Moving Tools

What type of moving tools are needed?

Moving a household is a huge project— there are tons of details and tasks to accomplish, plus hard physical labor. Why not make it easier on yourself and use moving tools designed specifically to get the job done? Some tools, like sturdy moving boxes and the right packing tape, you’ll need whether you hire movers or go the DIY route. But there are several moving aids that are essential if you’re moving yourself. The items below can usually be rented from your truck rental service or purchased at a hardware store.

Hand trucks

No doubt you’ve seen people delivering products to grocery stores using hand trucks. It just makes sense that this tool would make moving simpler and easier on the back. A hand truck is a two-wheeled upright cart with a solid platform that slides under your cargo for transport. Hand trucks are ideal for your packed boxes and can carry up to 600 pounds. Some models are equipped with straps to keep your load from shifting while you move it. There are models with an additional set of wheels that allow you to convert the hand truck to a flat dolly.


Dollies are used to move heavier loads and offer a larger area of support under your cargo. A moving dolly is a flat, horizontal wheeled cart. It’s the tool of choice for bulkier items. The bottom can be either a solid platform, or four slats that create a square surface with an opening in the middle. Dollies often have rubber or carpeted ends to protect your furniture and walls when you’re maneuvering them with your load. Special models called furniture dollies can be used for appliances and other heavy items of up to 1,000 pounds.

Dolly or hand truck?

The items you’re moving will determine whether a dolly or hand truck is best for the job. If you aren’t going to be moving appliances, you may just need the hand truck. But if you’re going to move heavy furniture and appliances, you’ll be better off with a dolly. Dollies function best when used with straps or tie-downs to keep your things from shifting.

Lifting straps

Although lifting straps are one of the most low-tech moving tools, they really get the job done. Using physics – basic leverage and your own strength – you’re able to lift even heavy furniture quite easily. The design of lifting straps lowers the center of gravity of the item you’re moving and allows you to move it without bending. This means less stress on your body.

There are two types of lifting straps: Shoulder and forearm. Here’s how to use them:

  • Shoulder straps: You and a partner place the straps around your shoulders and under the item you’re moving. The straps are about nine feet long. Using your legs, you lift the item high enough that you can carry and move it.
  • Forearm: A very similar process, but you have extra leverage by placing the heel of your hand on the object you’re moving.

Use caution and common sense

With any of these tools, make sure there’s a clear path where you’re heading, and that you can see where you’re going. Work in tandem with a partner— it takes two to do the job safely.

Other moving tools

You may not think of packing supplies as moving tools like a dolly or hand truck, but they are just as important. Using the right equipment of quality construction makes a huge difference.

  • Boxes: Use common sense. Flimsy boxes are not going to cut it. Sturdy boxes that can be closed securely are the best.
  • Tape: You won’t get by using tape for sealing packages intended for the mail. It’s not secure or heavy enough. If you want the boxes to stay closed, buy tape that is specifically for moving boxes.