Do-It-Yourself Moving Tips

Certain tasks in life are synonymous with stress. Moving is one of those tasks. For those moving themselves, there are ways to reduce that stress and make the process easier.

Forty million people, or roughly 1 in 4 adults, in the United States move every year. On average, a person moves 11 times in his or her lifetime. Many people choose to pack and move themselves rather than hire a moving service to save money. To make the most of the DIY move, follow these nine tips for success.

1. Start to gather boxes. Rather than purchase moving boxes, visit local businesses to collect boxes that are being discarded. Save boxes that have been shipped to the house from items ordered online. The more boxes collected in advance, the earlier the packing process can start. Getting a decent head start helps eliminate some of the scheduling stress that comes with moving.

2. Get estimates from rental agencies. Call truck rental companies and list the dimension of the truck and features desired, such as a lift gate. Compare the different prices and offers to determine which company provides the best deal.

3. Rent the largest truck available. It's better to have room leftover in the truck than not enough room for everything. For those moving out of state or a great distance, rent a car trailer at the same time so the car can be towed behind the moving truck.

4. Consider one of the storage/moving businesses. Today there are companies that will drop off a storage unit at the house and then store it at their warehouse. This enables homeowners to pack items not regularly used, store them for a few months, then have the storage unit shipped to the new home when it's time to unpack.

6. Move off-season. June and July are the most popular times of the year to move. Choosing a different month may save some money.

7. Keep boxes light. It's better to have more boxes that are lighter weight than fewer that are much too heavy. Heavy boxes make moving difficult and reduce the number of potential helpers. Think about packing clothing and other "soft" items in large zipper-close bags, which stack easily.

8. Pack boxes securely. Reinforce the bottom of boxes with packing tape to prevent items from falling out. Fit boxes in the moving truck snugly to prevent items from shifting during transit.

9. Use a labeling system. Label each box with what's inside and where the box should go in the new house to make it easier to unpack. Pack room-by-room and keep similar items together.