How to Efficiently Pack a Moving Truck

Posted May 24, 2022 in Moving

Family watching movers load moving truck.

Packing a moving truck for a big move isn’t all that different from packing a storage unit, except that it’s on wheels and items that are jostled mid-trip could break. Of course, depending on how you pack your belongings, you can minimize the risk of damage. Whether your move is taking you to a brand new home or to one of our many conveniently-located storage facilities, we can help. Let’s talk about what you need to know when it comes to how to pack a moving truck.

Preparing to Pack a Moving Truck

Good packing starts before the truck is even in your driveway. Know what kind of truck you need to rent and, if possible, get some experience driving it around before you start loading things onto it. Make sure you understand how long it takes to stop, how wide the turns are, and how the loading ramp and gate works.

Gather the Proper Supplies

In addition to boxes and packing tape, loading items into a moving truck requires a couple other items. Make sure you have a dolly available to help load boxes. Some trucks provide a dolly as part of the rental. You’ll also want to make sure you have plenty of paper padding, furniture pads, or plastic stretch wrap. These can help protect delicate furniture. Having a moving blanket handy can also help you slide heavy furniture where you need it. Wrapping dressers and chests of drawers will keep them from opening mid-trip, while furniture pads can help keep items with sharp corners from denting other belongings. Finally, don’t forget straps. Strapping down your heaviest belongings can keep them in one spot during your move.

Don’t Forget About the Cab

Most of your stuff is going in the back of the truck, but items that you need close at hand should stay with you. Fragile items, an overnight bag, important documents (like your passport), and a toolkit should end stay in the cab with you. You’ll probably want to keep any high-ticket electronics like computers with you, too, at least for the time being. This can keep them from getting lost or broken in transport. 

Take Apart Furniture when Possible

Taking apart your furniture makes it easier to carry into the truck, but it also makes it more compact. Remove cushions from sofas, bulbs from lamps, and take apart bed rails or table legs.

Stage everything possible in an area that makes sense.

If you can, move furniture and other heavy objects closer to the truck before you even consider loading it. Same with boxes. Carrying items down a flight of stairs takes a lot of energy, and if you can give yourself some time between packing them up and loading them onto the truck, it can make the process less cumbersome.

How to Pack Your Moving Truck

The best way to efficiently and effectively pack a moving truck is to enlist a couple of friends to act as the primary “loaders.” These are the people who’ll be placing items in the truck after you get your belongings to the door. Beyond that, follow these tips to safely load the truck.

Start with the Heaviest Items

Load your heaviest items and appliances into the truck first. Keep heavy items upright, and if you’re moving a fridge, don’t forget to defrost it a few days before the move. Washers and dryers should be positioned opposite the fridge.

After appliances, pack large furniture items like sofas, living room chairs, or TV stands. Pack from the floor to the ceiling, and place the heaviest items on the bottom. Strap heavy items together as much as possible to keep them from shifting weight.

Add Padding to Additional Furniture Pieces

Padding your mattresses, mirrors, and other furniture after it’s in the truck can help save time. Don’t forget to use blankets, sheets, towels, and other linens as padding.

Move Anything Long into the Truck.

Sofas, mattresses, and box springs can act as cushions for other items. Place these items against the longest walls of the truck and leave them upright. If possible, tie them down to the sides of the truck to prevent movement and shifting Make sure to face items with drawers toward the walls so they can’t open too far.

Load Boxes Last

Once the largest and longest items are in the truck, it’s time to load boxes. Pack layers of heavy, medium-sized, and small boxes until the truck is mostly full. Keep item tiers at a similar height. If you find crevices or gaps in your box towers, stuff cushions, strollers, or other awkward items in between the crevices.

Place Remaining Items in the Truck

The idea is to pack as tightly as possible without squeezing stuff in. Fragile items should go on top so they’re not crushed, but make sure there’s not too much space where they might easily fall. Think of the truck’s contents as a jigsaw puzzle; everything should fit if properly arranged. Some items, like grills or patio items, may not fit neatly elsewhere. These should go toward the front of the truck.

What if I rented a truck that’s too large?

If you find out that you’ve rented too big of a truck, you don’t have to unload everything. Minimize jostling and movement by leaving empty space at the back of the truck and pack at low, even heights.

Premium Spaces can Simplify your Move—Including Truck Rental

Whether your move is to a brand new home or temporarily moving your items into self-storage during a life transition, keeping your belongings packed properly can keep them safe until they reach their destination. In addition to giving you plenty of space to store your belonging, if you’re in-between homes, many self-storage facilities offer convenient truck rental to help make moving even easier!

If you’re considering moving to a new city or have questions about packing and storage, the experts at Premium Spaces can help. Visit your nearest facility to learn more about packing, storage, and truck rental.