12 Helpful Ways to Survive a DIY Move

12 Helpful Ways to Survive a DIY Move


Moving can be a real pain in the neck – literally.

Whether you are moving to get a fresh start, because your lease has expired, or you’ve got a new job that you’re starting, here is how you can survive a DIY move and feel good about the experience.

Ways to Survive a DIY Move

#1. Move in the middle of the week.

Most households choose to move during the weekend to avoid using sick time or vacation time at work. The demand for moving trucks, or related equipment, is usually much lower Tuesday-Thursday compared to the rest of the week. When demand levels are lower, the price to move is usually lower as well.

#2. Move in the middle of the month.

For households that rent or lease, most contracts expire at the end of the month. That means everyone needs to have their rental equipment in the last week of the month. If you can move in the middle of the month instead, you’ll find less competition for the equipment you need.

#3. Host a moving sale.

If you have some stuff at home which you don’t need any more, then consider hosting a moving sale or a garage sale. You might be able to get rid of that stuff and get some extra cash to help with the move at the same time. Advertising a moving sale is the key to its success. Give yourself 2-3 weeks for the planning process.

#4. Pack items in similar box sizes.

Moving trucks are much easier to load and unload if the boxes you are using come in similar sizes. Uniformity creates a more stable box stack as well. Try to keep each room to 2-3 large boxes to ensure you’ve got enough space to pack everything into the truck. Then clearly label each box to deliver it to the proper room when you reach your destination.

#5. Have plenty of moving supplies available.

You know that you’ll need plenty of boxes for a DIY move. There are some other items you’ll want to have with you as well.

  • Furniture pads will protect your tables, chairs, and other furniture from scratches and damage which occurs while driving during a move.
  • Stretch plastic wrap keeps your furniture pads in place. It’s also useful for keeping drawers contained in dressers and nightstands.
  • Cushion foam is good to have on-hand for items that are somewhat fragile.
  • Packing paper helps to keep fragile items packed in boxes from shifting unexpectedly, which prevents damage as well.

Not everyone can afford all these moving supplies, so there are some DIY tricks to use. Your blankets and comforters make good furniture pads. Your couch cushions can substitute for cushion foam. Plastic bags, like those you get from a grocery store, work just like packing paper too.

#6. Pack a bag of essentials.

When you make it to your new place, there’s a good chance you won’t be fully unpacking that night. Be sure to pack a bag or box of essentials that you’ll want to move once you arrive. Include basic necessities, such as toiletries, clothing, shoes, medications, and the electronics items you’ll want to have.

#7. Get some help for those bigger items.

You could seriously hurt yourself trying to carry big, heavy items during your DIY move. An easy way to reduce the risk of injury is to have some moving tools on-hand that can take some of that weight away. Hand-trucks and dollies are extremely useful, allowing you to push or pull heavy items into the truck. With a good hand-truck, you’ll be able to load multiple boxes per trip as well, which will save you time on the move.

#8. Load the heaviest items first.

By loading the heaviest items first, you’ll be getting the worst job out of the way. You’ll also be supporting a stable load for the moving truck. If you have something very heavy, such as a piano, be sure to load it first and place it centrally in the back of the truck. That will prevent shifting loads and driving the truck becomes easier as well.

#9. Use clear containers for essential items.

Uniform boxes are perfect for stacking your general items. Use clear containers, however, for those items that you’ll want to unpack first when you get to your new place. Put your power cords, your dishes, your toilet paper, and other needed items in this container. That way, you’ll be able to find it quickly, no matter who happens to be unloading your truck.

#10. Use your clothing to wrap breakable items.

You need to back your clothes anyway. Using your shirts, slacks, and other clothing items to wrap breakable items is an easy way to cut down on the cost of packing supplies. Even your socks can be used in this way because they are the perfect size and shape for your glassware or stemware.

#11. Place any containers with fluids in a sealed bag or container.

Your bathroom soap, toothpaste, hair gel, and similar items all like to leak when you’re moving. Try using freezer bags, sandwich bags, or another type of sealable container to prevent having a big mess happen during your move. Some of the items might still leak, so make sure you have a tight seal before finalizing your packing.

#12. Pack fragile items vertically whenever possible.

Your fragile items, like your plates, stay intact better when they are packed vertically. You can pack multiple layers of fragile items together if you include padding within the box between each layer. Because plates are the same size and shape, you can also stack them together, wrap them up tight, and pack them together as one solid block.

Are You Ready to Finish Your Move?

It isn’t always fun to move. It can be a lot of work. With a little planning and these ideas, however, it doesn’t need to be a stressful experience.

Give yourself plenty of time to move. Enlist help whenever you can. If your budget allows, hire professional movers for your heaviest items.

Then enjoy the experience. Moving to a new home means finding new opportunities.

Do you have any DIY moving tips to share that were not listed above? 

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