What to do During Your DIY Move

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During Your DIY Move: To Do List

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A do-it-yourself move is a lot of work. Hopefully by moving day you have planned ahead and procured a rental truck and chosen just how DIY your move really is going to be. Now it's moving day. What do you need to do during a DIY move?

For the purposes of this guide, we will assume you are doing the most DIY of the DIY moves and renting a truck that you will drive. If you hired a moving service for a "you pack we drive" move, then just ignore the driving part.

Get the rental truck

You should have reserved a rental truck well ahead of time, months in advance, so getting the truck is as simple as picking it up at the lot. Remember to pay attention when the truck is inspected and review both the rental company's and your own car insurance. Keep all the documents involved with the insurance and rental agreement.

After the truck is inspected and all of your questions are answered, bring the truck to the departure point, park it, and turn it off. Idling wastes gas and can cause you and your heavy-breathing helpers to inhale fumes during the moving process.

Hopefully you have gotten a parking permit for the moving truck if you are parked in a public area. If not, you better move quickly before the police see you...

Check your packing

If you haven't done it already, finish packing things. Remember to label everything. Hopefully you've enlisted some friends and family to help with the process, so the labeling needs to be clear for them, too.

Now is the time to make a last minute check that everything is packed and labeled. Any additional protection like moving blankets or foam corner cushions should be applied to items before you start moving them out of your old home.


Loading the moving truck incorrectly is what gets a lot of DIYers into trouble. Here are some quick tips to keep your belongings safe:

  • You can't really do it yourself. Have friends and family help with the heavy lifting. Everyone should be careful not to overexert themselves. If there is something that you realize you can't handle, you may need to call a specialty mover. You shouldn't even try to move some items, like pianos, yourself.
  • Have a loading plan. Haphazardly throwing items in the moving truck will waste space and could make the unbalanced truck more difficult to drive.
  • Use ramps/dollies and other moving equipment that can help facilitate the packing process, especially for amateurs. These items can be borrowed or rented. You could take them with you for the unpacking process if you have the room in the truck and don't mind paying for the weight.
  • Start with the heaviest items. Place them in the back of the storage area (closer to the front of the truck)
  • Long items like tables and mattresses should then be placed lengthwise along the walls of the truck. Remember to use any restraints that are available in the rental truck.
  • Fill the deepest part of the truck as much as you can using geometric logic. Don't stack things, but try to avoid wasting negative space under furniture legs.
  • The last thing to pack are the lightweight cardboard boxes. These can go closest to the back of the truck.
  • Make sure the final load is evenly distributed with most of the weight towards the front of the truck to ensure the smoothest ride. 


Driving a rented truck that is full of all of your belongings can be stressful. Before you start the engine, be sure that all of your belongings 
are fully secured and the the back of the truck is also closed and locked in place.

Have a route planned out well in advance. You really don't want to get lost. Have a charged GPS and cell phone on hand just in case. You may think it worth the cost in weight to have a friend or family member be a navigator. Passengers can also keep you company if the drive is very long, but there sometimes is only room for one passenger in a moving truck.

Also, don't be a hero, stop every few hours to stretch your legs, eat, and go to the bathroom.

You are responsible for returning the rental truck with as much gas as it had when it was given to you, so try to use fuel efficient practices.
  • Try to maintain a speed of 80 kmh
  • Avoid speeding, especially since you have a heavy load of valuables in the back
  • Avoid using heaters, air conditioning, or opening the windows
  • Only fill the gas tank if you are sure that you will use half of it by the time you return the truck tot he rental agency


The unloading process is essentially the loading process in reverse. You may need to get some new moving equipment and new helpers at your new location, however. See if your new neighbors can help you move in. The new location may also have nearby dollies and ramps to rent, as well.

Once you are unloaded at your new home, be sure to thank all of your helpers. There may be an I in DIY, but we all know there is no way you could have really done it yourself.

Author :

on July 22, 2014

TopMoving.ca - Moving Expert
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