Having a general idea of how to approach packing your U-Haul truck will save you time and stress during the actual process of loading it. Although the situation is different each time a person moves, the concepts of packing a U-Haul are roughly the same. You’ll want to plan to load heavier things towards the front of the van and things you will need the very first night of your new place in the very back.
Things You'll Need
- U-Haul truck, appropriate size
- Moving pads (optional)
- Black marker
- Duct tape (optional)
- Moving tie downs (optional)
Load heavier stuff like books, bookshelves and other heavy boxes near the front of the cab. Make an even layer from left to right. Always place the heaviest things on the bottom.
Next, load other square or rectangle furniture, such as nightstands, entertainment centers, speakers, etc., making a row from left to right or right to left. The goal is to keep the objects as straight as possible to maximize space. While packing, be careful to distribute the weight evenly.
Place couches up against the left and right walls of the van with the seat facing the wall of the truck. Take off the cushions. The cushions can be placed overhead in the small space above the truck cab, called the “granny attic,” or you can use the cushions as a barrier to protect computer monitors, TVs or boxes of breakables such as dishes or crystal collections. Put moving pads or blankets over the couches. Boxes can now be put on top of the seating area.
Put a blanket or moving pad down on the floor in between the couches. Slide mattresses in the middle. Place headboards and frames on the outsides of the mattresses. Slide mirrors using gloves for protection between the mattresses.
Roll up any throw rugs and large comforters and place them on top of everything else or slide in between furniture pieces or other spare space. Alternately, you could put these items over pieces of furniture for extra padding or protection when needed.
Place chairs in between and on top of items to maximize space.
Tips & Warnings
- Try to keep all boxes nearly the same size and shape if possible. Label each box with a black marker so you know its contents or which room the box belongs in. Close all boxes securely when possible. Use duct tape when necessary. Use rope or moving tie downs to secure items to the sides of the van or to secure items together as in a group to prevent shifting and moving during your trip. Recycle the boxes when you finish your move. Drink lots of water. Take sufficient breaks.
- Avoid packing in too much of a hurry. The longer you pack, the more tired you become and the more likely you are to lift something incorrectly causing injury. Always bend from your knees and lift objects with your legs not your back. Do not allow horseplay from children or adults in, on or around the moving van.
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