Everything You Need for a Fast and Safe DIY Move


I am quickly reaching retirement age. If I ever need to move again, I will hire college kids. Things were not always this way. I have engaged in my fair share of DIY moves over the years. And even though I will not do the work anymore, I still know what a person needs for a fast and safe move.

Maybe you are planning to move later this year. Great. If going the DIY route, do yourself a favor and make sure you arrange for all your supplies beforehand. Don’t wait until the morning of the move to start working out plans. By then, it will be too late.

Below is an introductory list of things I recommend having on hand for a DIY move. For the record, I have moved myself and my family more than a dozen times over the last 30 years.

1. Friends Who Really Like You

If you want to move your own house and do it quickly, you are going to need a lot of help. You might get the help of a family member or two if you’re still on speaking terms. But the real gold here is your circle of friends. I am not talking acquaintances, by the way. You are going to need a group of friends who really like you.

2. Coffee, Donuts, And Pizza

Everyone who comes is going to need food. Helpers will expect coffee and donuts before they ever lift a finger. Make sure you have plenty on hand. Also make sure you keep the coffee coming throughout the day. The more caffeine you pump into them, the faster they will work.

Make sure you have plenty of pizza on hand for a midafternoon snack. Get a few extra pies if you think you will still be working at dinnertime. Remember, the way to a mover’s continued help is through their stomach.

3. Packing Materials

You’re going to need plenty of packing materials well in advance of moving day. Think boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape, and permanent markers. I suggest you start packing weeks before the big day so that you are not overwhelmed.

The permanent markers or so that you can mark boxes as they are packed. Please, for the love of DIY, write the destination of each and every box on the top. Anyone who can read will know exactly where a box goes when you arrive at your new home. You will save yourself a million, “Where do you want this?” questions.

4. Tie-Downs and Moving Blankets

A lot of DIY movers forget the tie-downs and moving blankets. That is a mistake. You need tie-downs – I prefer cam straps from the Rollercam brand – to keep your stuff from moving around in transit. You need moving blankets to prevent furniture from being scratched, chipped, and cracked.

By the way, you need both tie-downs and moving blankets even if you’re using a box truck. Four walls and a roof keep out rain and debris, but they don’t stop road vibration. They do not prevent things from bouncing around when your truck hits a bump. Properly deployed cam straps and moving blankets will protect all your precious stuff.

5. A Lot of Patience

The best way to close this post is with the fifth and final item: a lot of patience. Moving day is stressful. It is especially stressful if you’re doing the work yourself. So chill out and relax. Get yourself a cup of coffee and a donut. Then take a deep breath and get to it. Pizza waits on the other end – if you remembered to order it.

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