Moving can be stressful. It takes a lot of organization, time, and sometimes money. When moving day finally approaches, certain people are elated while others prepare for their least favorite day of the year. It doesn’t matter if you’re moving down the street or across the country; renting a moving truck will make your life easier. However, a lot of people struggle to pack and drive their moving truck without professional help. What needs to go in first? Should you stack items from floor to ceiling? What do you do when you get stuck on a hill? How are you going to get from point A to point B? How exactly can you maximize the efficiency of your moving truck?
First of all, it’s important to feel comfortable behind the wheel. Additionally, rather than waste time with multiple trips, you should focus on your packing so you can get everything finished in one. This not only helps things go smoothly during the move, it also makes things easier once you arrive to your new home. Let’s explore the art of maximizing your moving truck’s efficiency to learn more.
Plan Your Route
The best way to increase efficiency is to take a look at your route ahead of time. When you get the truck, drive it home, and immediately get to work without checking the route, you run the risk of last minute problems. If you’re not going very far, this is not as important. If your going to be driving somewhere that’s at least an hour away, don’t skip this step.
We live in a world of constant construction and when you’re operating a giant moving truck, you might want to consider planning routes around any major areas undergoing large projects. This not only avoids delays, it allows you to stay confident while driving a vehicle you’re not used to driving. When you look things up ahead of time, you can make sure you won’t run into any problems and if there are any, make appropriate detours using a calm and strategic approach. It’s not fun sitting in merging traffic while fumbling around with the GPS looking for another route.
You’ll also need to make a plan for where you’re going to park the truck, especially if the trip will take more than one day. Depending on the size of your moving truck, overnight parking may be limited. When you get to your new place, you’ll also need to assess the best place for unloading. Figuring this out ahead of time will save you a lot of stress and angry honking neighbors!
Once you’ve unpacked, have a plan for where you’ll return or drop off your moving truck.
Get Comfortable Behind the Wheel
After you’ve done some planning, take the time to get yourself comfortable behind the wheel. Since driving yourself is much cheaper than renting drivers and a truck, it’s our go-to option. However, larger trucks are much harder to handle—especially if you drive a smaller car regularly.
Instead of waiting until the big day to see how you do, take a long detour on the way home from picking it up to get yourself comfortable. On roads with higher speed limits, stay close to 65 mph or less to avoid major weight shifts or strains on the truck. Don’t worry about the other cars passing you by, just focus on yourself and the road. A few other tips include putting the truck in neutral when you’re stopped at a light to help save gas and taking your foot off of the gas if you’re stopped on a hill. Both of these will reduce engine strain and make things easier to handle. Don’t be afraid to turn off the engine completely if you’re stopped for long periods of time, such as during long traffic lights or while waiting for a train to pass.
If you start driving and find that it’s too much or too difficult to maneuver, head back to the rental company and see if there is a smaller option that can fit your belongings. You don’t want to push yourself too far!
Preparing Your Things
Once you get home, you’re ready to start packing your truck. Before doing this, take the time to properly disassemble all of the necessary furniture and appliances, clean, and pack everything into their respective boxes. Don’t forget to clearly label each of the boxes to make packing and unpacking easier. It’s also a good way to let the people helping you know what’s fragile and what’s not. Doing this before you get the truck will not only help save you time and money, it will help you determine what size truck you really need. During packing, keep clear paths for walking and maneuvering through your current home and try to migrate all of the big items towards the door they’ll be exiting out of.
If you live in a suburban area, have your helpers start moving things outside so they’ll be right in front of the truck and easier to load. If you live in a city, get things to the front room or have someone sit outside your place to watch your things as people are bringing them out.
To read more information about some great packing tips, check out our article here.
Packing the Truck
Now that you’ve taken the time to prepare everything, it’s time for the best part: packing the truck! The most efficient way to move is only making one trip so packing the truck might resemble a little strategic Tetris. Before you start putting things wherever they fit here and there, you want to get all of the heaviest and largest items into the back of the truck. Doing so will give you a good weight distribution and a firm foundation for adding lighter items. Place all of these items in an upright position to save the most space. Vertical space is harder to use when things aren’t secure so take advantage of putting your heavy items – the ones least likely to move during transit – in the truck vertically. Use as much or as little extra padding as you need, but make sure things are protected and secure before driving. Moving straps are a great way to do this. We recommended securing one section down at a time and working from the back to the front for the most efficient loading.
Stack lighter things on top of the heavy furniture. Try to stack things as high as possible without compromising stability. As long as they’re secure, it will be fine. You’ll be using space more efficiently with a truck packed to the rim, so don’t be afraid to really get in there. The moving truck should come with straps and packing essentials, otherwise it’s a good idea to rent them separately. The essential items you’ll need for moving day include a dolly, extra furniture wrappings, bubble wrap, straps, packing tape, blankets that can be used for extra protection, and a sharpie.
Next, focus on fragile items. Make sure they’re properly wrapped, protected, and packed before securing them into the truck. Put them somewhere where they won’t be crushed and if it seems questionable then consider placing them in a car that will also be making the move.
Finish loading the truck with all of your smaller items. If possible, put them inside bigger items to save even more space. For instance, look for boxes that will fit on the shelves of your bookcase or side tables. As long as you secure them before driving, you’ll be in good shape!
Any birth certificates, family heirlooms, things of high personal significance, or documents with sensitive information should be transported to your new home in a car or with you in the front of the truck. If you have to stay overnight, bring these things inside with you. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to sensitive information and irreplaceable items.
If you’re not ready to move all of your things to your new home, you can always rent a self storage unit. With low monthly rates and affordable leasing options, The Lock Up Self Storage will give you the peace of mind you need when leaving a few things behind. All of our units are climate controlled, secure, and affordable so you’ll be able to find something that fits your needs. Plus, we offer free moving trucks and free locks to all of our clients who rent out a new self storage unit—a perfect money saving solution for your move. All you need to do is give your local The Lock Up Self Storage a call and speak with the store manager. He or she will be able to give you all of the information you need regarding our free truck use, pricing, and other packaging items for your move. At The Lock Up Self Storage, you’re always in good hands. Call or visit us today at www.thelockup.com to see what available units we have in your area.