Moving day is just around the corner, and your home looks like you’ve lived there for an eternity. It’s tempting to shove everything into the moving van as-is, but you’ll have an easier time unpacking if you’re smart about the process. Fortunately, it is possible to move in a hurry without creating extra chaos.
Here are a few tips for how to move quickly, even if you must hand over your keys by the end of the day.
1. Create a last-minute move checklistWith so much to do and so little time, take a few moments to write out exactly what must happen to close up shop on your current home and move into your new one. To save time, use this list as a starting point:
- Recycle or throw out anything you’re not going to keep.
- Transfer your home services and utilities, including:
- Internet and cable. Sign in to Xfinity.com/moving to learn how to transfer your cable and Internet service and ensure you’ll have access when you arrive at your new home.
- Water and sewer.
- Phone number.
- Keep some soft items on hand (like towels, T-shirts, and socks) for padding in your boxes as you pack everything up. Have a cooler on hand for items that need to be refrigerated.
- Empty the fridge and cupboards, cleaning as you go.
- Group and bundle all your cords and cables by device, and label each for easy set up in your new home.
- Do a final sweep/clean of your entire home.
- Not sure where to get moving boxes in a hurry? Try your local liquor store or grocery store, check the “free” section of Craigslist, or buy them from an office supply store or moving van rental company.
- Once you’re ready to pack, assemble your boxes and other supplies, like tape and markers.
- Work room by room, labeling each box with “Kitchen,” “Living Room,” “Bedroom,” etc. Writing one or two key items that are in the box (“plates/cups”) will help you find things quickly when you unpack.
- Use smaller boxes to pack heavy or fragile items to avoid any broken items or overly heavy containers.
- Keep it simple with clothes and linens by packing them in trash bags (label the bags with tape to avoid accidentally tossing out all your college T-shirts or beach towels).
- Slide your framed artworks into pillowcases to protect them in the moving truck.
- Change your address.
- Cancel your trash pickup.
- Return your keys.
Once you start packing the truck, be smart about how you load it up. Place big items in the truck first to make sure they fit. If your truck is going to be packed to the gills, put smaller items in and around the larger items to take advantage of all the space. Don’t forget to wrap up any fragile items to help keep them from breaking during the process.
2. Wrangle help
If you have enough time, consider hiring cleaners or movers to assist with the process. If not, ask your friends to help as soon as possible. Supply them with doughnuts, wings, pizza, or whatever will get them over to your place fast.
During a last-minute move, don’t be afraid to delegate. Give everyone who is pitching in, including other family members, a specific task they can tackle. It might take three people to move a couch, but one person can handle boxing up books.
3. Pack as smart as possible
Moving in a hurry probably means your packing isn’t going to win any major Tetris points. Still, staying organized as you pack will help eliminate breakage and added frustration during the process. Use these pointers to keep your belongings safe and easy to find.
4. Focus on the details
During a last-minute move, it’s easy to hone in on the big things: getting the mattress down the stairs, loading the van, and driving to your new home. The smaller logistical items can be just as important. Don’t forget to:
Finally, don’t forget to keep any important paperwork, like your lease or rental truck information, in a safe place while you’re packing so that it doesn’t get stuffed into a random box.
Even if you’ve saved all your moving chores until it’s go-time, don’t despair. With a little creativity, a bit of know-how, and a lot of energy, you got this.