10 Essential Hacks for Last-Minute Moves

15 August 2013 by


last minute movesPlanning a move on short notice is not easy. For one, it doesn’t give you very much time to organize and prepare. That’s why most experts recommend that people take a month or two to plan their relocations. Still, just because it’s difficult, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

If you just got a job in another part of the state and you’re faced with the sudden prospect of a move, the following are ten useful tips that can help you make the most of the short timeline that you’re working with.

1. Do Not Panic

Squeezing your move into a few days will be hectic. However, panicking will only make it worse. Don’t dwell on how much you have to do. Take things in stride.

If you panic, you will find it harder to concentrate, which, in turn, will increase the risk that you’ll make mistakes or forget important details. Create a checklist of all the things you have to do and complete them one by one. If you own a smartphone, consider downloading moving apps to help you organize your thoughts.

2. Get Some Help

A good way to achieve more in less time is to get assistance. Invite friends or family over to help you pack. You can assign specific tasks to different people. For instance, have one person help you pack up your books and assign another to do the kitchen.

Asking your friends to help offers several benefits. It lessens the psychological strain that occurs during a move. Your friends are also likely to be a lot more effective at packing your things, since they aren’t emotionally attached to your items. Instead of trying to sort all of your Harry Potter novels into one corner of the same box, your friends will focus on getting the books packed as neatly and efficiently as possible.

More to the point, if you have a few extra hands, you’ll be able to achieve more within the short moving window without feeling overwhelmed. And don’t forget to keep your friends motivated with lots of coffee!

3. Secure Important Documents

Certain things are irreplaceable. Look for those first. When push comes to shove, you can buy a new couch or a new TV set, but replacing things like your medical records, financial documents, or your child’s school report is a lot more difficult. Before you pack anything, make sure that you have all your important documents collected and kept in a secure location.

4. Eat Takeout

Cooking a meal takes an average of 15 to 45 minutes, and after that, you’ll need at least another five minutes to wash the dishes. So why bother? You could be using that time to handle other tasks.

Make the most of the time you have by ordering in or eating takeout. It’ll free you up, giving you more time to focus on actual packing. You only have to last for a few days. Once you’ve completed your move, you can return to eating home-cooked meals.

5. Find a Place to Live

Depending on the reasons behind your move, you may or may not already have a place to stay. If you don’t, use online apartment listings to find an affordable place to live—at least in the short term.

If you’re moving to a new city, staying in temporary housing will give you the opportunity to learn more about your new location. You can get a feel for the neighborhood and be able to make a more informed decision about where you want to settle down.

6. Plan on a Single Trip

In situations where you’re moving to another home only a few miles away, you may be tempted to make multiple trips with your car. But moving your things a few boxes at a time will actually take a lot longer than moving them all at once. Instead, get a large truck and move most or all of your items in a single trip. This way, you won’t need to waste valuable time on the road.

7. Find a Moving Company

Moving is generally easier with the help of a moving company. Most companies offer a combination of services that can soothe the moving process. For instance, you’ll find moving companies that can handle the packing, moving, and unpacking phases of your relocation.

Granted, choosing this option will end up costing you more, but it will also take away a lot of the stress of the process. The downside to moving quickly and on short notice is that you’ll find it a lot more difficult to negotiate bargain rates with the moving company—but you can still lower the cost by using tricks such as moving in the middle of the week, when customer traffic is lower.

8. Put Your Items in Storage

If you’re faced with a looming moving date and you don’t have enough time to plan an organized move, or if you’re staying in temporary housing, consider putting your items in storage.

Storage units are a convenient solution. This way, you won’t have to worry about where your items will be while you hunt for a new home. With the pressure off your back, you will be able to take your time choosing the right home.

9. Cancel Your Utilities When You Leave

Obviously, if you’re leaving your home, you will need to cancel your utilities—but don’t do this until you’ve actually packed up and left. The last thing you want is for the company to cut water and power a day or two before your moving date.

Once you’ve safely moved your items to your new home, reach out to the utility providers. Generally, it’s best to do this the day after your move.

10. Believe You Can

Finally, having the right attitude makes all the difference. If you’re constantly questioning your abilities and letting stress get the best of you, you’ll find it difficult to achieve much. But with the right can-do attitude, you’ll be a lot more efficient, focused, and organized.

Even if you have a short moving timeline to work with, you can still get everything done without caving in to your anxiety and making mistakes. Keep a clear head, remember these tips, and get moving!

SSF Team

SSF Team

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