Loading a moving truck the right way

So, you have decided on loading a moving truck all by yourself? While it may not seem like a complicated matter at first glance, there is more to it than it’s apparent. Loading a moving truck the wrong way can cause serious problems in your move. From boxes spilling out their content to irreversible damage to your expensive items, there are many dangers you have to avoid. Don’t worry though, because we’ve compiled this guide to help you out.


First off you will want to prepare your belongings for the move. Apart from buying moving supplies, you can also get free moving boxes in several places. Check with your friends that have moved recently. You can also check with your local supermarket or liquor store. Especially the latter, as they should have boxes they used to ship bottles in. These are made sturdy to withhold the weight of the bottles and liquid inside, making them great for packing. Also, if able, try and disassemble what you can. Especially furniture and desks. Smaller pieces will be easier to fit in together, and might even be easier to secure in place.

Woman using a tool on a piece of furiture.
Disassemble furniture to make loading a moving truck easier.

The packing order

It’s very important to remember to evenly balance out the weight of your items on truck bed when packing. Also, there is a specific order to loading a moving truck that will ensure the least shuffling. Moving professionals refer to this packing order as the „I formation“ as when finished it resembles a capital letter I. Heres how you do it:

Heavy items first

Start off by loading the heaviest items like your fridge and dishwasher or washing machine first. Pack them in the front of the loading truck in a line running the width of the truck. The idea here is to rest them against the hardback of the loading area of the truck. This way even if they move a bit, they won’t be pressing against your softer items. Otherwise, your other items could become damaged. Use moving straps to secure them firmly. This is a very important step with every group of items that you load into the truck. However, it’s the most important to do so with heavy items. Why? To avoid the aforementioned shuffling, of course.

Pack the sides next

To one side, load your couch, sofa or similar heavy, elongated objects. You can also pack chairs on top of the sofa, by flipping them so that the legs are facing upwards. Then play a bit of Tetris and fit them with the couch seat and back. On the other side of the truck, load your mattresses or other large cushioning. Just make sure you leave enough space between them, for the next step. You could also pack your large flat screen TV behind the mattress, facing the side with the couch. This way the mattress will provide additional protection to the screen.

Bed in a bedroom
You could place your TV behind the mattress, just be careful as these electronics can be quite fragile.

Keep in mind though that this isn’t applicable to every TV size. Too small and it might wiggle and potentially damage itself. Too large and it might stick out and get damaged by other objects. It’s your call. Judge according to the situation but keep in mind that LED TVs are not too sturdy. Again, make sure to secure all loose items with tie-downs.

Desks, tables, and smaller heavy objects.

Next up are any desks, tables and smaller heavy objects that you can fit in the middle of the loading truck. If there is enough space, you can fit heavier boxes under the desk. You can even pack things on top of the table in the middle, just make sure you can secure them in place. Otherwise, they might slide and cause damage on the move. Try to pack the middle as tightly as you can, so its pressed up against the heavy object in the truck’s back as well as the sides.

Trunks, heavy boxes, and crates.

Place any trunk, crates or heavy boxes you have left over in the back of the truck to complete the capital I. Now all your heaviest items are resting against each other creating a nice and firm system. That doesn’t mean you should skip on using tie-downs in this step though. A loose wooden trunk can still cause havoc in the moving truck.

Lighter boxes and bags.

You can get creative with your lighter boxes and bags. Fit the boxes around the I formation to make the whole structure more firm. As for the bags, especially soft ones, like the ones containing clothes or linen, go ahead and fit them where you can. Strapping down these, is also a smart idea, even if they pose the least threat to your other objects. Bare in mind to carefully pack these as well, as shuffling can damage them. Next thing you know, you open the moving truck to find your clothes spilled out all over the place. That’s one thing you really don’t need with all the moving stress. So do be creative, but keep in mind that making these items fastened is important too.

A truck being loaded with boxes. When loading a moving truck try to load the smaller boxes last.
Finish loading off the truck with smaller boxes to make the best of the space it has.

What to do with the valuables

Naturally, you shouldn’t pack any valuables in the loading truck, if you can. This tip is obvious whether you are sure you hired reliable movers or not. Its preferable to bring them with you so you can keep an eye on them. The same goes for any documents or other essentials you might need to get quickly during the moving process. Thus it’s best to move these items with you, in the car or cab. And if you’re moving long distance, don’t leave them in the vehicle when you exit it. Bring them with you to keep them safe.

Loading a moving truck yourself

Having read through this guide, you should be prepared for loading a moving truck. Just approach it with a cool head. Despite all the move related stress, set the time aside to do this step properly. Its one of the most important stages in the moving process. After all, the time saved by doing this in a rush is weak compensation for possible damage caused by doing it poorly. And once more, don’t forget to tightly fasten everything. Good luck!

Latest Posts

Step 1 of 3

City You Are Moving From(Required)
City You Are Moving To(Required)