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Don’t sweat your summer move: 10 tips for smarter moving

(BPT) – Summer isn’t just vacation season, it’s also peak moving season. Studies show more people move during summer months than any other time of year; kids are out of school and weather is less likely to delay moves. However, moving is hard work no matter what time of year you do it. You’ll need careful planning and smart packing to ensure your summer move goes smoothly and safely.

These 10 tips can help:

1. Rent the right size moving truck.

Choose a truck that’s too big, and you’ll waste gas and space, plus empty room inside the truck means your belongings are more likely to shift in transit. Choose one that’s too small, and you could face multiple trips or the hard decision of what to leave behind. Penske Truck Rental professionals recommend you allow 150 cubic feet of truck space for each fully furnished room you’ll be moving. A 12-foot truck that offers 450 cubic feet could move three rooms — the equivalent of a one-bedroom apartment — while a 26-foot truck affords 1,400 cubic feet, approximately enough to move a two- or three-bedroom house.

2. Perfect your packing schedule.

Pack too soon and you’ll be living surrounded by boxes, some of which might contain stuff you need right now. Pack too late and scrambling at the last minute could mean you make mistakes that lead to damage. Pack out-of-season and non-essential items several weeks before moving day. Donate or sell anything you won’t need in your new home. Wait until the day before or morning of your move to pack essentials like personal necessities and basic cookware.

3. Protect packed items.

Nothing’s worse than opening a box at your destination only to find something broken. Use plenty of paper and bubble wrap to protect packed items. Towels, socks, pillows and other soft materials can help protect breakable items, too.

4. Reserve your rental truck early.

It’s no surprise that truck rental places get very busy during summer months. Reserve your rental truck at least two weeks prior to the move — earlier if you’ll be moving during a peak month like July or August. You can reserve a truck from your smartphone.

5. Clearly label all boxes.

Remember to label every box with what’s inside it and the room it will go to in your new home.

6. Have plenty of help on hand.

Having help loading and unloading boxes will make the move go more smoothly — and reduce the risk you’ll get hurt trying to do everything yourself. Enlist friends and family to help out. If you have large, heavy or very delicate items, consider hiring professionals to help load and unload those items.

7. Load the truck efficiently.

How well you load the truck will affect the safety of your belongings. Load heavy items like big furniture pieces and heavy boxes first, then stack lighter boxes and items to fill the remaining space. Be aware of the possibility that contents can shift in transit, so try to eliminate excess space that might allow the load to shift.

8. Lift carefully.

Improper lifting can cause injury. When lifting, bend your knees and lift with your legs, not your back. Get help lifting heavy items and use hand trucks and moving dollies to move heavy or bulky items. Take plenty of breaks and stay hydrated.

9. Schedule your drive to avoid peak traffic times.

You already know when peak traffic times occur around your current neighborhood, and a simple online search can help you identify rush hour at your destination. Schedule your drive so you won’t be on the road during the worst traffic times. Leaving very early before morning rush hour can help you avoid the frustration of sitting in traffic, and give you extra time to unload at your destination.

10. Learn safe truck driving practices.

Most people don’t have a lot of experience driving moving trucks, so take extra care to ensure your own safety and the security of your belongings. Ask your rental professional to familiarize you with the vehicle. For safe driving tips, visit