If you own a car and are planning to move across the country, you will need to find a way to get your car to the new destination. If you’ve decided to do this by driving there yourself then you may as well be efficient by packing it with some of your belongings.
For many people, doing a second car trip will be out-of-the-question — especially if your new home is located across the country. Ultimately, this means you will need to find a way to somehow fit everything you’re taking with you in the car.
Packing a car for a cross-country move is no easy task. You will need to know how best to maximize the storage space in your car while ensuring your belongings are secure, as well as ensure your car trip is safe and comfortable for all passengers. Here are some handy tips for the best way to pack your car for a move.
Clean the Interior and Prepare Your Car
The best way to ensure you can pack more into your vehicle is to remove any unnecessary items that take up space. Vacuum your car’s interior and check all the nooks and crannies to clean out any surplus items that are limiting the storage space.
This is also a great opportunity to ensure your vehicle is in a good mechanical condition for a long-distance trip. Having a breakdown with a vehicle packed full to the brim is the last thing you want during an already stressful process. Some of the things you should check includes:
- Tires: make sure there are no abnormal wear, tears and bulges. Ensure your tires are inflated, including the spare tire.
- Oil and coolant: top them off or change them if they’re overdue.
- Lights: make sure headlights, turn signals and flashers work.
- Emergency supplies: ensure you have a car jack and spare tire for any breakdowns during the car trip. Spare oil and antifreeze (coolant) may also be useful during unforeseen emergencies.
Evaluate the Space in Your Vehicle
Once you have cleaned out your vehicle of any unwanted items, measure the available space and draw a diagram of the items you need to take and where they will be placed in the vehicle. Consider how you can utilize the main spaces as well as less obvious areas such as:
- The footwell of the front passenger’s seat
- The space underneath seats
- The space around the spare tire in the trunk
- The extra space created by lowering the back seats
Safety Comes First
Being strategic with where you place your items can help ensure you make the best use of the space available and fit as many things as possible in your vehicle. However, it is vital that you are not packing things in areas that may endanger your car trip — Safety always comes first! Here are some important things to note:
- Never place items in the driver’s footwell. Needless to say, items can get in the driver’s way and result in them losing control of the vehicle.
- Avoid blocking the vehicle’s windows. Do not pack items in a way that blocks the back window or side windows. The driver should have perfect visibility of what is occurring around and behind the vehicle.
- Keep the car balanced. Make an effort to evenly distribute the weight of the load in your car when packing. This will make your car trip safer and more fuel-efficient.
Replace Boxes with Bags
Boxes are not always the best choice for packing your car as they can take up a lot of unnecessary real estate. Consider replacing boxes with bags for better use of the space. Bags can be easily molded and reformed to fit into the curves and small gaps of your vehicle.
Where possible, consider using eco-friendly alternatives to plastic bags such as gym bags and reusable grocery bags. Vacuum bags are also a great option for packing clothes flat. If you must use plastic bags, reuse the plastic bags that you have available which are clean and durable.
Pack Breakable Items with Extra Care
There are usually a few extra steps you’ll need to take when moving fragile items to prevent them from damage during transit. The typical way to pack fragile items is to wrap them securely with bubble wrap or furniture blankets before placing them in a cardboard box.
Instead, consider wrapping your breakable items in the clothes, towels or blankets that you will be moving with you in the car. This packing trick will help you serve two goals at the same time: maximize the space in your vehicle and reduce potential packing supply cost.
Call a Moving Expert
Planning and preparing for a move is a stressful process. Sometimes the easiest solution is to enlist the help of a moving professional so that you can enjoy your car trip and look forward to the new home location. If you’re looking for a cross-country or long-distance mover, contact National Van lines at (877) 590-2810 for a free, no-obligation quote. We have a team of moving experts who are experienced with all types of moves.
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