It can be very stressful moving house, as most of us know already, seeing as we move on average eight times in our lives. Although the time spent packing will be tight, you’ll be pressured into making quick decisions sometimes. That’s why it’s good to pre-plan as much as possible, and having all the details agreed in advance for your moving van is a great place to start.
We would probably recommend hiring professional help in most cases, because the expertise they provide and the weight they take off your own shoulders is normally well worth the fees they charge. However, if you really want to handle things yourself, consider all of the following advice.
Firstly, you need to figure out who’s going to help you, because doing an entire move single handed is simply not going to work. Friends and family should be giving you a helping hand to make sure you can move your possessions and furniture safely and don’t injure yourself. Other initial considerations will include the distance you need to travel and the quantity of items you need to move. You need to judge the scale of the project accurately so you can come up with your own solutions.
The next major step is selecting the vehicle you’ll be using for your move. If someone you know owns a suitable van, this is likely to be a cheap and easy option. You can repay their costs and time appropriately, but that’s not likely to cost nearly as much as professional movers’ fees.
Failing this, you can rent your own van with the intention of packing and driving it yourself. Be sure to compare prices and services to get the best deal. Hiring a van that’s too small will end up costing you more trips or even having to rent another vehicle, while an oversized vehicle will make damaging your items more likely. For this reason it’s important to get one that’s as close to the actual required capacity as possible.
Before you start loading the van up, make sure you’re fully prepared. If you can use ramps, trolleys and other tools to make things easier, make sure you have them ready. Make sure all your items have been wrapped and boxed up appropriately to minimise the risk of breakages. Even what you wear can have an impact on the difficulty of the task, so make sure you wear practical clothes that allow you to be flexible, comfortable and stable.
When it comes to the actual packing, begin with the heaviest boxes. Pack these around the walls of the van and put the medium weight boxes on top of them if necessary, keeping the height of any stacks to a minimum. To hold items in place in the van, you might be able to use ropes or straps. This is ideal for tall or wide items of furniture which could fall or slide around, and these should be added to the van next (disassembled if possible). Make sure no exposed edges can rub or press against each other in transit.
The last items you put in the van should be your heaviest kitchen appliances and so on. Once this is done you can try filling any dangerous-looking spaces with lighter items that are well-packed and less likely to get damaged by pressure. These will help to stop things collapsing on top of each other when you’re driving. Once this is done, you should be ready to go, so good luck on the journey and in your new home!