How to Pack a Moving Truck: A Step by Step Guide

How to Pack a Moving Truck: A Step by Step Guide

So, you’ve taken the big step to move and start a new phase of your life, but you’re faced with a couple of small but tricky choices that could sink or sail your massive moving plan. You can either rent a moving truck and go the DIY route or employ the services of a professional moving company. Or better still, combine both options to form a hybrid alternative. If you’re on a tight budget, renting a moving truck would be the right move. However, if you prioritize the budget, a DIY move is the best way to go. At MovingWaldo we know how loading a truck can be stressful, which is why we are here to give you useful tips on how to pack a moving truck.

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The Best Way to Load a Moving Truck

Step 1: Get the Right Packing Supplies

Get the right packing supplies to properly load your moving truck. They include:

  • Furniture pads
  • Bubble wrap
  • Protective blankets
  • Packing tape
  • Trolleys and dolly carts for moving
  • Shoulder dolly moving straps
  • Sturdy boxes

Important: Use the right size and right number of boxes

Your choice of box size and the number boxes you’ll need will depend on the type of home and items you need to move.

Box Size

1-2 bedroom apartment / house

2-3 bedroom apartment / house

3-4 bedroom apartment / house

5+ bedroom apartment / house





40 or more





30 or less





30 or less

Extra Large




12 or less

Step 1: Get the Right Packing Supplies

Step 2: Determine the Size and Type of Moving Truck You Need

To ensure a smooth transition, it is recommended to take an inventory of all the things you need to move and decide which truck is best to transport them to your destination. Book your moving truck at least 30 days before your moving date to make sure it is available.

From large cargo vans to box trucks, you’ll find a wide range of truck options when drafting your moving plan. The table below will give you a fair idea of which truck to select based on your home size.

Home Size

Recommended Moving Truck

Weight Capacity


Cargo van or 10 ft. moving truck

2800 lbs.

2 beds or less

15 ft. moving truck

6300 lbs.

2-3 bedrooms

20 ft. moving truck

7500 lbs.

4+ bedrooms

26 ft. moving truck

9000 lbs

Step 2: Determine the Size and Type of Moving Truck You Need

Step 3: Disassemble the Furniture

Furniture tends to take up more space than other items; some pieces may even be too big to fit into the moving truck. For better space management, you’ll need to disassemble large furniture into smaller components.

What to disassemble

What not to disassemble

  • Bed frames
  • Large desks and tables
  • Bookcases
  • Vanities
  • Sofas
  • Cabinets
  • Bedside tables
  • Chairs
  • Benches
  • Coat racks
  • Stools

Step 3: Disassemble the Furniture

Step 4: Load the Truck Properly

Loading the truck properly will help you maximize its space and avoid damaging your belongings.

How to load a moving truck:

  1. Load hefty items first like large dining tables, storage cabinets, rugs, and vanities.
  2. Move longer items next like headboard/footboards, disassembled bed frames, mirrors, mattresses, couches, etc. Place them against the walls of the truck. Long items occupy less space when they are placed against the wall.
  3. Load the remaining lightweight items last. This may include lightweight furniture, art frames, small appliances and moving boxes.
  4. Bonus tip: Spread the weight equally in the moving truck. Weight distribution is important when loading a moving truck. Failure to find the right balance may alter the truck’s stability and cause your belongings to fall over.

Step 4: Load the Truck Properly

Step 5: Secure Your Moving Truck

Some precautions should be taken before renting a moving truck. In case of damage to the truck, companies may charge you additional fees that amount to hundreds of dollars (even for a tiny scratch). That’s why it’s important to find out about the different types of insurance protections that are available before you rent a truck. Generally, companies post on their websites the types of insurance protections. You can choose the one that suits you best. For example, you could choose a cargo protection which covers the loss or damage resulting from fire, collision and windstorm.

Step 5: Secure Your Moving Truck


Moving is serious business and can be stressful if you’re doing it alone and without the instructions. Most people regard it as hard work. If you’re in this category, the steps highlighted in this article will help you make light work of it. Packing a moving truck is not the only thing you’ll have to do. To make your moving process easier, don’t forget to check out our change of address platform where you can change your address with multiple providers simultaneously and for free!


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Ann Nacario

The author

Meet Ann – our head writer with a knack for making moving and city living a breeze. From the many details of moving to picking the perfect moving company, she’s your guide. Ann has a friendly yet detailed approach to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. When she’s not writing about relocation, it will always be on her mind, but you’ll catch her spending time with her three furry friends.

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