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Posted in Moving Tips&Tricks on November 5, 2021
Gemma Collins

Gemma is an NJ local that has explored all the US states, making her the perfect person to write about moving.

6 Last-Minute Moving Tips for Relocation on a Tight Deadline

What is a last-minute move? It’s hard to decide exactly how much time is too little for a proper move. Since relocating requires planning, organization, and patience, any period that doesn’t allow for either one of those could be considered last-minute moving. It happens, though, and people often move at the last moment. Here are some tips on how you can make it happen, too.

two frustrated people leaning onto boxes in the middle of moving long distance
Frustration is an inevitable part of relocating, but being organized and calm can help avoid it

Last-Minute Moving Tips for Relocating on Short Notice – Be Organized, Patient, and Stay Calm

While you’re wondering how can I move fast and cheap, we want to remind you to practice staying cool, calm and collected. People often move in a hurry, and likely with a sense of panic hanging over their heads. Some anxiety is normal; you have folks out there who excel in working and doing important things under pressure.

If that’s not who you are, don’t worry too much. It’s still possible to move in a calm and organized manner. The secret to that is doing everything step-by-step – not all at once. It might seem like doing everything at once will reduce preparation time, but you’re likely to make bigger relocation mistakes with that method. Going to a new home should be an exciting chapter in your life, not one that’ll leave you drained.

a frustrated girl sitting on the floor surrounded by boxes packed for cross-country moving
Don't give yourself too many tasks while relocating. What you really need is to do everything step by step

#1 Create a Relocation Checklist Worthy of a Superhero

Creating a checklist for a move is a brilliant and simple relocation hack. Before you start gathering supplies and packaging your belongings, create a last-minute moving checklist. It will guide you through the process more easily. Additionally, an organized list of things to do before and after relocating will be especially helpful when you start feeling overwhelmed.

Start forming the relocation to-do list as soon as you decide to move out. Here are some ideas on what to put on paper to make the relocation day easier:

  • Handle utilities, address changes, and look up who to notify about your relocation,
  • Do a household inventory,
  • Gather packaging supplies (boxes, paper, bubble wrap, box cutters, and pens),
  • Schedule cross-country relocation services,
  • Organize important documents and prepare essential supplies for the first week in the new house,
  • Learn where to donate or sell unwanted furniture and household stuff,
  • Notify friends and family about relocating.

This is an incomplete list but contains the bare necessities of relocating; you can add to it whatever you need for a smooth process. Whether it’s short notice or has been planned for months, a to-do list is there to keep you in check and make sure you don’t forget anything.

a clipboard with a paper that says checklist on a table with some coffee
A relocation checklist will be your greatest weapon for staying on schedule

#2 Prioritize, Declutter, and Don’t Overthink Packing

If you notice that you’ve panic-packed something completely unnecessary, don’t worry – the best long-distance relocation companies offer storage services. You can put the unwanted stuff and boxes in a safe storage unit, but learn how to protect items in there. Otherwise, anything that doesn’t end up in storage is considered essential to you. So, this is where you have to decide what to keep, learn why decluttering is a hack to move efficiently, and how it helps you save on relocation costs.

The benefits of prioritizing some things over others are apparent. As we mentioned, decluttering reduces costs and increases efficiency, but it’s more than that. In some ways, it is a psychological tool because you get to see how easy it is to separate from something that’s been in your house for a while now. Decluttering has been proven to be good for mental health.

Relocating to a new home in another state is all about fresh beginnings. If you arrive there with the same baggage, not much will change, and you’ll be left feeling hoarded by piles of stuff you don’t need.

It’s OK to Leave Things Behind

The most important things to consider when relocating to a new state should be how to pack efficiently and what to do with furniture and things you don’t want to bring. Relocating on short notice may have a positive impact on deciding what to pack. However, it doesn’t mean you should look up how to move a piano in a few easy steps. Instead, it might mean that the ivory-keyed instrument should stay behind or be put in storage for a while.

You can also get rid of unwanted things without them ending up in the trash. If something is in good condition, try selling, donating, or gifting it to someone. Charities always need clothes and food, and giving something from your old house to a friend could turn out to be a very sentimental goodbye present.

Perhaps you’re relocating for the first time. Leaving our childhood homes is never easy. With so many memories still in the walls and foundations, it’s normal to feel sad. The video below is a speech from TEDx about the challenges and ways of saying goodbye to your old home.

YouTube video

#3 Something to Do Before Relocation Day – Gathering Supplies

You can’t move without your belongings, and you can’t pack them without supplies and materials that will keep them safe in the transport truck. Professional relocation companies offer a packaging service, so if you don’t have hours to invest in buying and gathering boxes and paper, let them help you.

If you want to be the one to buy all the materials and supplies, then look at online shops where you could buy boxes and packaging paper in bulk. Ensure the boxes come in several different sizes since boxing up plates is not the same as packaging shoes. They both require different methods, wrapping materials, and kinds of containers.

If You Have Just a Day or Two to Leave the Home, Here’s How to Improvise

Advice for those who wish to spend as little money as possible on supplies is to look around their house for boxes and wrapping materials. It’s likely that you already have duct tape and scissors, but great containers aren’t that easy to find. If you’re relocating alone, assess how much you need – there may be ways to pack without using a bunch of tools.

One way to improvise is to ask friends or neighbors for some supplies. Another one is to use old shoe boxes, plastic bins, baskets, and suitcases. You can protect fragile and valuable things with cotton wrapping – t-shirts, pillowcases, and towels will do the trick. Even magazines and newspapers can be used for this purpose. Getting creative when you’re in a rush isn’t simple, but it’s worth it.

There’s a way to use trash bags to your advantage, too. Leave all the clothes hanging on the hangers and use a trash bag to protect the clothes from the bottom up. Tie a knot around hanger tops if the bag has drawstrings, and voila. You’re a packaging master.

a man using a duct tape dispenser to seal a box for cross-country moving
Find materials that will keep your belongings safe during transport

#4 Contact Long-Distance Movers Near You for Assistance

Getting services from a cross-country moving company always seems to be like the last resort when people move. However, the fact is that long-distance moving services provided by professional movers can significantly reduce relocation anxiety and costs.

The risk factor when hiring movers in a hurry is the possibility of accidentally falling for mover scams. This can be predicted and prevented by verifying the information on relocation companies online or asking for a quote. A decent shortcut would also be to ask a friend or anyone you know who has moved recently for a recommendation.

Before you reject the idea of hiring a company to move with, consider how overwhelming the entire last-minute move is. It’s panic-inducing, puts you through every emotion possible, and there’s always a fear that there are things you forgot to do. This could happen if you move months ahead, too. For everyone’s sake, it’s a good idea to contact professionals and ask them how fast can I get movers.

Allow Movers to Load the Relocation Truck

To avoid having anything broken or damaged, the best thing is to allow the movers to load the relocation truck. Their job is to pack your belongings so they don’t sustain any damage or tears, and they already have the experience and equipment that you don’t.

If you want to send your car across the country, the company will likely have a car shipping service available, too, and the workers are as careful with vehicles as they are with packed glasses. There are methods for packing a relocation truck that ensure all the things inside stay intact throughout the journey. They’re not something you can learn on short notice, so leaving that to the pros will be a better choice.

A Long-Distance Moving Company Will Provide Packing Services to Save You Time

Professional packaging services provided by cross-country movers can also answer the question of how can I move out quickly. To save yourself from the hardship of learning something as big as correctly packaging fragile items from scratch, it’d be wise to let professional packers work their magic there, too.

The more you go on agonizing about whether to contact relocation companies, the less time you’ll have to pack and move. If your move is super short notice, there’s no doubt that professional help is the best way forward.

two cross-country movers moving a fridge
You'll save yourself from many nerve-wracking situations if you simply hire movers for help

#5 While You Pack, Leave Items for an Essentials Box on the Side

As you prepare for movers to arrive, take some time to pack a box of essential items. These are all the things you use every day and can’t live without, such as:

  • Essential bathroom items for personal hygiene,
  • Non-perishable foods like cans and packaged meals,
  • Bedding for the first few nights in the new home,
  • Some basic tools for unpacking boxes and checking utilities,
  • Cleaning supplies for move-in cleaning,
  • Clothes and shoes, for, well, wearing fresh items.

Not Having an Essentials Box Might Cost You Comfort

It won’t be easy to open up boxes and scatter their contents all over the place looking for something you needed five minutes ago. That’s why, when you plan a move to another city, plan how to pack for it, too.

You’ll be doing yourself a service by packing the essentials beforehand. As soon as you gather supplies, put aside one or two boxes (depending on how many people are relocating) or a suitcase, and fill them with these essentials first. That way, you won’t forget to do it. As a bonus, label it as ‘essential’ or even ‘urgent’ for more drama and impact.

a woman packing a shirt into a box for cross-country moving
Surviving without the basics is not impossible, but it will make the first few days after the move more difficult

#6 Don’t Be too Proud to Ask for Some Last-Minute Moving Help

Finally, whatever your reasons to move are and how fast you plan on doing it, it will be much easier if you ask for assistance from friends, family, and anyone you’re close to. Asking others for assistance isn’t just great for the process, but it’s one of the more surprising benefits of relocating.

People like to feel needed and are typically willing to help when asked. If on top of all that, the people you ask are the ones you love, you can build fond memories together. Asking for assistance isn’t easy for everyone, but it opens up more ways of communication once we do.

Relocating on short notice isn’t always the best way to do it, but letting people who love you help you out and hiring relocation services are two things you can never make a mistake with.

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