Moving Yourself

Planning to Do-It-Yourself

For those who prefer the do-it-yourself method, here are some considerations:

  1. Find a truck rental company and book early. They are always busy at the end of the month.
  2. What size truck do you need? One trip is always better than many.
  3. Does the rental company provide moving pads, packing boxes and dollies?
  4. Do you need insurance?

Spread the packing out over a number of weeks. Label each box with the room that it belongs to and take an inventory of its contents and the number of boxes per room. Use heavy packing tape and newspaper to keep fragile items safe. Be sure to label all fragile boxes and move them separately. Don’t over-pack boxes so that you cannot lift them. Finally, pack a separate box (labelled ‘survival kit’) of items necessary for getting through the first few days in your new home.

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Moving Yourself

Moving yourself, versus hiring a professional company, has certain advantages and disadvantages. Of course, you will save a considerable amount of money, however you will likely end up trading that savings for additional time and effort. Actual savings and added effort really depend on the details of your move though.

If you are moving from a small home and/or to a local destination, this can be the most cost-effective, quick and simple solution. Call in some favors to your friends and have your moving plan ready to execute on moving day. Remember to try to pack as much as you can ahead of time, if possible.

If you are moving from a large home and/or to a distant destination, moving yourself will require a significant amount more effort and time, in turn, possibly costing you more money.

Self-Packing Tips

      Use only boxes with lids. This allows better packing of the moving truck and greatly reduces the possibility of damage.

    If necessary, purchase boxes and packing materials from a moving company.

    Label all boxes with a list of contents, and which room they will be moved to in your new residence.

    Use linens and towels to cushion fragile items.

    Wrap each item individually and add paper cushioning around it.

    Wrap plates, saucers and china individually.

    Wrap cups and glasses individually and pack them rim down in the box.

    Box stereo and computer equipment to prevent damage.

    Pack pictures and mirrors in boxes.

    Leave clothes in drawers.

    Upright file cabinets with drawers can be left full. Lateral file cabinets, desks and credenzas need to be emptied.

    Check to see that caps are secure on toiletries, medicines, cleaning products and laundry soap.

     Do not pack any flammable materials or aerosol products, including hair spray, shaving cream, deodorant, insecticides, cleaning products, spray paint, nail polish remover, bleach, lighter fluid, and motor oil. The temperature inside a closed moving van can reach 150 degrees, and these combustible items can trigger an explosion.

    As you pack small boxes, move them into a staging area such as the living room or the garage. This makes moving day progress faster.

    Make sure a few hand tools are easily accessible.

    If you are moving your belongings into a storage unit, get a unit larger than you require. This way boxes can be stacked against each wall to leave an aisle down the middle for easier access to stored items.

     Make sure your belongings are insured for an adequate amount and carry enough cash to cover emergency situations during your move.

Moving Checklist

      File a change of address request with the Postal Service.

    Locate grocery, hardware and gas stations near your moving destination before you move.

    Locate nearby hospitals and notify your medical insurance carrier which hospital you will need to go to in the case of an emergency.

    If you have a recreational vehicle, boat or trailer that you will be storing on your new property, research city ordinances beforehand to avoid citations and fines.


This information is meant as a guide. Although deemed reliable, information may not be accurate for your specific location. Please consult a REALTOR® professional for more information on moving resources.

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