(ARA) - About 38 million people moved to new locations, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Warm weather locales seem to be top-of-mind these days.
"The patterns we saw through 2010 mirrored what the Bureau reported: folks are moving out of the Midwest and Northeast," says Don Mikes, vice president of truck rental for Penske. The company's top 10 moving destinations were: Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Phoenix, Orlando, Chicago, Houston, Seattle, Denver, Sarasota, Fla., and
If you're planning a move, Penske offers some advice:
For long-distance moves, a moving truck is a must. But even if you're just moving across town, a moving truck makes sense. Multiple trips can be exhausting, not to mention the gas you'll use. Reserve your truck at least two weeks in advance. A 12- or 16-foot truck works for moving a few large items or the contents of an apartment.
Start packing early to avoid stress. Leave a box open in case you need something inside it; it's much easier to tape a box shut on moving day than to pack it at the last moment.
Buy sturdy boxes in various sizes, along with foam and bubble wrap. You'll also need packing tape and markers.
Make sure you have moving blankets and hand trucks on moving day to make the process easier.
Purge before packing. It's easier to throw away, donate, or sell items than it is to move them. Rule of thumb: if you haven't used something in the past 12 months, you can probably get rid of it.
Label boxes as you pack. List the room and a few details such as "fragile" or "dishes." As you load the truck, try to keep boxes from each room grouped together.
Load the heaviest items onto the truck first to create a sturdy base, then start stacking on top.
Moving trucks are taller, wider and heavier than passenger vehicles. They require more distance to stop. Be extra careful driving, especially after the truck is loaded. Be aware of low-hanging branches and building overhangs. Use caution when cornering. Park only in well-lit areas and keep the rear loading door and passenger doors locked.
Finally, create a travel bag and keep important paperwork, credit cards, identification, a change of clothes, beverages and snacks close at hand.