Let's just say it. Moving is a nightmare. No one enjoys the process. You may be happy to be moving to your new place, but getting there is a pain. These tips will help ease the pain, but nothing will eliminate it completely.
Should I pack or hire someone to pack up for me? It depends.
Packing is tedious and to do it well requires a person who is detail oriented and takes genuine pleasure in organizing minutia. If you can do this, or can make yourself do it for one move, then you will save money by doing it yourself.
If you choose to pack for yourself, keep these things in mind:
Use boxes that stack well. We highly recommend U-Haul boxes. U-Haul knows the world of moving and its boxes are designed to be stacked well. A ton of space can be saved in a truck when boxes fit together neatly.
Put Everything in Boxes if Possible! Boxes make it possible to use all of the space in a truck because you can stack small things (in boxes) vertically. You cannot do this with loose items, so the truck bed is covered, with no ability to stack above the floor. If you have a lot of stuff, boxing everything is critical. Also, it takes a lot more mover time to move multiple loose items than one large box.
Pack boxes based on the rooms they will go in and label clearly. This will save you lots of time when you are unpacking and it will make it easier for movers to know where everything goes so they can work more efficiently when unloading.
Do not underestimate the time it will take to pack. Frequently, people think they can pack more quickly than they can and they run out of time.
Label boxes as fragile, heavy, or light. Good movers take these things into account when loading your truck and knowing the answer at a glance makes it easier to pack and protect your belongings from breaking in transit while still working quickly.
Fragile/valuable goods should be packed properly. Again, we highly recommend U-Haul if you have fragile or valuable goods that you need to protect in packing. It is their job to assist people in self-packing and they have spent much time coming up with good packing ideas. On the other hand, if your stuff is not really that expensive, it doesn't make sense to spend more on packing materials than it would cost to replace a glass or two if they break in transit.
Hiring a Packer
Why doesn't Two Strong Arms Moving do packing?
Because good and happy movers do not make good packers. A person who enjoys moving work is naturally physical, enjoys lifting things, thrives on natural physical challenges, and likes to be in motion. A great mover is the grown up version of the boy who could never stop moving. When moving companies use movers as packers, they are making both their movers and their clients unhappy. Because we are independent movers who are not told what we must do by others, we choose to make neither our client's nor ourselves unhappy.
Excellent packers are highly detail oriented, love organizing minutia, and can do these things quickly and naturally. Moreover, they do not mind sitting or standing in the same area for a few hours while they get lost in what they view as an organizational wonderland. These persons are rare.
If we, at Two Strong Arms Moving, find a group that does this well we will begin recommending them, but until then we honestly believe you are better off packing your own things. You will save money and you are more motivated to protect your own things than a laborer from Craigslist who has no real skill in packing. Moreover, for you it is only one job that (hopefully) you will not have to do again for some time so it is easier to manage the tediousness when you know there is a quick end to it.
What other moving equipment or supplies do I need to get aside from a truck? It depends but consider the following:
Blankets. We do our best to pack in things so they are protectedut to insure things are safely transported, blankets are imperative. Again, these can be purchased specifically for moving from U-Haul and how many you need will depend on what you have. U-Haul can help you. We do not provide blankets but happily use the ones you provide.
Rope and Tie-Downs. These are sometimes needed to keep things from shifting. Good packing minimizes the need, but to be safe, some should be available.
Appliance Dolly. If you have a refrigerator or freezer, washer or dryer, or some similar appliance, an appliance dolly is necessary. U-Haul has them for $5-$10 per day.
Regular Dolly. This is helpful, but only necessary if the items are going to be moved a long way from the truck to the home, storage, etc. Also available at U-Haul.