The first thing you should do is ask yourself why you want to do a self-move. This is not to change your mind, but merely to make sure you are making the right decision. If it is to save money, you may be surprised at how affordable movers can be. If it is because you are moving across the country and don’t trust someone else with your belongings, consider hiring movers to load and unload the truck. It is very cheap to hire someone to do this, and it will save you from possibly sustaining an injury. Then you can still drive the truck, so no one has access to your belongings.
Pick the Right Size Truck
The smallest trucks are 10 to 12 feet. These are practical for a small one bedroom or studio apartment without appliances. Moving trucks from 14 to 17 feet are the most popular. They also tend to be most in demand. So, if you need one, make sure you put a deposit down early, or you may be out of luck. These medium trucks are ideal for a one or two-bedroom apartment or house. In most cases, it is perfect for a space under 1,200 square feet. Large homes with several rooms, appliances, and some bulky furniture pieces will need a truck between 20 and 26 feet.
Heaviest Items First
All heavy items are going to go in the truck first. This includes primary furniture pieces and appliances. Do make sure you have safely disconnected appliances prior to the move. A fridge or freezer that needs defrosting should be done 24 hours in advance. Place these large, heavy items against the wall to the cab. Try to distribute the weight evenly on both sides. Wood surfaces should be protected with padding.
Your sofa, book shelves, long mirrors, mattresses, and box springs should go next. Place these items along the sides of the truck against the walls. Again, distribute the weight evenly and make sure furniture is protected with pads to reduce the risk of any damage.
The heaviest boxes will go in next. Create rows of them along the floor on either side of the truck, in front of the long items. Follow these boxes with medium and small ones. You always will want your lightest boxes to end up on top. The only exception is if you have a large box with a very breakable item in it. You do not want to stack a pile on top of it. This box could be placed on top of a dresser or something similar.
Fragile and awkward items can go next. If you are concerned about items, such as lamps or expensive oversized vases being damaged, place them under a table, desk, or chair legs, so there is no risk of anything falling on top. The last things to be loaded are those that can fill little holes, such as bedding, pillow, rolled rugs, bags of clothes, and cushions to your patio furniture.