How To Pack a Moving Truck Like the Pros

If you’re moving and want to know how to pack a moving truck, you’re in luck! Below we have a plethora of tips that will help you pack it like a pro! This list is actionable info that will ensure you fit as much on your moving truck as possible. It also ensures your stuff is in excellent condition when you arrive at your new home (or storage unit). If that sounds like the info you needed today, read on!

Before You Begin Packing Your Moving Truck

Packing a moving truck correctly is not a complex process but does take some planning and coordination. The best thing you can do before you start is – pack things in clean, standard size moving boxes. That way, all of it will fit better when packing your truck. That’s important because the better the fit, the less damage will occur as you’re bouncing down the highway. If you have a collection of oddly sized boxes, things can get a little complicated. Also, using bags to pack your items is not recommended. Plastic bags don’t stack and, to maximize the space on your moving truck, stacking is imperative.

Decide Whether To Pack the Moving Truck Yourself or Not

Here’s the thing; moving furniture and household goods is a strenuous, stressful process. If you’re young, strong, and have plenty of friends, it’s less of a problem. Older folks, however, may wish to consider hiring a professional moving company. Today, many moving companies will perform partial moving services. For example:

  • They’ll load the truck for you, and you drive it.
  • They can load, drive and unload.
  • They can provide movers and a truck.
  • You can rent a truck, and they can load it for you.
how to pack a moving truck

How to Figure Out What Size Moving Truck You Need 

One of the most important tasks you have, when you’re thinking about how to pack a moving truck, is what size moving truck you need. If you rent one that’s too small, you’ll have to make several trips. (That might not be possible if you’re moving long-distance.) If you rent a truck that’s much bigger than you need, you’ll end up paying a lot more for it. (Renting a moving truck these days can be exorbitantly expensive!)

The best way to determine what size moving truck to rent? Calculate how many cubic feet of space your things will take up before you rent one. It’s not a complicated process, but it does take some time and energy. Here’s a link to a moving checklist with cubic feet calculations for most household items that can be immensely helpful!

Purchase the Correct Packing Supplies

We mentioned earlier that it’s imperative you pack the moving truck with similarly sized boxes. To do that, take a drive to your local Moove In storage facility! We sell boxes, tape, packing paper, bubble wrap, and more, all ready for you to use! We recommend purchasing a variety of boxes but not too many at first. You can always go back again to buy a few extras if you need them.

Ask for Help from Friends and Family

Moving is a rite of passage in the United States. Everyone does it, and everyone needs help if they do it themselves. That’s why, a few weeks before you move, you should start asking friends and family for help to pack the moving truck. Trust us, on moving day; you’ll be glad you did! (Offer food and drinks to entice them!)

Disassemble Anything and Everything You Can

One notable bit of advice is to disassemble anything that you can. That way, it’s much easier to pack on the moving truck. Here are a few examples:

  • Take legs off all tables
  • Pack glass from display shelves. (Pack the glass in mirror cartons.)
  • Bed frames should be fully taken apart.
  • Remove mirrors from their dressers.
  • Hoses and ducts from your washer and dryer.
  • Tall lamps if possible.
how to pack a moving truck

Pack and Seal Everything Well

Packing things in boxes is one of the more important tasks when you pack a moving truck. Using plenty of paper or bubble wrap is imperative, so they arrive in good shape at your new home. Also, it’s crucial you seal boxes well with packing tape so they don’t open during the move. That could damage things and cause injuries to you or the people helping you.

How To Pack and Load The Moving Truck

Possibly the most critical task when moving is to load (i.e., pack) your moving truck correctly. Things need to fit tightly so that they don’t shift during the move. (Bouncing along the roads and highways can shift things tremendously!) Below are a few essential tips for loading your moving truck like a pro:

  • Load in tiers or rows across the inside of the truck from side to side. Start with a heavy base, like dish-pack boxes, a desk, or a dresser. Then, load things on top of that, one level at a time, getting lighter as you go up. Once you reach the truck’s roof, start with a new tier and do the same thing again.
  • Use moving pads to protect wood and metal surfaces. The more you have, the better!
  • Distribute weight evenly. For example, don’t load all of your book boxes in one spot but distribute them throughout the truck. The same goes for heavy appliances and furniture. The more you distribute the weight, the less your truck will bounce while driving. This can reduce damage significantly.
  • Use straps to tie the load in. Similar to strapping things on the roof of your car, using a strap or two to lock in your belongings is imperative. (See the next tip.)
  • Load mattresses and box springs last. The reason to do this is simple; it will lock in your load well. Load the mattresses first and the box springs last, standing them on their side. Then use the straps we mentioned earlier to strap them in tightly. It’s the best way to make sure things don’t shift while you’re driving down the road.
  • Stand sofas on their side when you pack the moving truck. (This is a pro tip that can really help!) Put two or three large pads folded on the floor and then stand your sofas on their side. Loading your sofas or couches this way takes up much less space. (Loading things on top of a sofa sitting on its feet is extremely difficult and can damage your sofa.)
  • Don’t pack all of the boxes together. (Many people make this mistake.) Spread your boxes throughout the truck between pieces of furniture. If you pack all your boxes together, you’ll be left with only furniture, which will be extremely difficult to load.
  • Roll up rugs as tightly as possible, tape them on each end, and stand them on their edge.
  • Have a step-stool handy to load light things on top of each tier or row you make.
how to pack a moving truck

You’re Ready To Load Your Moving Truck Like a Pro!

If you use the tips we’ve just given, you’ll be able to pack your moving truck like a pro! Also, all of your things will arrive in storage, or your new home, in excellent shape.

We’re Moove In self-storage, the storage experts in the northeast. We offer clean, safe, and secure storage units in many different locations, ready to store practically anything! (Except flammables, please.) If you have questions about moving, storage, or packing supplies, chat with us online! Better yet, visit your local Moove In location and talk to an on-site manager in person. They can answer all your questions, show you the storage units we offer, and start the rental process. Until then, we wish you the very best of luck with your upcoming move!

Check out more moving and packing tips from the pros:

This post was originally published on 6/23/16. It was updated on 8/30/21.

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