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How to Pack a U-Haul


According to USA Today, around 40 million Americans move at least once a year. That’s roughly 14 percent of the population. How do these families and individuals handle the tasks that come with moving, most importantly packing and storing their belongings? The answer is U-Haul.

In this post, we’ll walk you through the process of packing a U-Haul moving truck for maximum efficiency and safety of your belongings. But before we start, let’s look at a few facts.

What is U-Haul?

You’ve probably heard the name once or twice when your neighbors, relatives or friends had to move, “Oh yeah, we decided to U-Haul all our stuff’. U-Haul is a storage rental and moving equipment company that has been operating since 1945.

Now, the company has a total of 21,000 locations across 50 states in the U.S. and 10 Canadian provinces.

U-Haul Locations in Greenwood, IN

In need of U-Haul services in Greenwood, IN? There are plenty of U-Haul franchises located in or near Greenwood, IN, and you can always go on their website to enter a zip code or location and check.

How much does it cost to rent a U-Haul?

U-Haul offers a variety of different vehicles that are designed to move anything from a one bedroom apartment to an entire family home. Hence, you can choose from a range of pick-up trucks for a small move and even 26’ trucks that can fit up to 4 bedrooms worth of items.

The cost of renting a U-Haul depends on which vehicle you select and how long the move will take. In addition, you also need to pay environmental fees and taxes, so the advertised price doesn’t paint a clear picture.

Your final total is the sum of costs like truck rental, mileage, liability, gas refill, taxes, and environmental fees.

Why Do I Need to Rent a U-Haul Truck?

If you’re thinking to move on your own, you’ll probably want to change your mind in favor or renting a U-haul truck. Here are some of the scenarios in which it would be ideal, and even beneficial, to rent a U-haul truck.


If you or your family is making a long distance move from one state to another, renting a U-Haul truck is much more feasible than hiring private contractors or moving everything in your private truck. You’ll get the benefit of safety, peace of mind, and U-haul also provides additional features like storage and supplies, like packaging materials, cargo trailers for towing, and a convenient ramp for easy access.

In some situations, relocating from one place to another isn’t always planned and can be totally unexpected. In times like these, you can rely on U-Haul’s storage and transport services to keep your belongings safe until you work out where you’ll be living.

Down Sizing

Before, people approaching retirement age opted for downsizing as a way to cut costs, but now it’s a popular trend among the middle-aged adults as well. Factors like minimalism, traveling, and smaller housing has been garnering a lot of attention recently.

People have many reasons for downsizing, such as saving money on utility expenses and mortgage payments, pay less for home maintenance, or having the freedom to travel more often.

However, not everyone who chooses to downsize is able to part with their belongings. That’s where renting a U-haul is a great idea.

Children Going to College Out of State

Many parents want to help their children settle into their new accommodation when they’re going to college out of state. Even if your child may not have enough belongings to fill a truck, you can still rent a U-Haul pick up to safely move their things.

Provides Security

Transporting household items and precious belongings on your private truck or through a contractor can put the items at risk. U-Haul’s large trucks offer plenty of space to hold items while concealing them from view.

Not to mention, long distance moves can take many days until your items finally reach your new home. Transporting them yourself can be very risky, considering how you’ll be on the road for days.

How to Load a U-Haul

Now that we’ve laid down the benefits and situations in which it would be best for you to rent a U-Haul, let’s discuss how you should load your things in a way so everything fits and nothing breaks.

Properly List Out the Categories of Items You’ll be Loading

Start by making a list of all the notable furniture and boxes that you’ll be loading in the truck, and categorizing them as large, long, lightweight, or fragile items. This way, you can cross out whatever goes in the truck so everything goes in order.

Your list will also prove handy for when you’re unloading – you can keep track of each item that was loaded onto the van.

Large Furniture and Heavy Items First

Make sure to start with large furniture items like beds, cupboards, dressers, etc. These are the bulkiest items of the lot, so loading them first means completing a big part of the job. After furniture, it’s time to load heavy appliances like the refrigerator, washing machine, stove, and dishwasher.

This list technically covers it but as a rule of thumb, load whatever appliance needs two people to move. Keep these items upright and against the farthest wall that’s closest to the cab. Moreover, try keeping an even weight distribution across the truck by keeping these heavy items on opposite sides at the back.

Pack Taller and Longer Items Next

After the heavy furniture and appliances, next come longer items like table-tops, headboards, vanity mirrors, couches, and mattresses. Lean these against the longest walls of the U-Haul truck so they stay upright and save plenty of space. Keep your couches and bed safe from tears and rips by using mattress covers.

Load Boxes Starting with the Largest

After loading larger, heavy, and longer individual items, it’s time for the boxes. Just like last time, you should start with the largest first. Place boxes on top of furniture and appliances, while making sure to fill spaces under any chairs or desks.

Next, move boxes that are lighter and place them on top of heavier ones. Remember, the lightest boxes should stay on top.

Stack boxes until they reach the truck’s ceiling because it prevents everything in between from moving. If there’s still some space left between the truck’s ceiling and the top of boxes, fill it with soft items like pillows, bedding, and bags of clothes.

Keep Fragile and Oddly Shaped Items Last

Then come fragile and oddly shaped items that can’t be loaded on their own, otherwise, they’ll move around during transport. Keep your fragile items in boxes with plenty of padding. Then, place them in the space under desks, tables, and between chair legs.

What items come last? These items shouldn’t be fragile or heavy, like towels, blankets, bed sheets, and cushions. Fill empty spaces with items like shoes, boots, and garage items so that nothing breaks during the move.

Loading Tips

Sure, we’ve guided you on what order you should be loading all these items in. But you should still remember a few packing and loading tips.

Disassemble Furniture

Remember not to load furniture as it is and disassemble desks, tables, and bed frames if you can. To keep disassembled parts from straying far, tape them together and repeat the process for longer items as well.

Place long items inside your carpets and then roll them up, remembering to tape your carpet closed – around and at both ends. This way, you prevent things from falling and breaking during the move. Keep the carpets on the floor of the truck so they don’t move around.

Use Moving Straps

You’ll want to secure everything with moving straps to keep them from falling over. We recommend you do this as you load each section of the truck.

This way, you’ll start by strapping down the heavier appliances and furniture items. Then, you’ll strap large boxes on top of those items, while larger items should be strapped against the wall. Furthermore, use moving straps to keep boxes together so they don’t fall around in transit.

Protect Your TV from Both Sides

Although most homeowners would focus on protecting the screen of their TVs, even a strong bump from the back can lead to significant internal damage.

To keep the back protected, roll two packing pads and keep them vertically on each side between the back and the tier before it.

Add Padding for Weight Distribution

Why do you think boxes and furniture items tend to fall over during a move? This is because of the unfair weight distribution. Even the slightest change can make everything tumble down, so it’s best that you’re careful.

Use blocks under legged furniture or padding on the top of moving boxes so that weight is spread evenly. For armories or hutches placed upright in the U-Haul truck, fill the top with padding to keep the joints from springing. Padding raises the tier so that stuff placed on it won’t rest directly on the top of the furniture.

Driving a U-Haul Truck

You need to be at least 18 years of age to rent a U-Haul truck, but there are some other things you should know as well.

‘Do I Need a CDL?’

A CDL is a commercial driver’s license. With this, you’re licensed to drive all sorts of commercial vehicles like vans, pick-ups, and trucks. However, you don’t need a special driver’s license like a CDL to rent their equipment or trucks, because U-Haul trucks aren’t commercial vehicles.

What’s the Recommended Speed Limit for U-Haul Equipment?

Knowing the recommended speed limit for U-Haul equipment can help you, your belongings, and your passengers safe. U-Haul doesn’t have any recommended guidelines when it comes to a speed limit for their trucks. They simply recommend that you follow the speed limits that are given in a certain area.

You should be careful to reduce your speed if you’re driving through bad weather (more on that later), a completely loaded truck, or on bumpy roads.

Nonetheless, if it’s your first time driving a large van at the speed limit, slow down a little. Just make sure that you’re following the minimum speed limit on the signs so you’re not obstructing traffic.

What is the Turn Radius Like?

You should turn wide with a U-Haul moving truck. Since these are often much longer than cars, they have a wider turn radius. Therefore, turn wide so you avoid hitting a curb.

What Mirrors are on a U-Haul Rental Truck?

Moving trucks like the one you rent from U-Haul have more blind spots than a regular passenger vehicle because there’s no rearview mirror, just a side mirror. This means you’ll need help when backing up, but even with the extra help, make sure that you check your path multiple times for objects and people. It’s best to keep your windows open at the same time so you’re able to hear the noise outside.

Is there a Backup Camera?

Having a backup camera on a U-Haul truck can make things much easier since you won’t need extra assistance. Although U-Haul’s trucks don’t come with a backup mirror, you always have the option to install one.

Always Check the Weather

Before heading out with your U-Haul rental truck, always make sure to check the weather for the day you’re planning to drive. Although you can drive a truck in poor weather conditions, things like rains, harsh winds, and dust can affect your safety.

In case you do encounter any unexpected bad weather on your way, you should drive slower to prevent accidents. Nonetheless, checking the weather before leaving can help steer clear of storms, because driving slower means you’ll have to account for extra time, which adds to your bill.

Keeping these things in mind can help you go through your first move smoothly and with few problems like broken or missing furniture. Most importantly, remember to plan everything in advance –doing something like relocating, on a whim, can make things difficult when you arrive and have to unload everything.

Smith Valley Storage in Greenwood, Indiana

At Smith Valley Storage we provide clean, secure, and affordable self-storage units in Greenwood, Indiana! When you rent a storage unit from us, you’ll have 24-hour access to your belongings. Give us a call or rent storage units online today! 317-882-7361.

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