The Key to Loading Your Own Rental Truck: Put Someone in Charge

Loading a rental truck often looks like a rugby scrum gone bad: all the helpers wildly throwing stuff in the truck, making the packing inefficient, and exposing your stuff to damages because of shifting in the truck while you’re moving.

Many people look to save a buck by eschewing moving companies, but it’s all for naught if your stuff is destroyed or you have to make two trips because of lousy loading.

There’s an easy fix: Have one person in charge.  It’s their job to direct where items go on the truck. They should stand in the back of the truck as helpers bring in items, and then decide where they go in the truck.

While you might mock this person for not having to do as much heavy lifting, they’ve actually got the  most important job of the bunch: their work will ensure that you get everything loaded in the truck, and that it all shows up at your new home in one piece.

Here are some tips to keep in mind as you load the rental truck:

Your First Steps

To make everything more efficient, get everything you need to load your truck before you begin actually loading.

Make sure all the moving boxes you’re putting in the truck are fully packed — top to bottom and side to side. If there’s empty space, fill it with enough paper so they don’t get crushed if other items are stacked on them in the truck.

Stretch-wrap sofas to protect them from dirt, or punctures. Also do mattresses and other soft items, or buy boxes or mattress bags for them.

Have enough padded materials (moving blankets) on hand to wrap furniture for protection. Wrapping furniture makes it easier to load tightly in the truck without hurting it. Try to load stuff tightly to prevent items jostling against one another during the move.

Loading It

Start loading at the front of the truck or van and work your way toward the back.

Stack items from floor to ceiling, and try to fill every space needs to be filled so no items shift during transportation. Boxes should be used as filler for open spaces.

Put heavy items lower on the truck, with lighter items on top of those.

Pack each ‘row’ fully (floor to ceiling), before moving on to the next row.

You might need to disassemble some things to ensure safe transport, like removing legs from tables. Don’t get lazy on this point, you could cause some real damage.

Sofas and some other pieces may be placed on their ends to achieve a tightly loaded truck, but you will need to be sure to place the items next to items that will not cause damage. And if the fabric, they need to be wrapped.

If you don’t use the entire truck, secure the back of your shipment with loading straps to keep things from sliding backward. When you rent your truck, make sure these things are available.


5 Easy Ways to Save Over $1,000 on Your Move

No matter how much planning, study and shoe-leather you put into it, moving isn’t cheap.

dollar sign

But there are some easy ways to save on your move. came up with 5 that could help you shave more than $1,000 off your relocation expenses (OK, that’s more than a shave, more like a full cut and trim). We also offer you some other resources for easy ways to save on your move. (Savings are based on someone making a 3-bedroom, coast-to-coast move, which carries a roughly $7,000 tab.)

1. Negotiate Your Move Date – Save $300 to $600
Many moves take place at the same times: end or beginning of the month, or Fridays or Mondays. Consumers who are able to move on “off” days might be able to work a deal with a moving company. You can save even more if you move during the off-season — essentially November through April.

After you get moving quotes, ask the moving company if you could catch a break if you agreed to move at some other time. They might be willing to give you a discount.

2. Dump 10% of Your Stuff – Save $250 to $400
It’s simple in theory — most less stuff, pay less for your move, and have less headache. In practice, it’s usually harder. It needn’t be. For every 9 nine things you pack, throw away 1 thing. Other tips:

• Only move stuff you’ve used in the past year. If you haven’t used something in the past 12 months, you probably won’t use it again, so there’s no point in paying to move it.
• Use two plastic bins in each room you pack, and designate a ‘definite’ throwaway bin and a ‘maybe’ throwaway bin. When finished packing the room, throw out everything in the ‘definite’ bin, decide on the ‘maybe’ items and then move on to the next room.
• In the months before the move, divide a clothing rod between ‘must-move’ and ‘not-to-move’ clothing. After an item of clothing is worn and washed, put it on the ‘must-move’ side of the clothing rod. When it’s time to pack, get rid of all the clothes on the ‘not-to-move’ side of the rod.

3. Pack Half of Your Stuff– Save $400-$600
Roughly 50 percent of what you need to move is breakable, such as dishes and glassware. Let the movers handle packing these, since they are the most difficult to pack safely. Also, moving insurance usually will not cover items that are not packed by professionals, unless there’s clear damage to the outside of the moving box. You want coverage on these items.

The other half – items that won’t break, like toys and books – can be loaded into boxes relatively easily and don’t require special handling or supplies. Not using packers for these items can some money, it just requires a bit more work on your part.

4. Disconnect It – Save $150-$200
If the moving company provides any third-party moving services to handle disconnecting electronics and appliances, you will pay for it. Eliminate these fees altogether by learning how to safely dismantle any electronics systems and how to disconnect/connect appliances.

5. Don’t Move Large, Breakable Items – Save $200-$300
There are certain items a moving company won’t move without special crating, such as glass tables, flat-screen plasma TVs and specialty artwork such as pottery or big oil paintings. Here are some options to cut down on the need for expensive crating services.

• Glass items like shelves or tables, are generally cheap to replace compared to how much it costs to ship them. Consider the costs of moving them versus buying a similar type of shelf or tabletop at the new home.
• For a flat-panel TV, the least expensive method is packing it in the box it came in. If that’s not an option, search online for boxes designed specifically for TVs, which contain special foam inserts for extra protection.
• If you’re moving long distance, you can also pack fragile or valuable items in your car, rent a separate small moving van, or rent a trailer in which to tow them. You will pay more for this, of course, but you might have greater peace of mind about damages, and if you have enough that would require crating by the moving company, you might come out even.

Related Articles:

Money-Saving Moving Tips

3 Moving Scams You’ve Never Heard of

Choosing a Mover? Avoid These 3 Mistakes


Frugal Friday: Make a Fast Move Without Losing Your Shirt

If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation where you have to move fast — the house closing happened more quickly than you expected, or you just procrastinated because the thought of packing filled you with as much joy as visiting the dentist — you know the awful feeling.

* You’ll never have enough time to find a moverstressed-guy

* If you do find a mover, you’ll pay through the nose (or other uncomfortable body part)

While it’s true you might end up paying a bit more, you shouldn’t assume you’ll have an awful experience. Here are some things to keep in mind to make your move go more smoothly, at a price that won’t shock you.

1. You Probably WILL Pay More. Just accept that fact. Organizing the moving process, especially for longer moving, takes time and money on the part of moving companies. They don’t come together easily.

2. Be Explicit With Move Dates. Your mover needs to know what he’s up against. If you must be out by a certain date, make that crystal clear.

3. Even If You’re Desperate, Don’t Act It. When talking to moving companies, make it clear you’re talking to several firms that want your moving business.

4. Get Organized. This is important for a nonrushed move; it’s crucial for rushed moving. Stated simply: If you’re organized and prepared, you’ll get a more accurate quote and you’ll have a smoother move to boot. 

Get your stuff ready to move as soon as possible, even before the moving company estimator comes to your home to give you moving quotes. Get rid of any goods not going and have everything as organized as possible. The more clear it is what needs to be moved the more accurate your estimates will be. On moving day, it will ensure everything goes more smoothly — the No. 1 cause of moving day stress is a discrepency between the estimate and the final cost.

5. Don’t Just Choose the First Mover That Can Handle Your Move. Take a few minimal steps to ensure you hire a trustworthy mover:

• Get 3 estimates. If you can’t have the movers in your home (which is always preferable), be as thorough as possible when describing what needs to be moved, and ask about extra costs if you happen to underestimate how much stuff you need to move.

• Don’t take a low bid. It’s a sign of a mover that’s just trying to win your business now, only to raise the price later with lots of little (and big) charges.

• Deal with movers that have a local presence. It makes everything easier.


Frugal Friday: A Cheap, Easy Way to Get Rid of Junk

When you move, everyone tells you to get rid of stuff, but it’s easier said than done.

There are the usual ways – try to sell stuff on eBay or Craigslist, or hold a garage sale to hopefully make some cash.

However, most people when they’re moving just don’t have the time (or energy) to organize a sale of their stuff. So most of it just gets throw away. (I love when people say, ‘Just hold a garage sale! There’s really no ‘just’ about it.)

Whatever you do, the end result for a lot of stuff you have is the dump – you’ll need to throw away a lot of stuff.

Here’s a tip to making it easier. Many people will be rent a dumpster if the job is huge. It ain’t cheap. And the neighbors might not like it. In fact, some homeowners associations won’t even allow it. And you could lose a kid or two in there.

The solution: rent a truck. Keep all the stuff to throw away in a garage or in a room, and when you want to haul it away, toss it into the rental truck and away to the dump! If you’re renting it for the day, you’ll probably have time to do other chores associated with your move, and if you’re moving yourself, you can just keep the truck to move all the stuff that you want in your new home.

Need ideas on how to reduce the junk quotient in your life? Check out this article on prioritizing the things you want to throw away.


Your Next Move — Try a Cab?

The Toronto Star has an interesting feature on a novel way to move: move by cab.

It’s simple: get all your stuff down the curb, call for a cab (or hail one over), and voila, instant wheels for your move. Granted, you’ll have to pare down your belongings to what fits in a cab, but every good idea has a downside, right? Says a cab mover: “They’ll pretty much take anything in a cab if you’re persuasive enough, and tip them enough.”


If you have more stuff that will fit in a cab but not enough that you want to bother a moving company, you have several options for moving services. We get this question a lot at I have only a few things to move — will a moving company be interested?

Maybe, but even if they are, it will be pretty costly. There are other options.

You can do a self-service move, which entails you loading everything into a moving truck and someone else do the driving. This type of service can work better with a smaller load.

There are also companies like ‘Mini-Moves’  and Navis Pack & Ship that specialize in small moves, or you can try to barter out your move on a Website like ‘U-Ship,’ where you say what and where you need stuff moved.

In major metropolitan areas, there are also car rental companies, or if you can do your move pretty quickly, check out a service like Zip-Car, which lets you rent cars by the hour.

For more information, check out this article making a small move.