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How to plan a last minute move?

A girl pressed for time

When you are changing your place of residence, it is an ideal scenario to have several weeks at your disposal for doing it. However, it often happens just the opposite. You need not only to plan a last minute move, but also to finish everything on time. It may seem impossible, especially when you have in mind what needs to be done. But, with good organization and patience, anything can be done. In this article, we have made a list of things you need to do when planning a last minute move. We hope you will find it helpful. Besides, with last minute moving experts like Master Moving Guide by your side, there is nothing to worry about.

How to plan a last minute move? Start with logistics

A last minute move has a way of making every task seem both very necessary and more difficult to accomplish. It’s no wonder people easily feel overwhelmed and paralyzed by how much needs to get done. But instead of letting your moving tasks stress you out, just take a deep breath and get to work. Learn how to cope with moving stress and start crossing items off of the list, one by one.

Your first step is going to be either hiring professional movers or just renting a moving truck. You need to decide whether you are going to get professional help with your move or you’re planning to do it yourself. If you are hiring movers, you won’t have much time to do research. Hence, a good idea is to use some moving company directory to quickly find a list of reputable movers in your area. On the other hand, if you’re renting a truck, get quotes from a few companies and then make a decision right away. Remember, the sooner you have the logistics of your move sorted out, the sooner you can get to work on everything else.

This decision depends mostly on your finances. Also, if your items are numerous and cannot be transported all at once, think of a plan B. You can, for example, rent a cheap storage unit. In that way, you will store all the things that are not essential for you on the day of the move and you can sort them out later. Make sure that the time and date are set, and then you can move on to complete other tasks.

Moving trucks- plan a last-minute move effecively
What you need to do first when you plan a last minute move is to find a means of transport

Sort out things that you will throw away or donate

This is probably one of the good things when you need to plan a last minute move. You will not have much time to think about whether you want to keep something or not. Of course, you should separate what you want to keep first, and then think of what to donate or throw away. Also, have in mind that packing will be much easier when you have fewer things to pack. You will probably have the urge to pack everything and think about throwing or giving thins away later. Try as hard as you can to resist it, since it will only make the whole process of moving more complicated. It will be much simpler to do it before the move and you will have more time and energy to do other, more important things.

Get rid of the things you don’t need

Remember, the less you have to pack, the easier packing will be.  Try to avoid clutter when packing, and get rid of all the things you don’t really need. When moving in short notice, easy packing is key. Go through each room, cabinet, and closet of your home and pull out items you no longer want or need. Separate these things into three piles: donate, recycle, and throw away.

Try to think practicality, not sentimentality. A move is a great time to downsize your things, and a hurried move gives you even more motivation to travel lightly. Resist the urge to just pack everything with the idea that you’ll get rid of things after the move. That doesn’t really make a sense. It is much simpler to sort these items out before the move and save your time, money and energy for the things that really matter.

Once you sort all your piles, get rid of them. Take the trash and items for recycling out, and drop off your donations. Most noteworthy, you can donate pretty much anything to Goodwill, if in good condition. For example, you can drop used linens and towels off at your local animal shelter. And unopened, unexpired food, especially canned can go a long way at your local food pantry.

If you have furniture or other large items you would like to donate, there is a solution for that too. Depending on availability and their needs, you may be even able to have a charity group come by and pick them up. You can head to Donation Town, enter your zip code, and you’ll find a list of nearby charities. Some of them will come to pick up gently used furniture and household items. Schedule as soon as possible, that way it will be more likely someone is free to come out.

Put together a moving essentials bag

Before you start packing, it is always a good idea to put together a moving essential bag. Hence, put aside a small duffel bag. Fill it with the essentials you will need the first night and day at your new home. This should include day-to-day toiletries, pajamas, any medications and important documents you have, chargers, and maybe a few changes of clothes. While this is something you should do even if you weren’t moving in a hurry, it’s especially important when you plan a last minute move.

During this type of relocation, things are more likely to get a bit messier and more exhausting. Keep in mind that you probably won’t have time or energy to unpack right way. A bag with the most necessary items will come very handy. And once your essentials bag is ready, you can get started on the big project- packing.

Pack room by room

When you only think that you need to pack everything that is in your house, you may get a little dizzy. That is why it is better to pack room by room, especially when you plan a last minute move. For example, you can start with bigger rooms and end up with smaller ones. In that way, you will keep your motivation and being under stress. You just need to be careful and pay more attention when you pack some fragile items, like vases, electronics, etc. In case you have quite a lot of items like these and you are not sure whether you are able to pack them properly, you can always hire movers to do this for you. Of course, it will cost more, but, at least, you will be sure that nothing will be broken.

Here are some tips for easy packing:

  • Pack first, and sort later. Don’t worry about keeping like items together, you don’t have time for that. Just put things wherever they fit. Even if it means packing the water glasses with the clothes and the books with the contents of your filing cabinet, that’s fine. As long as everything is packed safely and carefully, you can deal with sorting later. Once you arrive at your new home, you will have plenty of time for that.
  • Don’t skip labeling boxes, that is something you should find time for. It takes only a few seconds to label each box, and it will make your unpacking much easier and faster. Most noteworthy, don’t forget to mark all boxes with delicate items as fragile.
  • You can use soft items like towels and linens to wrap delicate items. Kill two birds with one stone by wrapping breakable items like glassware in soft items you need to pack anyway. Use your socks, towels, and clothing for wrapping purpose. As a bonus, you will save money on packing supplies so it’s a win-win situation.
  • Set up moving boxes as you need them. Keep your space clear and manageable by only setting up boxes as you are ready to fill them. Once you fill a box, tape it up, and move it out of your way.
A man holding many boxes
One way in which you can avoid making a mess is by packing room by room


Ask for help- you may not be able to do everything by yourself

When you need to plan a last minute move, it is advisable to ask for help. This means that you should ask your friends and relatives to help you, at least when packing is in question. In that way, you will manage to have everything done on time. Plus, you will get to spend some more time together before you move. An important thing to have in mind when packing is concerned is to find boxes on time. You can even find free moving boxes – that is how you will save some money and make sure that everything goes smoothly during the process of packing.


Labelled boxes
Label all the boxes properly- it will be of great help when unpacking

Hire professional cleaners

In case you are not sure whether you will have the time to clean both the new and the old house, it is better to find help. Professional cleaners are always at your disposal, no matter when and where. Just make sure you hire them on time and there will be no inconveniences. In this way, you will save more time and you will be able to do other things, like changing your address. All in all, the whole process of moving out and moving in can be done in a week, all you need is a good organization.

When you need to plan a last minute move, there are many things that need to be done on time. For example, you need to hire a moving company or rent a truck, pack everything, clean the house, etc. Although it seems impossible, you can certainly do all of this, even within a week. The most important thing is to have good organization and not to waste time. Also, if you need help, do not refrain from asking for it. Even if your friends and family cannot help you at that moment, there are professionals whom you can hire. As you can see, there is a solution for every single problem.

Should you tip movers?

Rewarding movers for the job well done is always a good idea, especially when you plan a last minute move. Remember, moving is always hard work, even if you do it every day. And when moving on short notice, you appreciate their efficiency and speed more than anything.

Tips are not expected in the sense that your movers are going to wait around for extra cash after the job is done. But it is a very nice gesture, especially if you are feeling happy with their service. How much to tip movers? That is your call. You can even buy them lunch instead of handing them cash if you prefer. And if they have gone the extra mile and changed their schedule to help you plan a last minute move, they certainly deserve a treat!