A Truck and A Storage Unit… A Moving Story


UGH! Moving!!! What a pain! But, it happens and sometimes, too often! Tearing apart your home; putting your household treasures into boxes with care; organizing the mounds of stuff you own; and then...unpacking it all and putting it away...are all the steps you must take to move from one home to another! Moving may feel overwhelming, but it can turn out to be a fairly efficient experience if you have all of the right tools. Of course, if you have accumulated a bit more than a trunk full of possessions, you will need a truck. So, here are a few tips for making that truck work for you in your move, from packing it up to driving it to the next location

Driving a moving truck can be a bit tricky if you are used to a compact car. So a few helpful tips are needed. The size of a truck is relative. Yes it is longer than your car and may take some time to practice maneuvering around corners or backing it up. But, trucks are designed to feel more like a large car and your comfort zone should be reached fairly quickly. Many trucks will have a speed governor where you can’t get the vehicle to go any faster than 55 or 60.

While driving a moving truck, go gradually into curves. This is very necessary when there is a load inside because it could shift and tip the truck. The same is true when coming upon an intersection or a stop sign. Anticipate what is ahead so that you can regulate your speed and the amount of time it will take to come to a complete stop. Also, watch for signs pertaining to overhead clearance and weight limits.

After you have learned how to drive the truck, it is time to load the truck. First rule is to put the large, heavy items in first. Couches, beds, hutches and shelf systems should go to the back of the truck near the cab. Once in, tie everything down and together so there will be no movement during transport. Cover pieces in blankets or furniture quilts so if the pieces rub against each other, there will be no scratches. Fill the spaces between pieces with pillows and couch cushions and items that are in plastic bags. You want the heaviest part of your load packed as tightly as you can. Next start filling with the big boxes and between these put covered mirrors or framed pictures. If everything is packed appropriately and very secure, you should build a base of big boxes and then build up from there, securing with ropes every few feet. Set lighter boxes on top of heavy boxes and make sure they are tightly packed so that they don’t wiggle in the movement of the truck.

Now, you have arrived at your new home, unpacked the truck and found that you have a load that should be in a storage unit! UGH! So... it is back to packing up the truck with the heaviest items in the back nearest the cab and the lightest items towards the door. You get to your storage unit and you have to unload, but you are looking at a piece of empty concrete  with metal walls. Where do you put things now?

Organizing your storage unit is probably the easiest part of moving. You just have to answer a few questions. First, how long before you visit the unit again?  What types of things are you storing? Important papers, seasonal clothing, things that normally go into an attic to be forgotten about for years at a time? Organizing the unit will depend on what you are storing.

If the things that you are storing in a unit are going to be things that need to be found quickly and frequently, put those items near the door. Leave a walkway between items so that you can walk all the way to the back of the unit. The things you use less often should go further back in the unit.                   

If you have the opportunity, use shelving. Shelving helps not only with organization, but also with air flow in the unit. Having things off a cement floor cuts down on the possibility of mold. Shelving also helps for reaching items that might otherwise be tossed on top of a pile. And shelving helps with how high you can stack things safely.

Sometimes, when you are in the middle of a move, things get lost or forgotten. You can’t remember if your treasures went to the storage unit or the back bedroom closet. When you take things to storage, remember to not only number your boxes, but list what the general things are in the box. If you number the boxes, you can create a list that states what is in it. Use this as your master and keep it in your home files. Some people take pictures of the items in the box with the number on the lid. Then, they take pictures of the storage unit so they know exactly where the box is in storage. When they need something, it is easily found..

Stacking items in a small space can be similar to a magic act. Your balance needs to be perfect in order to get height and weight distribution even so that things don’t collapse. When marking boxes during the packing process, mark on the side whether they are heavy, medium or light. Heavy boxes will be set on the bottom of course, and the light on top. If you are storing things like a couch, set it vertically so that you have more floor room. If the end is curved, place the couch on something sturdy like a wooden box so the curved part overhangs the box and does not bear the full weight of the couch. Stand mattresses and box springs upright, with mirrors and paintings between them. Air space should be left between all items including the walls so as not to create an environment for dampness and for mold. Leaving space is not only good for ventilation, but it is easier to pick out a box between others.

Packing, hauling, lifting and shoving and rearranging are just the basics of moving. With a well packed truck and an organized storage unit, the basics can be performed with ease.

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