The average out of state move costs over $5,000. Additionally, out of state movers haul an average of 7,100 pounds of personal property over 1,200 miles. To make this move, without the help of a professional moving company, you have many logistics to consider. One of the most important, however, is how to load your moving truck.

Here's a quick guide to help ensure that you're able to fit your stuff in the truck and you're able to prevent it from breaking during your big move.

Reserve It*

Choosing and reserving the right moving vehicle should be your first order of business. When you're deciding what size moving vehicle to choose, you will need to start by quickly inventorying the stuff you'll be moving. It's critical because reserving a truck that's too big will cost you extra money for gas (the bigger the truck, the worse the gas mileage). Reserving a truck that's too small may require you to leave some of your belongings behind.

  • # of Rooms: most moving truck providers describe the general amount of space, in terms of rooms, that each moving vehicle they rent can haul. This method is easy, but not always accurate. This is particularly true for individuals with large garages, attics, basements, or yards because these areas often include large/heavy moving items that gobble up moving truck space. However, if you live in a one-bedroom apartment or condo without a yard or garage, this method will likely suffice.
  • Square Feet: this method is more accurate. Although there are many online calculators, generally, it requires 150-200 of truck space for every furnished room in your home.

* The majority of moves occur from May to September. If you're moving during this busy moving window, you will need to reserve your moving truck as early as possible. DO NOT RESERVE A VEHICLE UNTIL YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT SIZE MOVING TRUCK YOU WILL NEED.

Box It

The key to making sure that your stuff fits into the moving truck is putting the majority of your belongings into boxes or other square-sided containers. Arranging your belongings in squared-sided containers ensures that your stuff fits into the moving truck like puzzle pieces.

  • Go Big: big boxes necessitate less total boxes. You can often find big boxes, for free, in the recycling bins behind appliance and/or furniture retailers. When you're looking for boxes to scavenge, look for boxes made from thicker cardboard material.
  • Top and Bottom Padding: every bump, dip in the road, and pothole you drive over during your out-of-state move will exert downward force on your boxes. To protect your valuable possessions, you will need to cushion them. These common household items make the best cushioning:
    • Towels
    • Blankets
    • Pillows
    • Couch Cushions
    • Sweaters
    • T-shirts
    • Table-clothes
    • Patio Chair Cushions

Collecting and separating these items before you start packing makes the process much easier. When you begin packing each box, start by creating a one to two-inch layer of cushioning at the bottom of the box. Once you pack the box full, add another one- to two-inch layer of padding at the top of the box. When you're all done, seal the box with packing tape.

Stack It

Now that all of your items are securely boxed, you're ready to move them into your moving truck. There are two rules to adhere to when you're loading a moving truck.

First, keep heavy boxes on the bottom. Putting heavy boxes on the bottom ensures that they won't crush lighter boxes below. They also create a better center of gravity, which adds stability when you're on the road.

Second, balance your heavy items at the front and rear of your moving truck's cargo hold. One of the biggest mistakes movers make is putting all the heavy items in first. Unfortunately, this creates an imbalance that can significantly hinder the truck's maneuverability on the road. Divide your heavy boxes in half, place one-half in first and save the last half to be put in last.

Moving out of state can be stressful and expensive. These tips can help make the process more navigable. For more information, see a website such as