So you called your buddies and rented a truck and the big day is here. Now here’s a little instructional blog on how best to load that truck. There’s more than one way to unwrap tofu, so keep in mind that this is our advice after consulting with a couple of our favourite movers (Thanks to Sean at Go Truck Go and Matt at Green’s Moving). And we can’t guarantee it’ll be easy or that nothing will get broken, but we do hope you’ll be a little less stressed with the following to guide you.

Prepare – be completely packed inside your home before loading the truck. Make this operation efficient. There’ll always be a few last minute items, but it’s best to have the vast majority of packing done so that you can focus your resources (tired, hungry friends) on loading. Establish good access from the best exit/entrance of the building to the truck itself. You’ll be going back and forth many times, so the shorter and simpler this route, the better. Avoid stairs and sharp/tight turns if at all possible. It can make a lot of sense to go a little extra distance to avoid these. If you’re on a very busy street, call your city to reserve a parking space a few days ahead. (It might cost a little money, but save you a lot of time. And the same goes for the other end – reserve access for your new pad too.) If you’re using an elevator, get it reserved and lock it off so you can load the whole elevator each time. Saves time, energy and the stress of fighting the doors and having it leave without you.

Layers/walls – Start loading the truck from the forward end of the box (forward = vehicle’s front) toward the rear of the truck. Think in layers, or walls, and build backward. Don’t stack to the sides or leave aisles or access forward. Everything will shift forward and side to side in the drive so you want these layers to compress on the sturdy stuff and be stable under lateral forces. If you can, use ratchet straps to secure contents after each couple of layers.

Boxes first – Put your uniform boxes in first. If you’re using FrogBox moving boxes, this is quick and easy. You can make large walls, floor to ceiling. Heavy boxes on the bottom and lighter on top. Store-bought cardboard makes good walls too, but if you’ve got a hodgepodge of free boxes this will be more difficult. You’ll need to do your best and interlock with the furniture too. Also, bags don’t stack!

Large furniture – Loading all the boxes first also means you’ll have more room to maneuver furniture on the way out of the home. Load the big pieces – mattresses, dressers, desks, tables, bookcases, massive carved tiki heads and such next. A mattress against your wall of FrogBoxES is a great way to secure them. Fit items together as best you can. This is the real life application of Tetris. You trained for this all through gradeschool. Think three-dimensionally: turn and rotate things as appropriate. Chairs are space hogs, they usually fit in well upside down on top of other furniture or on each other (with pillows and light stuff in between the legs). Continue to build in layers toward the rear of the truck.

Small and odd – From the beginning top each wall with soft stuff, bags, chairs, pillows, couch cushions, stools, exercise balls etc (anything small and light, the softer the better). You don’t want to have a bunch of this stuff left over at the end. Pack flat art/pictures/mirrors between mattress and box spring. But be mindful of the potential surprise for unpacking. Smaller furniture and medium sized items can be fit into the gaps and spaces as best you can.  Be mindful of how much force things can withstand and place them accordingly. Consider what will happen between here and the new pad – everything will settle and shift and shuffle and basically be jiggled continuously in the drive.

Loose and last – potted plants and standing lamps and such. Also, there’s always some last minute things. An extra drawerful of junk or some blankets and pillows. Keep a couple of garbage bags or extra boxes handy for rounding these up and tuck them in last at the back.

Drive carefully – slow and steady wins the race to keep your stuff intact. You probably don’t drive a vehicle this size very often, so take it extra easy through turns and over rough roads and slow to a crawl over bumps. If you park on a slope, try to face downhill if you can (to avoid the load/layers toppling outward on you).

Undo/celebrate – repeat all that work in reverse to unload the truck. If the people loading are not also unloading, be sure to give a heads up about any booby traps. You can take pictures of any hidden fragile items. Finally, be sure to order pizza and chill the beers well in advance of your rewarding first meal in your new pad! Well done!

Happy moving! -Team FrogBox