7 DIY Moving Tips for Preventing Damage

Heavy furniture, steep steps, bulky appliances, narrow doorways, and valuable breakables.  When you’re faced with moving all your possessions out of one home and into another, it doesn’t take much to cause costly damage. 

Without the proper moving preparation, you not only put your precious belongings at risk for damage, you could also put scratches on floors, gouges in wall paint, and dings in narrow doorways. Or worse yet, you could injure yourself.

Pack away these DIY moving tips to ensure minimal damage the next time you move. 

1. Shield your Floor

Whether your moving items over hardwood, tile, linoleum, laminate, or carpet flooring – start by obtaining floor covers. Not only do they prevent scratches and tears, they also protect against dirt and heavy foot traffic. In addition, floor coverings for moving protect you by creating a non-slip surface. 

2. Protect Doors and Doorways

Doorways take a beating during move-out and move-in – especially your front door. Everything you own will need to go through it. And if you’ve moved before, you know the struggle of maneuvering a couch or dining table through a narrow doorway. Protect all your doorways with a door jamb protector and cover doors in a quilted door cover for quick and easy protection. 

door cover for moving
Quilted door covers will protect against dings and scuffs.

3. Take Proper Precaution with Breakables

Nothing is worse than going through all the work of packing and moving, only to unpack and find that your dishes are broken, pictures are bent, and mirrors are cracked.  To ensure your most delicate items arrive in your new home the same way they left your old one, make use of the proper supplies. Start by wrapping breakables in plenty of packing paper. Use a double wall dish box and dish partition kit to ensure dishes stay properly positioned during the move. Remove bulbs before packing lamps and consider using a specially designed lamp box 

4. Construct and Pack Boxes Smarter 

All boxes are not created equal. Without a strong and properly constructed box, all your items could end up on the sidewalk. Construct your boxes with plenty of quality packing tape to avoid broken boxes and extra work. Tape the center seam twice and tape once along the bottom edges where the flaps fold in. The tape should extend four to six inches up the side of the box. To avoid overpacking boxes, it’s best to pack heavy items in smaller boxes and lighter items in larger boxes. 

constructing moving boxes properly
To properly construct moving boxes, tape the center seam twice and the bottom edges once.

5. Protect your Furniture 

Move, load, drive, unload, move. Moving day presents plenty of opportunities to ding your new washing machine or put dirt all over your white mattress. Wrap your expensive furniture in moving blankets and moving pads to shield against scratches, scuffs, and dents. To ensure they stay put during transport, consider putting stretch-wrap around the blankets, or use pre-shaped furniture protectors for a perfect fit around love seats, refrigerators, and more. If precipitation is in the forecast, plastic furniture covers will ensure everything stays dry. 

6. Take the Pressure off Yourself 

The average king size mattress weighs about 150 pounds. The average front load washing machine? 225 pounds. Moving all this is not only a lot of work, it’s potentially dangerous. But you don’t need to be an Ironman Champion if you have the proper moving tools. Moving straps take pressure off your arms and back and allow for better control and maneuverability. If you use a hand truck or moving dolly, you can simply push and pull many items into your new home. 

lifting straps for DIY moving
Forearm Forklift Moving Straps take the pressure off your back, making heavy lifts much more manageable.

7. Load Smart and Secure Cargo 

Take the time to load your boxes and furniture in a safe and smart manner. This means loading larger and heavier items first to avoid crushing. No matter how far you’re moving, you’re probably going to run into some bumps, potholes, and sudden stops. Secure any items that could shift around or blow away with bungee cords or tie-down straps. Below is an example of what not to do.

How not to move
Don’t get caught moving without quality cargo control equipment like tie-down straps and bungee cords.


Feeling overwhelmed with all that goes into moving? Don’t sweat it! Learn how to remove the stress of moving. 

How to Choose a Moving Dolly

Sarah JHello to our US Cargo Control customers and USCC blog visitors!

I’m Sarah Watson, our resident moving supplies expert.

Whether you’re a large moving company or a do-it-yourself mover, I’m here to help you select the best product for your particular job or project.  I like to think of myself as a Moving Supplies Superhero – saving the world, one moving blanket at a time.  My colleagues even call me SWatson which I believe sounds very special agent, superhero-like.

Today (and everyday) I’m here to help!  Often, I’m asked about our moving dollies and how to select the right one.  In particular, I get a lot of questions about our four-wheel dollies (also known as H-dollies).  Choosing the right dolly is important!  Our goal is to help you select the best dolly for your particular application and safety is key, therefore pay attention to the load capacity of the dolly.  It can be found in the specifications section below the item’s photo.  At US Cargo Control, we stand behind the strength of our dollies.  If you want to see them in action, check out this dolly break strength video (you can also find it on the rubber cap moving dolly product page.

When shopping for a moving dolly, take note of the size.  Most dollies are a standard 18″ x 30″ with 4″ wheels, but you may want to measure the furniture, load or items you’re moving as well as the space you’re navigating through to guarantee an easy move.  Also, keep a close eye on dolly’s wheels.  For example, our most popular H-dolly is our mover grade H-dolly with flat rubber tread.

image of Mover Grade H-Dolly
Mover Grade H-Dolly

It has non-marking 4″ swivel wheels with double ball bearings.  These wheels will ensure your dolly moves smoothly along even surfaces without marking your floors (hardwoods, linoleum, tile, etc.).

image of rubber cap moving dolly
Rubber Cap Moving Dolly

Our second most popular moving dolly is our rubber cap moving dolly.  It is suitable for large items, but is best for any items and loads you don’t want to shift when in motion.  Some of our US Cargo Control customers in the moving industry will use this particular style H-dolly in combination with our piano board and piano straps to move a piano. *NOTE to our do-it-yourself movers* We strongly encourage you to hire a moving company or professional piano movers to wrap, move and transport your precious piano.  Leave it to the pros on this one – we’ve seen far too many piano moving accidents on the web.

Other dolly options include our carpeted moving dolly which is best for large furniture items (armoires, bookcases, TV stands) or anything you don’t want scratched, but need secured.

image of Carpeted Moving Dolly
Carpeted Moving Dolly

Lastly, we offer our snap-loc heavy duty moving dolly which has a 1,200 lbs. load capacity.  This is the strongest H-dolly we carry and is typically used by residential and commercial moving companies.  However, if you’re seeking a dolly to last a long time and handle anything – this is the one for you!

image of Snap-Loc Moving Dolly
Snap-Loc Moving Dolly

As you browse through our website and you’re reviewing our H-dollies – just remember to pay close attention to the load capacity, size and wheels to be certain it’s a good match for your planned usage.  We know that shopping online can be challenging – which is why we have product experts available to answer your questions.  If you see an item on the website and you’re unsure if it will work for you – please don’t hesitate to call us.  We love talking to our customers and helping them find the exact item they need.

And…if you’re ever on the moving supplies section of our website, call (800) 867-1210.  I’ll gladly help you.

I’m off to save the world – flying away with my makeshift moving blanket cape – Happy moving everyone!

-Signing out-

SWatson

Moving Must-Have: Hand Truck

Although it may not seem like it, spring is right around the corner, which means that the official start of moving season is almost upon us.

Whether you’re a professional mover or have plans for an upcoming DIY move, a hand truck (also known as a hand cart or box dolly) is a must-have for making any move easier and more efficient. We have a wide range of hand trucks with a variety of features, from stair climbers and extended nose plates, to different styles of handles and wheels. You can purchase a hand truck with these features, or buy them separately to customize your equipment as you wish. See them all on our Hand Trucks, Appliance Hand Trucks & Hand Carts page.

Hand truck features to consider:

Solid foam tire. Also called “run flat” tires because it’s designed to never go flat. Even tread creates easy maneuvering.

Pneumatic tire. Ball bearing design for easy movement and long wear. Rugged traction is great for a variety of surfaces.

Aluminum tire. Lightweight, with a bearing design for durability and smooth movement.

Round handle. A molded cover provides a better grip than a standard aluminum finish.

Vertical loop handle. Offers the option of using the rounded portion for two hand control on heavier loads, or the loop for one-handed maneuvering.

Pin handle. The best choice for maneuvering with one hand.

Double grip handle. Provides a sturdy, steady grip for heavier loads.

Stair climbers. Two lightweight attachments easily install on the back of the hand truck. They protrude out from the profile of the handtruck to rest against steps and easily slide when going up and down stairs.

Extension nose plate. Also called a box plate, this piece is attached to extend the surface area of the moving surface so wider and/or deeper items can be placed more securely.

Quilted, padded covers for hand trucks are also available with either a square top or a round top.

covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch as our purchasing specialist Leslie, points out the features of one of our best-selling hand trucks, our aluminum hand truck with 10” pneumatic wheels and stair climbers:

Hand Truck Features and Benefits

Hand trucks with extended nose plate features are sometimes referred to as box dollies because of their ability to carry large corrugated moving boxes because of the added support of the nose plate extension.

The round handle for hand trucks has an ergonomic bend and is covered with a soft molded cover for a comfortable grip.

Stair climbers for hand trucks allow you to maneuver hand trucks up and down stairs and over curbs safely and easily.

US Cargo Control offers hand truck options with foam filled tires and pneumatic tires. Foam filled tires are also called “run flat tires” because the foam compound stays consistent in temperature extremes and even if punctured. Pneumatic (or air-filled) tires can provide some shock absorption qualities, but are also susceptible to punctures and pressure increase or decrease due to temperature changes. Pneumatic tires for hand trucks are similar to bike tires or car tires in this respect.

Box dollies with extended nose plates are convenient for moving corrugated boxes because the nose plate extension provides a larger surface for stacking moving boxes. The extension can be folded up if it isn’t needed or for tighter spaces where turning radius is important.

 

5 Moving Day Must-Haves

May is National Moving Month, when thousands of Americans will be packing up their belongings and moving to a new home. Whether it’s due to a job change, a school change or just the desire for a change of scenery, moving is exciting but also a lot of work. If you choose to go the do-it-yourself route and pack and move everything yourself, consider investing in these must-haves to ensure the move goes smoothly:

4-wheel dolly

A moving dolly is a great way to move large, heavy items. With a capacity of 800 lbs., even our most basic carpeted moving dolly is no lightweight. The best part? Moving dollies can be extremely useful even after the move: when it’s time to move a heavy tool box in the garage, re-locate potted plants from the patio, etc.

Hand truck

A hand truck is worth the investment because it’s an easy way to move multiple boxes at once, cutting down on trips to and from the moving truck. Our selection of hand trucks offers a wide range of styles and prices for every budget. Like a 4-wheel moving dolly, a hand truck can be a great piece of equipment to have even after the move: keep it in the garage, shed or barn and use it to move large garbage cans, boxes of holiday decorations, etc.

Moving straps

Moving straps are a fantastic moving tool that many people don’t know about. These handy straps are a great way to move large, odd-shaped items or furniture or appliances that can be hard to grab hold of and maintain a good grip. We carry the three most popular styles: Team Strap, Forearm Forklift and the Shoulder Dolly moving strap. All are similar in design in that they take the strain off your back and neck when lifting, but all attach and work slightly different. After the move, they fold up for storage so they don’t take a lot of room.

Special purpose moving boxes

Boxes are obviously a must-have for moving, but we suggest picking up some special purpose boxes for two reasons:  they make packing easier, saving time searching for just the right size box; and they can safeguard your more expensive items from dings and scratches. Our favorites include boxes for TVsmoving boxes for glasses (which includes partitions)  and lamp moving boxes (which are also great for rugs, toys, garage tools, etc.).

Moving blankets

Moving blankets or pads are another essential you may think you don’t need, but the investment is definitely worth it. Throw them over furniture to protect the fabric, over appliances to prevent scratches and dings, around odd shaped items that won’t fit in a box, and more (be sure to pick up some  extra large rubber bands to keep them in place). Moving blankets are also helpful beyond moving day: keep one in the car to have for the kids’ outdoor sporting activities- they make the grass less itchy and the bleachers less hard!; line a kennel or dog house for a little cushioning for the family pet; throw one in with the camping gear for an extra layer on the tent floor or when sitting around the camp fire.

Moving day must-haves are sure to make the moving job easier and faster so you can begin enjoying your new home sooner.