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Packing your car as efficiently as possible

Packing your car as efficiently as possible

When you partner with a moving company like Atlas, you can rest assured that professional movers and packers will do the vast majority of the heavy lifting for you. However, there are certain items - often called non-allowables in the moving industry - that movers can't carry on their vehicles due to liability issues. Many of these items, from pets to heirloom jewelry, are things you'd rather bring along yourself even if your movers could carry them.

With the need to personally transport certain belongings in mind, use this advice to pack your car efficiently and make your part of the move as positive as possible.

Car moving boxes to a new home, viewed from outside the front passenger door.Packing your car efficiently means a better trip to your new home.

Understand the non-allowables

In general, you'll want your movers to bring as many of your belongings as possible on the moving truck. That means you need a deep understanding of what they can and can't carry. Our How to Move Guide includes a section dedicated to non-allowables, which provides you with all the information you need to figure out what you need to transport yourself or otherwise dispose of before the big day.

Major categories on the non-allowables list include items Atlas cannot move under any circumstances, belongings that require special circumstances for transport and certain things we suggest you move. For example, we simply cannot transport hazardous materials like aerosols (you'll need to transport your own hair spray, for example) or paints and pesticides, while there are many limitations on transporting plants and perishable food. The third category, possessions of a high personal or financial value, like passports, medication, keys, tax documents and many others, are likely the things you don't want to get rid of under any circumstances, so they should be among the priorities once you start packing your car.

Practice and planning

You know how much space you have in your car, so use that as a starting point. This is an easier exercise if you're the only one driving - the passenger seats, floors and other areas can be easily used for storage alongside the trunk. Go through your items as you pack - or set things aside for the professional packers from Atlas - and set aside anything that can't go on the moving truck.

With all the non-allowables gathered, you can see how they all fit into your car. Make sure you account for other travelers and pets, too. While this task takes up some valuable time during your move, it's far better than not planning and realizing you can't fit your fine china, family portraits, tax documents or other invaluable items in the car on moving day. If there's too much to fit inside safely, start reducing by setting aside hazardous materials, like paint and aerosol cans, to take to a local recycling or processing center or give away to friends, family or neighbors who may need them. If you simply have too many valuable belongings to safely carry, start looking into options like renting a second car for a one-way trip. 

If you figure out how to pack your car before moving day, you can go into moving day confident that Atlas will do nearly all of the heavy lifting. To learn more, get in touch today.

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