Even on a short, across-town move, items have the potential to become damaged in the moving truck. However, these packing tips will help ensure they're protected while also making it easier to load and unload the truck.

Tip: Disassemble any furniture made from particle board.

Particle board furniture is not as sturdy as furniture made from solid wood or metal. It's far more prone to damage if banged against the wall or if something falls on it. So, it's a good idea to disassemble particle board furniture before loading it into the truck. You can then wrap the individual pieces separately in bubble wrap to protect them.

Tip: Load heavy items first.

Putting heavy items closer to the front of the truck and lighter items towards the back will make the truck easier to steer and brake. So, your items are less likely to slide around and become damaged.

Tip: Use uniformly shaped boxes, if possible.

If you can manage to find mostly boxes that are the same size, this will make it easier to stack them. If you can't get uniformly sized boxes, make sure the larger ones end up in the truck first so they can be placed at the bottom of stacks with the smaller ones on top.

Tip: Tie large items to the sides of the truck.

Most moving trucks have metal brackets on the side which you can use to tie items down. Make sure the truck rental company gives you straps that attach to these brackets. Once you have your item or items placed against the side of the truck, attach the strap to the wall, run it across the items, and secure it tightly on the other side. If the items you're securing are prone to rubs and scrapes, place some padding -- like an old sheet or towels -- between the strap and the items.

Tip: Tape drawers closed.

Before you put any dressers or cabinets into the truck, tape drawers (and doors) shut with a little painter's tape. This way, they won't open and bang into anything. And if you choose to leave the contents inside, they won't spill out. Make sure you use painter's tape since it's gentle enough not to peel off the finish.

Tip: Place overly fragile items in the cab with you.

Accidents happen. Even if you secure everything as well as you can, a strap may break or something may come loose. So, it's best to put anything that's overly fragile -- like china tea cups or valuable glasses -- in the cab of the truck with you where you can keep an eye on it. Contact a business, such as Affordable Transfer Co Inc., for more information about moving.