As soon as you know your actual move date, the first thing to do is reserve your rental truck. U-Haul, Penske, and Budget are all good companies to use when moving, but they do run short of trucks at the end of the month. That is especially true of the 24 ft.-26 ft. moving trucks, which is the truck you will need if you are moving a household. The truck can be reserved online with a credit card. Call the rental truck company a few days before the move just to make sure they actually have the physical truck on hand.
A 24 ft. rental truck is 1,536 cubic feet, while a typical professional moving truck is 2,160 cubic feet, but the real difference is the skill to pack a truck that comes from years of experience. It is not uncommon for the professional mover to fit twice the amount of furniture and boxes than the average mover. This is not a big deal though, if you have chosen to move yourself, it is far better to make more trips than to spend an exorbitant of time trying to maximize your 1,536 cubic feet worth of space. The important thing to remember is that the truck must be packed in a way that nothing can move. Every piece of furniture must be wrapped with a moving blanket. Use boxes as space fillers, and to stack on top. Make use of ropes and straps to attach items to the walls of the truck. Keep heavy items at the bottom of the load, stacking light items on the top of them.
It is a good idea to know the additional cost if you need to keep the truck for a couple extra days. Just like Blockbuster and their late fees, the truck rental fees can sometimes exceed the original cost of the rental. Some savvy DIY’ers will add a few extra days to the rental agreement when first reserving their truck. Adding days to the truck rental is much cheaper when they are added three weeks before the move, than the day of the move.
When you return the rental truck, make sure to fill the fuel tank and to sweep it out to avoid any extra fees. It is also a good idea to take a photograph of the rental truck before starting your move, as well as, after you have unloaded and cleaned out the truck. This will give you proof of any damages that occurred before you rented it, or any damages that occurred during your move. Folks get their credit card charged for truck damages all the time without even knowing. An email with before and after pictures will get any bogus charges refunded.