Looking for a stress-free moving day? Hiring a full-service moving company is one of the easiest ways to achieve that, but we know that’s not an option for all families. Whether you’re attempting a full or partial do-it-yourself move, there are eight tasks you may want to complete to make your home move go off without a hitch.
1) Cleaning and Organizing
A clean and organized home makes for a smoother packing process. If everything is put away in its proper place, it will be easier to pack. Start by making sure all the items in each room belong there. If not, return them to their proper place. Then do a clean sweep and make sure your home has been wiped down, dusted, vacuumed, mopped and swept.
Getting rid of any unwanted items is the second step to a stress-free move. Give away anything you have two or more of. Donate clothing you haven’t worn in over a year. Throw out those old broken electronics you’ve been meaning to get repaired, but never got around to. If possible, try to get your children to pare down their toys. We all own tons of possessions that are used once, then put in a closet and forgotten about. The less you have to organize, pack and unpack, the easier your move will be.
Once all your possessions are pared down, clean and organized, you can start packing. Avoid mixing items from different rooms in the same box. Clothing in drawers can be placed in suitcases. Clothes in closets can be placed in wardrobe moving boxes, complete with hangers. You’ll want to use packing paper when wrapping precious items, because the ink on newsprint can run off and leave stains. Dishes can be packed in special dish-pack boxes, designed specifically for your breakables. Wrap items like mattresses and large electronics with blankets to protect them and secure with industrial plastic wrap. Even if you’re not working with a moving company, they will still sell you moving supplies, like boxes, bubble wrap and packing paper. When taking apart large furniture for packing, make sure to tape all the nuts, bolts, screws and other small parts to the main base.
Clearly label all boxes on top and side. The more specific you are about the contents, the easier it will be to unpack at your intended destination. Using a red permanent marker makes the labels more visible. You can also colour coordinate, and use different colours for different rooms of the house. That way, when you’re unloading the truck, you can immediately put the boxes in their proper rooms.
5) Renting a Moving Truck
Make sure to call around and get a few quotes from different moving truck rental companies. Don’t just use the first one you find. Shopping around can often get you a better deal, and a DIY move is all about saving money and being frugal. Make sure you’ll be comfortable driving the type of truck you’ll be renting. Driving a moving truck is very different from driving any other vehicle.
6) Loading a Moving Truck
Did you know there is a proper way to load a moving truck? Small, lighter items go in first, in the small “attic” area above the top of the driver’s seat. Keep those items in place by putting your mattresses against them at the very back wall of the truck. Then load the heavier items like sofas, armchairs and washer and dryers against the mattresses to secure them. Once all the heavy furniture has been placed inside, you can start with the moving boxes. Stack them on top of each other, making a wall of boxes. Heavier boxes go on the bottom, lighter boxes go on top. Awkwardly shaped items like kitchen chairs go next, close to the opening of the truck, where they’ll take up the least important space. The very last thing in the moving truck should be the tools you’ll need to re-assemble any furniture you’ve taken apart.
7) Unloading a Moving Truck
Unloading a moving truck is pretty easy, if you’ve followed our advice above. Take out the awkward furniture first and put them inside the house. Then start with all the moving boxes, placing them in their proper rooms. Once all the boxes have been unloaded, the heavy furniture is next. Then you just need to take out the mattresses and empty out the “attic” of the cab and you’ll be finished with the hardest part.
You’ve already made the unpacking job easier by properly unloading boxes in their correct rooms and following a labeling system. You’ll know which boxes are full of priority items to be unpacked right away, and which boxes can be left for later.
DIY moves can be more difficult than hiring a full-service moving company, but there’s no reason why doing it yourself needs to be a stress-filled experience. Most of the tasks are the exact same steps our own packers and movers go through to ensure each customer is 100% satisfied with their move. By using these same tips, you’ll get to experience a professional move, all while taking care of it yourself.