DIY Move: What is Involved When You Move Yourself?

By Vance Stevens
Special to

During nearly every move, we experience times when the task seems simply overwhelming. Of course, moving yourself can often bring about added stress and an exhausting workload otherwise avoided by hired moving professionals and obtaining a moving quote. However, the process of moving yourself can be transformed into a simple, money saving task. All that is necessary to assure a successful, stress-free move is to follow a few simple steps and these helpful hints.

Making Room:
When it comes to moving the first and most important step is ridding your self of all unused, superfluous items. For these items, consider locating a donation center (many of which offers pick up service) or ask friends and family members if they would have use for the items. This will not only save you time while packing, it will also help cut down on shipping and hauling cost associated with your move. Another option is to have a yard sale before your moving date. This is the perfect opportunity to say your good-byes to neighbors and rid yourself of unwanted possessions, while making a few dollars to help support your move.

Packing boxes should be purchased at a size fitting for the task. Boxes should not be too big – which will cause unnecessary load shift – or too small. In the event that you find yourself with empty space in box, fill the space with loose newspaper or tissue paper (tip: newspaper ink is known to rub off on certain surfaces. Consider other stuffing materials for your more valued possessions). Be sure to wrap your possessions in quality wrapping sheets before placing them into boxes. Use shipping tape to secure the boxes once full. Consider purchasing professional grade materials to prevent further complication. And remember to always pack and move your valuable possessions with intense care.

It may be best to have friends and family that have volunteered to assist, to pack your less valuable possessions. This will help eliminate an anxiety over prized possessions, and allow you first-hand quality assurance. Large furniture should be carefully wrapped with pads and/or blankets before being moved to a secure location in the truck. Apply a final layer of wrapping sheet to help prevent the furniture against scratch and dings.

Be sure to identify your belongings by marking each box. It is important to be a thorough as possible when marking boxes. This will help save you time during the unloading process and create a checklist of boxed possessions.

Do not procrastinate. Begin packing several days (if not weeks) before your actual moving date. Unforeseeable events do occur. By packing ahead of time, you give yourself the opportunity to make adjustments when they become necessary. This will also help with your mental checklist, and allow more time to pack possessions carefully and correctly.

Loading the Truck:
One of their primary objectives when loading your moving truck is to prevent load shift. During driving, steep hills, sharp turns, sudden stops, large potholes can cause for unwanted movement of your belongings. To prevent load shift, use mattresses and other large flat items like plywood to help prevent any unwanted movement. Also, be sure to pack the truck systematically. Place large dressers, couches and tables in first. Then load all boxes (remember to stack heaviest on the bottom). Finally, use a mattress or large object to help anchor your belongings and fill up unused space. When you arrive at your destination, be sure to unpack as soon as possible. It will easier, while things are fresh are in your head, and will prevent further damage to any items that may have shifted during transport.