So, you have decided to move yourself in order to save money. Provided that you are comfortable driving a truck through the city streets, and that you have plenty of pizza and beer to “pay” your friends, this can be a cost effective way to move. The following are a few tips and suggestions for “do-it-your-selfers.”

Courtesy of Phil! Gold, Flickr


  1. Before you decide you are going to move yourself, do the math and figure out whether you want to call in those favors from friends and make the commitment in terms of time and aggravation. Remember, this process always takes much longer than you think.
  2. Take the time to fully pack and prepare before the move. Having helped many friends and family members move over the years, I can tell you that nothing is more disheartening than to arrive and discover that nothing is ready.
  3. Don’t throw everything into garbage bags. They do not load into the truck very well and have a tendency to tear. We have some tips on  on how to pack electronics, clothing, and other common items.
  4. Figure out the parking situation for the truck in advance so that you do not have to walk a long distance at either the origin or destination location.
  5. Rent more pads than you think you will need to protect your furniture.
  6. Figure out a truck size that you will feel comfortable to drive (even if it means taking two trips).
  7. When driving a truck, always have someone in the truck with you (remember, there are lots of low bridges and no truck routes – so be careful).
  8. When backing up the truck, ask the person with you to get out and direct you in order to ensure that you do not inadvertently run over anything.
  9. A truck should be loaded in tiers. Heavy items on the bottom (bureaus), then boxes, then loose items.
  10. At the risk of the obvious, common courtesy would suggest that if your friends show up to help you move, you better be prepared when they call to ask you to do the same.

Are you a visual person? We have quite a few videos to help the visual folks learn how to pack some common items.