You are using an unsupported browser

For the best experience on this website, it is recommended that you upgrade your browser. Please consider downloading: Chrome / Edge.

Return to articles

How to Pack a Moving Truck Efficiently

Moving all your belongings is incredibly stressful. You'll spend several days packing and unpacking, and you don't want the process to take longer than is absolutely necessary. Here's a guide to packing a moving truck in a safe, stress-free way.

Plan Ahead

There are a few important steps to protect yourself before you start loading the truck.

  • Buy furniture pads and furniture sliders at a local moving company. The sliders will make the furniture moving process a lot easier. You'll have no problem getting your couch, recliners, and other unwieldy items out of your home. You simply place the sliders underneath the furniture to do the heavy lifting for you.
  • Furniture pads are preventive in nature. Once the truck is near capacity, items will begin to bump into one another. You don't want your possessions to break during the move. In fact, you should get moving insurance to protect yourself against this possibility. Whatever you decide, furniture pads create a buffer from incidental moving damage.
  • Finally, break down any furniture that you can reduce in size save for bookshelves.
    • For example, take the headboard off the bed and break down the baseboards. You'll have several small, thin pieces instead of a giant set of slats several feet long in dimension.
    • Similarly, many dining room tables feature removable legs that switch into a series of smaller pieces. 
    • Even small reductions such as taking the cushions off a couch can save you valuable room.
Remember that on moving day, every inch of truck space matters. Those suddenly smaller parts are easier to slot in a tight area.

Buy the Right Boxes

Think about everything you'll store in the truck in terms of how you can maximize space. Since spacing is so important, don't buy generic boxes of standard size. That's a rookie mistake. What you want to do instead is consider what's in your closets before purchasing packing gear.

  • If you primarily own books, you want to buy boxes sized for several rows of books.
  • The same is true of compact discs, video games, clothes, or Blu-Ray discs. That way, there is no wasted space in the boxes. A little bit of wasted space in each box multiplies for every row in the truck.

There is an extension of this concept for once you reach the truck-loading stage. Look at the cushion-less couch and the bookshelves you didn't break down earlier. See those flat surfaces that will go wasted? Buy boxes that fit those shelves and that couch area perfectly. Once you start loading, you'll know exactly where they go, and you'll save a ton of space in the process.

Heavy Lifting

  1. The first thing you'll want to do is move your heavy items outside near the loading point of the truck. This gives you a chance to eyeball your possessions versus the available area in the truck. If there is lots of room, you don't have to squeeze everything together. If it looks cramped, you'll have to strategize more as you stock the truck.
  2. The actual process of packing the storage area depends on your needs. Some people believe that loading the lighter items such as boxes is the best strategy. This is fine if you have a lot of small gear but not a lot of heavy appliances. If you own a lot of stuff, however, you'll want to do the opposite. By packing your weightiest stuff immediately, you'll create a natural divider. The appliances and other heftier possessions will stop each other from bouncing around during the drive.
  3. The place where you'll have to pay particular attention to creating a buffer is where the last large furniture rests. At the divider, you'll need to use lots of padding and items such as pillows to protect your smaller items from the large ones that can crush them. Pay special attention to your tallest items, making sure that they can't tip over as the car moves. If that happens, your stuff will get scratched at best, crushed at worst.
  4. Next, safeguard your fragile items. You should put them in three-quarters of the way back in the truck. That location is far away from the heavy items while also not being close to the opening gate. Use as much padding as possible for your breakables to ensure they make the trip with you.
  5. Then, add in the rest of your gear, and you're ready to move!

Packing for your move doesn't have to cause stress. Remember that you're in control of the process. Make good decisions by following the instructions above, and you'll enjoy the calmest moving experience of your life.

Get Connected

Find your service provider today. Enter your address to get started.

Enter Address
Moving Tips

Related Resources

Summer Moving Tips And Checklist
Summer Moving Tips And Checklist

Planning a summer move? Check out SmartMove’s extensive checklist of 20 summer moving tips & considerations to ensure a smooth move no matter the weather!

Read More
Change of Address Checklist: People and Places to Notify When You Move
Change of Address Checklist: People and Places to Notify When You Move

Planning an upcoming move? Be sure to review our comprehensive Change of Address Checklist highlighting everyone to notify when you move!

Read More
The Cheapest Time of Year to Move
The Cheapest Time of Year to Move

Learn more here about what makes winter the cheapest time of year to move! SmartMove’s helpful winter moving tips and tricks will help you save even more.

Read More
Ready To Get Connected?

Enter your address to get started