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How to Move Last-Minute and Not Lose Your Mind

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Despite the best laid 5-year plan, sometimes circumstances conspire to force a last-minute move. Whether your house sold faster than anticipated, you got a great new job opportunity, or your apartment building sprung a leak, here are our tips for making a last-minute move without losing your mind (or all your savings).

Get organized ASAP

Make a list! Before you even start packing, get as organized as possible by laying out each of the tasks that need to be tackled during your move. Decide on what order you’ll do them in, and establish who is the point person if you’re a couple or family. Make sure this list includes getting an online quote for moving!

Hire your truck or moving services

Reserve a rental truck or hire a moving company ASAP. If you are planning on hiring a moving company, you may need to settle for a partial quote until you get a better handle on what you’re actually taking with you and what you’ll be selling/donating/leaving behind. Still, you can at least reserve a crew and truck for the time being. 

Waiting until the very last minute could mean you end up paying more because your top choice crews are booked, so be as proactive as possible. If you can be flexible, choose an off-peak moving day mid-week to increase your options for movers.

Pare down your belongings

As you start to pack, go room by room, and make three piles: Pack, Give Away, Trash. Most people make the mistake of packing things that they don’t really want or need, and that overcomplicates the move (and makes it more expensive!). Stock up on trash bags (and recycling bags!) and reduce your load, then…

Have a friends & family giveaway

Invite those you love to invade your messy home and cart away the stuff you don’t want. Toaster ovens, rocking chairs, some of your massive book collection, you name it — someone might want it! Just make sure your friends check everything with you before carting it off. If you’re tight on funds, you might ask for donations in exchange for your belongings, too.

Fill your boxes from big to small

It is much easier to tuck small items around the larger ones than the other way around. Make sure your larger items have a place amidst your containers, and then put your Tetris mind into action by adding some cushioning and filling the empty space. Just be sure not to make cardboard boxes too heavy.

Pack your clothing on the hangers

A time-saving, last minute moving tip: for the clothes that are already folded, keep them that way. But if you have a closet full of hanging items, either secure a wardrobe box from your movers or just keep everything on hangers and put them in trash bags. 

Rent reusable moving bins 

Ask if your local moving companies have the option of crate rental. This means no box assembly or taping required, and they can handle a heavier load without the risk of breaking. They will also save you the hassle of dealing with cardboard boxes as you unpack since you just need to return them to the moving company. The only hitch: you will need to unpack quickly, so if you haven’t been able to find an apartment before moving, you may want to opt for cardboard.

Be resourceful with packing materials

Use materials that you already have on-hand to cushion your belongings as you pack. That secret stash of bubble wrap or packing paper will come in handy, as will sheets, towels, bedding, and pillows. Avoid using newspaper as it has a tendency to leave ink smears behind, and opt for paper or bubble wrap with kitchen items that may smell like food.

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Hire professional last-minute moving help

Ask for help from your friends and family, of course. Then, if you’re really tight on time, leave a lot of the packing and organizing it to the movers. It will cost more, but they’re professionals at this and will get you out the door and unpacking in your new apartment faster than you could on your own!

Need help with your move? Let Unpakt help you find a team of movers who are available, quickly and easily.

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Unpakt Team