How to Pack and Load a Moving Truck

Man loading boxes into truck
David Papazian / Getty Images

A little preparation goes a long way when it comes to packing a moving truck. Moving day is hectic, so a day or two before the big day, do a walk-through of your house and note the order in which items should be loaded. Make a list and group similar sized boxes together. This will make moving day go a lot smoother and faster.

Choose a Moving Truck That Works for You

Make sure you find a truck that fits your needs, is the right size, and that allows you to load all of your belongings without having to do a pack the truck a second time The goal of your move is to do so efficiently, so consider the size of truck to need for what you're taking with you. Moving truck websites should have measurements available for comparison.

Move the Largest and Heaviest Items First

Major appliances and any other item that takes more than two people to move should be loaded onto the truck before anything else and kept against the far wall closest to the cab. Keep the items in their upright positions and make sure you balance the truck by placing heavy objects on opposite sides.

Use furniture padding to protect wood surfaces and corners. Padding can be rented from the truck rental agent; it's worth the little extra it costs. Using padded protection also makes it easier to slide heavier pieces onto the truck.

Load Longer Items Next

Longer pieces include box springs, mattresses, long mirrors, headboards, and sofas. Place these items against the longest walls of the truck, which will keep them upright and save space. Make sure you use mattress covers to spare your bed and sofa from stains and tears.

Take Furniture Apart

Disassemble bed frames, tables, and desks and tape pieces together. Do the same for longer items such as skis and poles, lamp bases, and lamp parts. When you roll up your rugs, place these items inside, then tape your rug closed, both around the rug itself as well as both ends. You can also use linens to stuff both ends of the rug roll before taping the ends closed. This will prevent items from falling out during the move. Place the rug on the floor of the truck.

Load Remaining Boxes, Largest First

Next, start loading the largest and heaviest boxes. Place the boxes on top of the appliances and furniture, filling any gaps beneath tables, under desks, and on chair seats. Make sure the heavy boxes don't contain any fragile items.

Transfer lighter boxes to the truck and stack them on the heavier boxes, making sure the lightest boxes are on top. Try to stack boxes in rows until they reach the top of the truck. Fill any space between the top of the boxes and the truck's ceiling with soft, crushable items, such as garbage bags full of clothing, bedding, and linens.

Fill Holes With Odd-Shaped and Fragile Items

Place fragile items or awkwardly shaped items on last. Make sure they don't move around during transport. The best spot for fragile boxed items is in cubby holes underneath tables, desks, and beneath chair legs.

The last items to be loaded should be those items that can be stuffed into holes and don't contain anything fragile, like bags full of clothes, linens, blankets, and towels. Hangers, garage items, boots and shoes, and anything that won't break during a move can be used to fill empty spaces.

The best way to pack a moving truck is to do it with deliberation and care, rather than making it a frantic, mad dash to get everything done. Have a plan and you can't go wrong.