tasks in a DIY move is packing a moving truck efficiently and safely.

An improperly packed moving truck can lead to damaged goods, difficult driving, wasted time, and accidents. 

Want to know the best tips to pack a moving truck? Here are our five most effective methods for packing, prepping, and moving when utilizing a moving truck rental.


Determine What Size Moving Truck You Need

Choosing the right-sized moving truck is the first step to ensuring a successful move.

Many people try to cut corners by selecting a smaller-sized truck, but that’s likely to waste money and time. A worst-case scenario is renting a truck, picking it up, packing your truck, and realizing it’s not big enough to hold all your items.

You will have to either try to upgrade to a bigger truck last minute or make multiple trips to transfer all of your belongings — both of which cost more time and money than needed.

When calling moving truck companies about renting a truck, let them know what types of items you’ll be moving and how many boxes; they’ll be able to suggest the right size truck for you.

As a general guide, here is the proper truck size for different sizes of homes and apartments according to moving companies Plano TX:

  • 1–2 bedroom apartment: 10’ truck
  • 3–4 bedroom apartment: 26’ truck
  • Small residential house: 10’ truck
  • Large residential house: 20–26’ truck

Don’t forget to consider your physical needs as well. For example, some moving trucks come with a walk-up ramp and dollies, while others do not. If you require those, ask the moving truck rental company for a vehicle that meets your needs.


Gather Your Moving Supplies

After choosing a moving truck in the right size and at your price point, it’s time to gather packing supplies.

To save money, first see what boxes, containers, and bins you already have in your home that you can use to hold items. You’ll likely need more boxes, so try to look for deals online or ask companies if they have any extra boxes they would be willing to give away.

Next, gather packing materials such as packing peanuts, bubble wrap, packing paper, padded dividers, and foam packaging. Proper packing materials and effective packing techniques will help keep your items safe in the moving truck. Use extra padding for fragile items and pack boxes to the fullest without making them too heavy.

When boxes are too heavy, moving them will be challenging. If boxes are not packed full, though, they will get shifted and possibly damaged during the move.

pack a moving truck

Disassemble Your Furniture

The last step for preparing your items for a move is taking apart your furniture.

Taking apart your furniture will ensure its safety in the moving truck and make more space for other items. For instance, imagine the amount of room a home desk takes up; some desks can take up one-fourth of your moving truck if they aren’t broken down but virtually no space when they’re in pieces.

Breaking down bigger and heavier furniture will also help ensure the weight of your belongings is evenly distributed within the truck. When weight is evenly distributed, your truck-driving experience will be easier and safer.


Load the Biggest Items First

Another best practice is to load the heavier items into the truck first. Heavier items consist of mattresses, bed frames, tables, couches and lounge furniture, refrigerators, washers, and dryers.

Loading oversized items first makes it easier to pack your smaller items around and on top of them. Remember to use moving straps to hold big things in place.


Save the Smallest Items for Last

Once you have loaded your heavy-duty items, start loading the lighter and more fragile items.

Be sure to place these items on top of your heaviest items so they won’t be damaged during the move.

Try evenly distributing small and medium-sized items on the truck’s floor before stacking them on top of big items and other boxes. When stacking boxes, use moving straps to ensure the boxes and items stay in place. 

Uneven levels will lead to boxes sliding and tipping over during the moving process.


Consider Hiring a Moving Company

By following these tips, you can safely and efficiently pull off your DIY move.

Although moving trucks are a great way to cut costs for your move, they do require more effort on your part. If you don’t want to deal with the stress of a DIY move, consider hiring a moving company and using our guide to figure out if hiring movers or a DIY move better suits your needs and budget.