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Moving Day DIY Style

MISSION, KS -- (Marketwired) -- 03/14/14 -- (Family Features) Whether you've bought a new house or are renting an apartment, you know that finding the perfect place to call home is just the beginning. Before you can settle in and begin enjoying your new surroundings, you have to actually get all of your stuff packed and moved.

In today's tightened economy, more and more people are opting for DIY moves. Not only can personally overseeing your move save money, it can give you a sense of security from having a hands-on role in managing how all your possessions are handled.

"Do-it-yourselfers are becoming the norm for residential moves, and with the right planning, managing a move yourself can really pay off," said Don Mikes, Senior Vice President of Rental for Penske Truck Leasing.

Selecting the right truck is a critical first step. A clean, safe fleet of trucks to choose from is just the beginning. Other services such as towing equipment, storage space and even moving labor may help make your moving day run a little smoother.

You can save time by buying boxes ahead of time, and some companies even offer the ability to purchase boxes and other supplies online. Be sure to label all boxes so it's easy to put them in the right room when you arrive.

Above all, plan ahead. Reserve your truck early and begin packing nonessential items as soon as possible. Give yourself time to sort items for donation or a garage sale. Prepare a moving-day kit, including directions, map, GPS, checkbook, credit cards, IDs, eyeglasses, sunglasses, prescription drugs, flashlight, water, snacks, games for kids, and old and new house keys.

With the right preparation, you can turn the daunting task of a DIY move into a done deal and get on with enjoying your new digs.

For additional moving tips and information to make your moving day run smoothly, visit

And, for businesses who wish to relocate their employees or place new hires, some truck rental companies, such as Penske, offer a complete relocation service. Whether the employee wants to move themselves, or has bigger requirements, such as packing, unpacking or storage needs, this relocation service has it covered. Access for more information.

Packing 101
You can set yourself up for a hassle-free move and keep your possessions safe by carefully and properly packing your belongings. The experts at Penske offer these tips to get you started:

Major Appliances
Check with the dealer for any special moving instructions. Remove loose fittings and accessories, and pack them separately. Tie down, tape or wedge all movable parts and doors, and pad the exterior well.

Use small boxes so they won't be too heavy. To protect the spines, pack books flat, alternating bindings. Fill empty spaces with wadded paper and reinforce the box bottoms with extra tape.

Bureaus and Dressers
Fill drawers with small breakable items, and cushion them with loose clothes. Secure drawers with a pad or blanket (tape can remove the finish) and tie with rope. Do not overload drawers with heavy items.

Dishes and Glasses
Individually wrap each piece in plastic before protective newspaper to minimize dishwashing later. Place saucers, plates and platters on edge -- not stacked flat. Place cups and bowls inside each other; wrapping three to four in a bundle. Fill empty box space with wadded-up newspaper.

Disassemble and pack small bases in dresser drawers surrounded by loose clothing. Pack large bases in boxes stuffed with wadded paper. Box shades individually in boxes with plenty of tissue paper; avoid newspaper -- it will smudge. Always pack light bulbs separately.

Mirrors, Paintings and Prints
Wrap small items in paper and pack in boxes. For larger glass-faced frames and mirrors, use bubble packing and corrugated cardboard to create a case and tape well to secure. Mark "glass" or "fragile" on the box, and always load and store on end.

Paint and Flammables
Don't move paint and flammables, such as alcohol, solvents, lighter fluid, ammunition and greasy mops or rags. Dispose of them properly instead.

Radios, TVs and Computers
Box upright and make sure items are well padded on all sides, with extra layers on TV and monitor screens. Surround console-size equipment with furniture pads; move and load upright.

Tools and Gardening Equipment
Drain hoses, coil and pack in boxes. Fill remaining space with lawn sprinklers, small garden hand tools and so forth. Tie rakes, shovels and other long-handled tools together with rope or tape.

Transporting Your Treasures

Choosing a moving truck for your DIY move is one of the biggest decisions you'll make. When weighing your options, bear these tips in mind:

  • Look for a reputable company with a strong track record of customer satisfaction, flexible reservation and cancellation policies, and emergency-friendly services such as 24-hour roadside assistance.
  • Choose the right size of truck to accommodate your possessions. Too small, and items may be shoved in too tightly; too big leaves room for items to shift during transport. Either way can result in preventable damage.
  • Determine what truck features you'll need: flat floor, loading ramp/lift, towing equipment or other amenities. Don't forget cruise control, climate control and seating options to ensure a comfortable ride.

Quick Tip: Handling Your Valuables

During any move, you need to take special care to protect your valuables. Set aside jewelry, important papers and safe deposit box contents in a small container that you can keep with you throughout the move. Among the less obvious but important items you may want to include:

  • Vehicle registration and title
  • Children's school records
  • Insurance policies
  • Bank statements and credit records
  • Medical and dental records
  • Irreplaceable photographs
  • Tax return records

About Family Features Editorial Syndicate

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