For many Americans, moving households represents a fresh start and a chance to improve quality of life. Last year, some 39.4 million Americans changed residences, thanks in part to better affordability in the housing market.
That doesn’t mean, however, that everyone’s moving process was friction-free. The logistical coordination and the physical work involved with DIY packing and loading can be a major chore in the best of circumstances. And that’s doubly true for baby boomers who are downsizing or moving to new communities, yet challenged by the physically grueling aspects of a DIY move.
Fortunately, forming a plan that troubleshoots the most common challenges can help enormously. Consider how these tips could keep your next move smooth and free of unnecessary stress.
1. Protect your treasures: Avoid the heartbreak of damaged belongings by stocking up on bubble wrap and other efficient packing materials. You also could optimize household items such as towels, blankets and coats.
2. Stagger your packing: Pack too early and you may need items you’ve stashed away; pack too late and you may be crunched for time. Start with non-essentials and out-of-season belongings a few weeks before moving day, sorting discards as you go. Save necessities for the last 48 hours.
3. Label, label, label: This may seem unnecessary while you’re packing, but will save you time and frustration upon arrival when you’re desperately looking for your essentials. It also allows you to immediately sort boxes by room and store items that are infrequently needed.
4. Secure transportation early: Instead of procrastinating and missing out on the truck you need, hop on your smartphone at least two weeks ahead to easily reserve a vehicle at PenskeTruckRental.com.
5. Right-size your truck: Rather than guessing what size moving vehicle you’ll need, plan on about 150 cubic feet of truck space for each fully furnished room in your home. That means a move from an apartment might necessitate a 12-foot truck offering 450 cubic feet, while a move from a house might require a 26-foot truck offering 1,400 feet.
6. Recruit help: The packing and transporting may sound easy until you try to do it all yourself. This is the time to call in favors or perhaps pay some teens to help with the lifting and hauling.
7. Pack your truck strategically: Optimize your space by positioning your furniture and other large, heavy items in the back of your vehicle before proceeding with lighter items. That optimizes the vehicle’s power and allows you to fit smaller items into smaller spaces.
8. Follow ergonomics: The last thing you need is to injure your back through haphazard movement during the loading process. Stretch beforehand, avoid twisting your torso as you load and remember to lift with your legs by crouching rather than bending from the waist.
9. Strategize your route: Map out the way ahead of time, review weather forecasts, avoid rush hour and leave yourself plenty of time for breaks, refueling and unloading.
10. Drive like a pro: Many people are unfamiliar with the difference between driving a car and a big truck. Read all instructions provided and understand how to drive differently to remain safe (and legal).
Regardless of your age, a DIY moving process can be efficient and pain-free when you organize the details ahead of time. Talk to Penske Truck Rental for more suggestions on making that happen.