• Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • How to Pack a Moving Truck Like a Pro

How to Pack a Moving Truck Like a Pro

How to Pack a Moving Truck Like a Pro
July 10, 2018

It’s almost time for your big move, and you’re feeling pretty confident about everything but the concept of having to pack a moving truck. This is understandable! If you’ve never done it before, packing a moving truck can feel like a daunting task. Luckily, we’re here with the packing tips you need to make the process easier and more streamlined.

Prepare in Advance

Whether you’re going across the country or the state, these packing tips will help you move as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Save yourself from scrambling for the equipment you need by getting ready to pack the truck in advance. This means having all your materials where you can reach them and have easy access to them on moving day. While you’ll want to add to or edit the materials according to your unique move, this generally means you’ll need the following:

Packing tape. Packing tape is heavy-duty enough to seal boxes and hold padding over furniture together.

  • Paper padding. Fill empty spaces in moving boxes and wrap up delicate items with paper padding.
  • Blankets. It’s a great way to prevent scratches and scrapes on table tops and other furniture.
  • A dolly. This is helpful for moving heavy boxes and large items.
  • Straps. Straps are essential for holding furniture together and preventing it from shifting during transport. They can also be used to stabilize tall items like dressers and bookshelves.
  • Large tarps. Tarps can be used to cover the floor of the truck and keep furniture from getting dirty, dented, or scratched.

Pack Must-Have Items Separately

If you are moving long-distance, consider the items you will need during your drive to your new home, as well as what essentials you’ll need access to while unpacking. Keep must-have items from getting lost by packing them separately and storing them in the cab of the truck.

These may include: spare changes of clothing, toiletries, pet essentials, medication, children’s toys and snacks.

You can also pack a first night box to include items like your coffee pot, bedding, and some basic kitchen supplies to make the first 24 hours easier among the mountains of boxes. If you have someone helping you move, you can also stash these items in their car or personal vehicle.

Place Heavier Items at the Front of Truck

If you’re moving appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators, pack them first and put them in the front of the truck. Line them up along the entire front of the cab and make sure they’re stabilized with straps if need be. Cover them with tarps or paper padding to prevent scratches and discoloration.

Place Desks and Tables Down the Center

 Once you’ve loaded all your appliances and heavy household items, it’s time to start the “I” formation. Starting in the middle of the appliance lineup, pack desks, dining room tables, and anything similar. In the spaces beneath them, add boxes filled with heavy items like books.

Pro Tip: Stabilize these items with straps and padding, if needed.

Mattress and Box Spring on the Left Side

Next, place your mattresses, box springs, and other large cushions (futon cushions are a great example) along the left side of the truck, up against the wall. Be aware that these things are very likely to shift during transport. Straps and moving anchors will keep them tucked tightly up against the wall. Keep them neat and orderly by sliding them in on their edges, rather than laying them down on their faces. Mattress bags are a great investment to protect the cleanliness of your textiles.

Add Heavy Boxes in the Back

Heavy boxes should be the last items you pack and should go along the back of the truck, to complete the “I formation.” Keep these boxes small and ensure they’re well-labeled and packed tightly. If there is extra space in any of the boxes, fill it with packing paper so they don’t have room to shift during transport. If there’s additional space between the boxes, you can fit miscellaneous items behind and around them. This is also a great place to put anything you’ll need immediately upon your arrival, as it will be easy to access once you arrive at your new place.

Packing Sofas and Couches

Sofas and couches should tuck along the right side of the truck, opposite the mattresses and box springs. Start by adding the sofa on the bottom level, and then packing anything similar up above. Secure it with straps to prevent it from falling over in transit.

Since the items in the middle of the truck are relatively low, don’t go too high with this stack. Instead, use it to house your accent and dining chairs and other sitting items in your home.

Pack and Label Your Fragile Items

If you’re bringing fragile items along on your big move, pack them into the truck last. They should sit above everything else in your truck – where they have the least risk of getting crushed or shifted around by larger items. Be sure to pad any space in these boxes to prevent breakage. You’ll want to secure them from shifting and how you do this will depend on the size and contents of your fragile box, and the space it may be shifting around in.

Pack Like the Pros

Whether you’re transporting fragile items you don’t want to break, or you simply want to enhance your packing game, these smart packing tips will help you pack a moving truck safely and securely, and ensure you get where you’re going with few issues.

Need help moving to your new space but don’t want to handle packing the truck on your own? Contact Colonial Van Lines for services including packing, loading and storage.


Moving in Winter: How to Prepare
Truck Rental 101 for Your DIY Move