As a person who has moved more than 25 times in the course of my life, all but one being a self-move, I offer up these four moving day tips designed especially for you, the do-it-yourself mover.
Tip #1 – Purposely overestimate the scope
- Underestimating the amount of time it's going to take you to pack up everything in preparation for move day
- Underestimating the size of truck or trailer that you need to transport all your stuff
Sound familiar? I hope not.
Maybe you've avoided that fiasco, but now, picture this. It's moving day. You and maybe a friend or two have spent the last eight hours taking countless trips between the house and the rental moving van. The sun is starting to go down, and the truck is nearly full: only two feet to spare. Then you sigh, realizing you haven't even started loading everything from the kitchen. Nor the backyard.
You're in a real fix now. Do you throw everything away? Do you try to find a larger truck to rent now, even though it means starting all over, moving everything from the first truck to the second, when you're already exhausted? It's too late for a yard sale, and too late to take everything to the nearest Salvation Army or Goodwill store.
Sound familiar? I hope not.
The best way to avoid either of these fiascoes is to assume that you need more time and more space than you think you need.
- Start packing things up long before the target move day. If you think you need 12 hours to pack up everything, budget 36.
- If you think you need two rolls of packing tape, buy four.
- If you think you need an 18-foot truck, rent the 24-foot truck.
Tip #2 – Plan for safety
- Backing up into things by underestimating the total length of the rental vehicle;
- Damaging the top of the truck and nearby trees or objects by underestimating the height of your vehicle;
- Not allowing adequate turning space at a corner, damaging the tree, power pole, or mailbox that had been sitting there, minding its own business.
- Read the instructional brochures that accompany your rental vehicle, which will remind you of all of the things you need to remember while driving the rental vehicle or trailer that you don’t normally have to think about when driving a car;
- Plan in advance by checking for tree clearance or building eave clearance at the house you are moving from and to;
- Know your rental truck height, and read the height clearance notations of any gas station's overhead awning.
Tip #3 – Go slow!
Make sure to budget enough travel time that you do not feel rushed. Remove all Mario Andretti thoughts from your mind. Think mellow, relaxing, 55-mile-per-hour thoughts, and enjoy the idea of staying in the right lane.
Tip #4 – make your reservation early
The big goal – a smooth move and great memories
- Comparison: truck rental vs. professional mover
- How to choose the right size moving truck rental
- Tips for Driving a Rental Truck