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10 best ways to load & pack a moving truck like the pros

author avatar Written by Aaron Steed

While packing and loading a moving truck may seem like an easy step in the moving process, it actually takes more preparation than one might think. 

Whether you’re moving locally or even long distance, there are important things to consider even before packing the truck in order to ensure that your belongings stay safe and make it to your destination in one piece. 

Save time, money, energy, and possible injuries with our handy checklist to the best way to pack and load a moving truck.

On the other hand, if you would rather opt for the worry-free method of having professional movers handle your loading and packing, the experts at Meathead Movers can help you do that. Find out more information about that, here.

Let’s dive in.

How to load and pack a moving truck

1. Determine what size truck rental you need

Figuring out what size truck you’ll need will ultimately come down to how much stuff you have to move. Moving companies, such as Meathead Movers, have trucks available in different sizes to match your exact needs.

It’s important to always go with a bigger size truck than a smaller one in case some items are unaccounted for, in which case you have to make multiple trips. This can cost you time, money, and unnecessary stress. 

Not only do you need to consider how much you have, but you also need to consider the size of your items.

If you have an unusually large-sized item including something like a couch or other piece of furniture, make sure to write down those dimensions including the length, width, and height.

Having this information makes choosing the truck much easier, that way you’ll have everything accounted for. 

A good rule of thumb is to put in your trunk rental in a month before you move.

This is because most people move around the same time of the year, and many people are trying to rent a truck as well.

Having ample time will ensure that you are guaranteed a truck to rent on moving day. 

2. Collect all of your packing supplies

Moving is a big endeavor, to say the least.

Whether you have a lot or a little number of items that need moving, make sure to collect your supplies early on and in one fell swoop.

While having to make multiple trips to the packing supply store may be inevitable, it’s much easier and less time consuming to have a majority of what you need available right then and there at your disposal. 

Some of the necessary packing supplies that you should consider:

  • Boxes (of varying sizes)
  • Tape gun w/ multiple rolls of tape
  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing peanuts
  • Wrapping paper
  • Permanent markers
  • Furniture covers/pads/corner protectors
  • Mattress bags
  • Moving blankets
  • Cleaning supplies including heavy-duty trash bags, paper towels, and cleaners
  • Dolly
  • Bungee cords/rope (to secure items in the truck)

When packing more fragile items such as fine china, glasses, and plates, use more wrapping paper and bubble wrap to provide that extra cushion.

The cost of using extra materials to ensure that your fragile items are secure is much cheaper than having to buy new sets of broken glasses or dishes. 

Meathead Movers is proud to offer award-winning services including our professional packing service, where fully trained movers carefully and meticulously pack your items ensuring that they arrive safe and secure. 

We also offer a packing supply delivery service, which is able to send you items directly to your home within 2 days.

We also have 4 locations across California, which you can also drop in and pick up any supplies that you need. 

3. Have a gameplan

When preparing to start packing all of your belongings, having a strategy is important to maximize efficiency and not lose track of anything.

One strategy is determinant on when you are actually going to move.

If you have a few weeks and want to take your time instead of trying to rush it, you can begin to pack the items that you know you won’t need until after you move to your new destination. 

These items can include clothes (if it’s summer, you probably won’t be needing your winter jackets), toys and games that won’t be played with, and other things that take a back seat to the priority items.

Some of the items that you should keep until the very end, or when you plan to pack these last, should be your dishes, cooking utensils, toiletries, electronic devices, and other items that you’ll know you‘ll need to use.

Another strategy to incorporate is to begin packing similar items into similar boxes.

If you have all of your kitchen items together in a few boxes and they’re properly labeled, you won’t have trouble finding anything that you need. 

If you throw everything into multiple boxes and especially if it’s not labeled correctly, you’ll have a hard time trying to find something you may need. 

For even more professional packing tips and strategies, be sure to check out our in-depth packing guide.

4. Contact friends or family to help move

While it may be a noble act to want to pack and load a moving truck by yourself, this is not recommended.

When trying to move everything on your own, this can eat up a lot of time, and even worse, cause you injuries.

According to Mayo Clinic, it’s said that:

Repeated heavy lifting or a sudden awkward movement can strain back muscles and spinal ligaments. If you’re in poor physical condition, constant strain on your back can cause painful muscle spasms.”

 This is especially the case if you try to move heavy objects including mattresses, bed frames, dressers, etc.

When looking to move something heavy, have someone there to help you.

Also, make sure to use proper lifting techniques. 

When it comes to lifting, Mayo Clinic also advises: 

When lifting an object from the floor, stand as close to the object as possible. Then kneel, resting one knee on the floor. Don’t lift from a standing position with your waist bent or your knees locked.”

Having others to help you lift will save you tons of time in the long run and prevent any accidents. 

In most cases, friends and family will be more than happy to help you move. Throwing in an incentive of free lunch can usually do the trick. 

Also, make sure that you give your friends and family enough time to schedule their day to help you move.

Springing this kind of request on someone the day prior, or even the same day, may not be favorable.

If you’re looking for an even easier way to move your boxes and belongings, seek out the experts at Meathead Movers with our professional on-site moving service.

We can safely and securely pack any moving truck, even if it’s not ours, to ensure your belongings get to their destination in one piece. 

5. Disassemble furniture

Trying to pack and load a moving truck with large items including furniture, without breaking them down, can be a greater hassle than expected.

Unless you have furniture that doesn’t weigh a lot and can be lifted safely and securely with 2 or more people, taking this step is necessary.

Some of the items that can be broken down include:

  • Removing all pillows and cushions from the sofa, loveseat, or recliner can eliminate several pounds.
  • Taking out all dresser drawers from the dresser.
  • Break down your bed frame into smaller pieces (if it can be) 
  • Remove lightbulbs from lamps and other light fixtures and place them in a separate bag, so they won’t get destroyed during the move.
  • Remove books from the bookshelf and place them in a separate box.
  • Putting all small parts into a small baggie that’s properly labeled, so you won’t be struggling to find the right pieces when needing to assemble the piece of furniture again. 
  • Anything heavy that can be broken down into a smaller part.

Additionally, the last thing you want is damage to your furniture that could have been prevented.

This can include scratches, scuffs, and damage from other items that may knock into something if not tied down properly. 

One way to avoid this issue is to wrap your furniture in blankets, bubble wrap, and stretch wrap, so you’re decreasing the likelihood of causing any damage. 

6. Starting to pack the truck

The best and most efficient way to pack and load a moving truck is to pack the heaviest items first.

Ideally, these items should also be on the floor of the moving truck, not stacked up on top of one another.

If need be, you can place smaller, less heavy items on these larger items if safe to do so. 

Some of the items that should be loaded up first should include couches, sofas, dressers, tables, washer/dryers, refrigerators, and anything that takes up a lot of space and is heavy.

Make sure to place these heavy items closer to the front of the truck, as opposed to near the back of the truck.

Having your heavy items organized and placed near the front will let you know how much space is left for everything else, and also minimize any risk of the heavier items falling on top of the lighter items.

Utilize the walls of the trunk when possible for the heaviest of items, as these act as stabilizers when items are placed against them. 

7. Think ‘Tetris’

Ensure that you use up all available space in the truck by implementing the ‘Tetris’ mindset, where you are combining all furniture and boxes snugly together.

This not only helps save room but prevents boxes or furniture from moving around too much and getting damaged. 

8. Proceeding with lighter items

Once the heavy items have all been put into the truck, proceed to the medium sizes, and then the smaller sized items. 

Having this kind of methodology is beneficial because once everything is packed into the truck, it’s easy to see everything in the truck all at once.

If there was a large item packed last, your view may be obstructed from seeing everything and making sure all items are securely fastened. 

9. Weight distribution is key

While keeping the heavier items toward the back and the lighter toward the front, don’t forget that evenly distributing the weight across the entirety of the truck as best as possible, needs to be considered. 

If all of the weight is toward the front of the truck, it’s going to make for a much bumpier ride and may even cause boxes that are stacked on top of each other to fall over. 

All of Meathead Movers’ trucks are equipped with Air Ride suspension, which helps provide a smoother ride than other moving trucks.

However, physics in motion always wins, so an uneven weight distribution of boxes is going to cause some issues in the back of the truck, and for your belongings. 

10. Conducting a final check

Once everything is packed into the truck, make sure to conduct a final inspection.

If you see any large gaps, make sure to fill them in while keeping the weight evenly distributed.

Secure boxes and tie-down anything with straps that may come loose or be an issue when transporting.


When packing and loading a moving truck, there are many things to keep in mind in order to make sure your belongings are safe, secure, and end up at your new destination without any issues. 

The best way to load a moving truck is the safest way.

Taking some time to create a game plan and preparing for your packing can save you time and energy in the long run. 

Meathead Movers is an athlete moving company with locations throughout California. With award-winning services including local moving, long-distance moving, commercial moving, and senior moving, our team of dedicated professionals can do it all. Contact us over the phone or online for a free quote and see how we can help you make your move quick, easy, and efficient!


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