Instructables

Smooth Move: Packing your stuff in preparation of moving day

I recently wrote a page on my website for clients to read after having shown up one too many times to a person's house who had previously expressed concern for the time / cost they feared the move would take - and yet were totally unprepared when I got there.

My girlfriend suggested that this information would help many people, even those who don't hire me (I assume it is because you don't live in the area, so I forgive you).

In my 5 1/2 years of experience, I have found that a small, one-person, studio apartment move can take anywhere from 30 minutes all the way to 4 hours, all with the same amount of total stuff.

It all comes down to preparation.
 
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Step 1: Pack everything in advance!!

Do not try to pack on the day of the move! 

Do not pack just the "main things" - literally everything that you don't need to use the next morning should packed (at least) the night before; otherwise, expect to be making extra trips on your own to get all the little stuff. 

Any furniture which will not fit through the door or down the stairs (i.e. bedframes, large tables with removable legs, etc) should be disassembled in advance.
Phil B2 years ago
We have moved ourselves a couple of times. The only time we had damage of any kind was when some well-meaning people helped us.


One summer I worked in a grocery warehouse and got some experience loading trucks. The one very useful thing I learned is to put the heaviest things low and as far forward in the truck as possible. Lighter things can go higher and farther back. I also learned that the load always shifts toward the front of the truck, which can be very helpful when planing the load and loading the truck.


Somewhere I remember hearing or reading that moving boxes should be loaded to no more than 50 pounds each. I have quite a few books and would place a box onto a scale. When I got over 40+ pounds, I began looking for lighter things to fill the empty space and stay below 50 pounds.


I knew I would not unpack all of my books right away and usually tried to put books of the same type into specific boxes and then label the outside of the box to aid in finding a specific book when I needed it before the boxes were completely unpacked, which sometimes was for the couple of years we lived in that location.


I like your Instructable. Thank you for posting it.
JacobAziza (author)  Phil B2 years ago
I didn't think to put in anything about how to load the truck, because I always do that part myself (this instructable was just a modified version of the instructions on my website).

I always try to fill the entire available floor space, so that nothing can shift around. I also drive relatively slowly, and leave large following distances (even with no load, but especially fully loaded!) which means that there is no sudden stops which is what would make the load shift forward.
Between the two, I find it allows me to put the heavy things towards the back, which makes it easier to load and unload.
I agree that heavy things should be low, and light things high.

50lbs is a good max. A file size box will be totally full before you reach that weight. A large moving box shouldn't be filled with that much, especially since they usually have the taped flaps and bottom and can fall through.

I have never actually had to pack my own stuff to move, so I have literally no idea what the unpacking process is like!

Thanks for your feedback.