Choosing the right size moving truck rental is one of the most critical aspects to having a safe and pleasant DIY move. If you rent a moving truck that is too small, then you will be in the midst of a moving nightmare. You’ll either have to unpack the truck entirely to exchange it for the next size up, or arrange alternate moving arrangements for the items that don’t fit. This is especially inconvenient and expensive when you’re moving cross-country. To decide what the right size moving truck is for you, start by asking the most important question;
How much stuff do you have?
Go through your home room-by-room and make a list of the major pieces of furniture you have. Include the large items like beds, dressers, dining room tables. Include any items that will not fit into a box.
Once you have your list prepared, visit your chosen truck rental company’s local center, or go to their website. They will typically have guidelines to help you decide which size equipment best matches your needs. There are 2 common ways these will be broken down:
A.) By Number of Rooms: This is the simplest and easiest method for determining what size you need. The truck rental company will list their truck’s capacity in terms of rooms in your home for simplicity. Going along with the company’s general estimates saves time, but always remember that there are only estimates based on the typical furniture in any given room. For example, on bedroom may consist of a queen sized bed, a dresser and 2 nightstands. If the rooms in your home have a lot of furniture, you must assume that it will take up more space. If you are on the cusp between truck rental sizes, it is best to be safe and reserve the next size up. If you are unable to find a guide, here is a general starting point:
- Cargo van to 10′ truck: studio apartment
- 12- to 15-foot truck: three rooms or less
- 20-foot truck: four or five rooms
- 24-26-foot truck: six, seven or eight rooms
B.) By Square Feet: Instead of categorizing their truck sizes by number of rooms, some companies may offer the cubic foot measurement of storage for each truck. In this instance, it’s best to take the list you made, and insert the numbers into an online calculator. In addition to using the online calculator, you can use a general rule of thumb and allow 150-200 cubic feet per of truck space per fully furnished room. Remember, though, that this too is only an estimate. If your home is very full of furniture you will want to allow more space.
- Don’t forget about the items outside such as bikes, propane grills, and patio furniture.
- Prepare for loading the truck by reading How to Load a Moving Truck.
- Consider adding insurance when renting your equipment.
- When in doubt, opt for the larger truck.
What are the different ways you have decided which size truck to get in the past. Have they been accurate? Let us know below in the comments section.