Someday, you may find yourself needing to move in a week or less. Since most people take a month or longer to plan a move, the task may seem impossible, but you can handle it with the right tools.
The key to moving on a tight deadline is keeping yourself to a schedule and working smarter, not harder. Here are the steps we recommend to power through the move quickly.
Tackle the Logistics First
Even if you only have a week to move, you need to put a moving plan in place. First, you’ll need to decide how you’re transporting all your stuff. Moving companies typically require some advance notice, so ideally, you’d call ahead by:
- 12 weeks for a long-distance summer move
- 4 to 8 weeks for an international or cross-country move
- 2 to 8 weeks for an intra-city move
If you’re moving during the off-season, you have a much better chance of booking a mover last minute. Same goes if you only have a few boxes, since movers can add your belongings to a mostly full moving truck.
Alternative Transportation Options
If you can’t book a mover, try renting a truck or packing everything into your car and making multiple trips between homes. This is a more tedious process, so you will have to account for the extra transportation time.
Easily Forgettable Items
Whenever you move, you must update your information and schedule services for your new home. Rely on a moving checklist so you don’t forget crucial tasks like:
- Updating your mailing address
- Alerting your employer, bank and insurance company
- Shutting off/turning on utilities
- Setting up internet
- Requesting medical records
- Finding new medical providers
- Obtaining children’s school records
- Purchasing moving insurance
Ask for Help With Moving
Friends and Family
Everything will go smoother and faster with more helping hands, so consider calling on friends and family to help you gather supplies and sort through your stuff. Pay them back with free food or return the favor once you’re settled.
If no loved ones live nearby, consider paying for packing services through a traditional moving company. Since these workers are well-versed in the moving process, you can be sure all your stuff makes it to your new home in one piece. There are also other aspects to moving, like cleaning your home or removing trash, that are also best left to the professionals.
If all your local companies are fully booked, don’t panic – you may be able to find a helper online or through an app.
Gather the Right Supplies
If you can find used boxes through work, friends and family or a local store, great! Take advantage of that opportunity. However, it may be too late at this stage in the game. A faster method is buying all the boxes or hiring a mover who brings their own boxes and packing materials.
You can also repurpose some of the supplies you already have at home for moving or protecting your items, such as:
- Laundry hampers
- Storage bins
- Purses and totes
- Heavy-duty garbage bags
- Wrapped dresser drawers
- Blankets, towels and clothes
- Old newspapers
Sorting Your Stuff
The bulk of your time will be spent packing, especially if you’re trying to move out of a multi-bedroom house. Cut down on packing time by weeding through all your stuff before the move rather than after. You’ll save money, too, since movers often charge based on how much your belongings weigh.
Start with either your least-used belongings (holiday decorations, seasonal clothes, etc.) or the most difficult room in your house (usually the kitchen). Sort each item into one of three piles:
- Keep – comes with you to your new home
- Toss – gets dumped in the trash
- Donate – goes to a nonprofit or to friends, family, neighbors or coworkers
If you’re having trouble letting go of items, toss or donate anything you’re unsure about or items you haven’t used in a year.
Normally, it’s best to neatly organize your boxes by room and take inventory of everything inside each box. If things are down to the wire, though, you may not have this luxury. Instead, focus on packing things safely and keeping box weight low for easy lifting. It’s okay to mix items from different rooms together.
Keep in mind that you should still label boxes as “fragile” and pack glass or ceramic items carefully. You don’t want them to break during the move.
Residential Packing and Moving Services With Continental Van Lines
Feeling overwhelmed by your upcoming move? The team at Continental Van Lines can get you packed up and ready to move across town or across the country fast! We are as hands-on or hands-off as you want – just let us know your preference, and we’ll take it from there. Contact us at (206) 937-2261 today for your FREE moving quote.