7 Smart Last-Minute Moving Tips

An Office Worker Packs Up His Desk

You have to move. Immediately. What next?

Most people plan a move several months in advance. This gives them time to organize, clean their homes, and pack leisurely.

But sometimes, a last-minute move can’t be avoided.

Maybe you received an unexpected job offer in another state, and the boss wants you on-site in a week. Or perhaps you just discovered that you can’t renew the lease on your apartment, and you have to find another place to live ASAP.

Whatever the driving factor, it’s possible to accomplish a move on short notice without too much pain, depending on the quality of your decisions during the brief window before the move itself.

Here are tips to make your move on short notice more manageable.

1. Get rid of what you don’t need.

Start decluttering your home. This will make packing more manageable, and it will help you save money on moving costs. The less stuff you have to move, the cheaper it will be.

If you’re short on time, focus on getting rid of larger items that will be more expensive to move, such as furniture. You can always buy new furniture after you move.

Do you really need a television in the spare bedroom or an end table that does nothing but collect unopened mail?

2. Pack smart.

When packing last-minute, it’s tempting to throw everything into boxes haphazardly and hope for the best. But this is a recipe for disaster. Take the time to pack correctly, even if it means enlisting the help of friends or family.

Pack your boxes according to room, and label them clearly. This will make unpacking much easier and less stressful.

3. Create a moving calendar.

Once you’ve determined how much time you have to move, you can divide your home into sections — cordoned off like a crime scene! On Monday, you’ll pack the bedroom. On Tuesday, the bathroom, save for a few essentials like toilet paper and toothpaste.

You’ll need these items in your moving kit anyway — indispensable things that should always be within easy reach. With this approach, you can pack one room per day and be ready in a week. And if your home has more than seven rooms, stop reading this article immediately and call your friends for help.

4. Rent storage, if necessary.

If you don’t know where you’ll be living, it’s easier and cheaper to put non-essentials in storage and to live out of a suitcase for a while. There’s no need to organize a storage unit with the same care it takes to arrange and decorate a new apartment or house.

Pack accordingly. Set aside the everyday things that you can’t do without. Everything else goes into boxes.

5. Festina lente. Make haste slowly.

Last-minute moving doesn’t have to be hectic. Maybe the packing isn’t perfect. Perhaps the labels aren’t as detailed as you’d like them to be. Your goal is execution, not perfection. Just get ‘er done! — like the All-Pro quarterback who nails the two-minute drill.

You can be that quarterback, eerily calm in the face of the storm! Pack the fragile stuff carefully, keep track of the things you can’t live without, and have the rest of your life to sort everything else out.

6. In a pinch, get moving help.

That’s what true friends are for, right? To help you when you need help the most?

Make calls to your buddies. If you’re lucky, you have friends and family who can help with your last-minute move, packing and stacking boxes. Or, if nothing else, they can act as support as you deal with everything from kitchen spices to boxes of books blocking your path.

Even better, friends can help you unpack and get settled in your new place — a big job that’s made easier with an extra set of hands.

7. Hire last-minute movers who know the drill.

Even if you’ve recruited a legion of helpers, a last-minute moving company can make a world of difference. They’ve seen and been through it all. They have the know-how and equipment to shuttle boxes and equipment from your home to the truck without hurting themselves.

The last thing you need is to worry about basic logistics, making sure the boxes end up in the right place. You’ll be tired, stressed out, and ready for a break. Let somebody else take care of the Xs and Os.

Remember the most important last-minute moving tip.

Remind yourself, as the world comes crashing down around you, that it’s not the end of the world despite appearances. You will survive! Take a deep breath, make some quick decisions, and get packing. You’ll be in your new home before you know it.



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