How to Pack a Moving Truck
Tips for loading a moving truck
When completing a DIY move, using all of the space available in the moving equipment is key. Otherwise, you might have to leave some items behind, unload and try to rearrange everything, or pay for an additional rental truck or moving trailer. While proper packing is essential, loading well is also important. You can pack a moving truck like a pro by using our helpful tips and following these step-by-step instructions.
How to pack a truck for moving
Arranging your belongings inside a moving truck can be like playing a life-size game of Tetris®. Making things fit together well is important because packing things “high and tight” will prevent shifting during transit. Before the equipment arrives, follow best practices for packing your items and get familiar with these loading tips:
1. Gather supplies
In order to prepare the truck and load belongings safely, you should have:
- A tarp or plastic sheeting
- Ratchet straps, rope or bungee cords
- A step-stool or ladder
- Work gloves
- Mattress covers
- Furniture covers
- Moving blankets
- Moving straps
Having the supplies gathered beforehand will ensure a smooth loading experience.
2. Set things aside
If there are items that can’t go in the truck (like houseplants) or things that need to stay with you (pet bowls and leashes, important paperwork, your essentials box, etc.), set them aside so they don’t get loaded.
3. Check belongings and home
Make sure everything is packed in professional-grade moving boxes, unboxed items are wrapped in paper padding or packing paper, and that furniture is disassembled, wrapped and ready to load. Then, make a clear path from inside the home to the moving trailer, and take measures to protect floors from damage.
4. Prep the truck
Lay a tarp or plastic sheeting on the trailer floor to protect your items against any dirt or dust. While the truck or trailer may be cleaned out when you start loading, it’s better to take precautions to protect your belongings. U-Pack customers should also take note of the linear footage inside the moving trailer. Consider marking the footage from the moving quote on the floor of the trailer using masking tape so you know how much space to use.
5. Load large items first
Start loading at the front of the moving trailer (near the cab) and work your way to the doors. Start with furniture, appliances, and other large or heavy items to help evenly distribute the weight. Load these items along the walls, securing with rope or straps as you go.
6. Fill in with boxes and smaller items
Once the heavy items are secure, start loading boxes from largest to smallest. Use the step-stool or ladder to pack items as high as possible, making sure to load heavier items on the bottom and lighter items on top. Stack items by container type, and try to “square off” each column of goods to maximize your space. When all boxes are loaded, fill spaces between larger items with covered or bagged pillows, bedding, and smaller items. Use straps or rope throughout the process to keep everything secure.
How packing well can save you money
While efficiently loading the truck can help prevent damage, it can also save you money if you’re moving with U-Pack! While some companies charge based on the size of the truck or the weight of your items, U-Pack rates are based on the space you use. So, if less space is used (even just a couple linear feet less), there will be savings. Wondering how you can move with U-Pack? Get a moving quote to see how much it would cost.
Learn more about loading a truck
While these tips will help you prepare the truck for moving, we have many other resources to get you ready for moving day. Check out our packing tips, loading tips, moving blog and moving how-to videos. The better prepared you are for moving day, the easier it will be!
If you have any questions about packing a moving truck, leave a comment below. We’re here to help!