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Moving Day – Loading/Unloading My Truck

The big day has arrived! If you are doing a local move, your loading strategy might be different than it would be for a one-way move. Local movers have the option of making multiple trips, while one-way movers must load carefully to fit all belongings into a single load. Careful planning and proper pre-packing will make a big difference on moving day.

Supplies you might need:

  • Appliance dollies
  • Tape
  • Cardboard
  • Moving blankets
  • Rope/bungees
  • Utility knife
  • Gloves
  • Back support
  • Furniture and mattress bags
  • Sealable plastic bags for loose parts
  • Markers
  • Shrink wrap

Preparation:

  • Safety first. If weather permits, wear long sleeves and long pants to protect your skin. Gloves are a must, even if they are simply lightweight jersey gloves. Be careful with slippery items like glass –you might need to remove your gloves for a better grip. If you have work boots, they will help protect your ankles and feet. A back support also will reduce strain on your body.
  • Measure door openings before you attempt to move very large and heavy items. You might have to remove doors or disassemble items to achieve proper clearance.
  • When moving mattresses, use affordably-priced mattress bags to protect from tears and dirt. This small investment is well worth the price.
  • Remove dresser drawers or make sure they are secure before moving. Removing the drawers also will make the piece lighter and easier to handle. You can then replace the drawers once the dresser is in the truck.
  • If furniture, such as an armoire, has drawers that cannot be removed, make sure they are closed and secured. Use shrink wrap, cotton rope or a soft bungee that will not damage the item during transport.
  • If moving a sleeper sofa, make sure you strap the sleeper bed to the sofa frame so it does not open when moving.
  • Secure any loose appliance wires that could pose a tripping or tangling hazard.
  • Protect floors and carpets. Use cardboard, hardboard, or carpet protector to ensure that flooring surfaces remain undamaged. If you have room in the truck, save extra cardboard, load it last, and it will be the first thing off the truck.

Loading:

  • It’s always smart to have a plan. Know which items you are going to load first, and have them ready to be stowed on the truck.
  • It is strongly recommended that you start with heavy appliances and load them into the front of the truck, right behind the cab. Make sure you use plenty of moving blankets to wrap around the appliances and large furniture pieces. Use tape, rope or shrink wrap to secure blankets around any item that has the potential to become damaged or to damage other items. You can also use softer items or cardboard to for protection between items.
  • If you have any long items that will not fit standing upright or positioned across the width of the truck, these will have to be loaded along the length of the truck. It might be best if they are attached to the side walls early on, before the truck becomes too full.
  • Load heavy items on the floor, and stack from heavy to light. Spaces at the top the truck above the larger items should be saved for lightweight items and boxes. Some furnishings such as lightweight chairs can be placed on top if properly wrapped.
  • Fill in any spaces under tables, under desks, or within bookshelves or inside open cabinets.
  • Long pieces of furniture, such as sofas and love seats, can be stood on end and tied to the side rails or can be held in place by other large heavy items. Using the full height of the truck eliminates lost space. Furniture covers should be used whenever possible to protect upholstery items.
  • Try to use all the space from floor to ceiling or have everything at the same height so items do not shift during transportation. If you don’t have enough items to fill the space, you can always secure the load using tall items such as mattresses as a barrier, and then making sure the load is secured with straps or rope using the side rails of the truck. If you have sheets of plywood handy, they are an ideal barrier
  • Once you have everything tightly secured and safely loaded, close the doors and make sure you add a sturdy padlock if you are going to park the truck overnight.

Unloading:

  • When you arrive at your destination, make sure you open the truck doors SLOWLY. Items may have shifted during the move, and you could be injured if the contents fall out.
  • Make sure to protect floors and carpets from foot traffic during your move in.
  • You will have many of the same concerns moving in as you had moving out. Make sure you have the proper clearance for items to make access as easy as possible.
  • If you have helpers, ask one person to direct the flow of items into the house. It’s much easier to move everything from the truck directly into its proper room without having to handle it a second time.

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