It’s not easy to move on a tight deadline, but take a deep breath. There are things you can do to get the job done quickly without feeling overwhelmed.
You may get hired for a job that requires you to start right away in a new community. A disagreement with your landlord can get you evicted. Sometimes natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods force people to relocate on short notice.
Longtime San Diego real estate agent Gary Kent said people who lose their homes to foreclosure often delay moving until the very last minute—when a law enforcement officer is standing at the door.
Whatever the reason, moving quickly requires you to be organized. You may have only a few days to do tasks that normally would take weeks. Don’t panic. You’ll manage better if you remain calm.
Here are seven tips for moving quickly without losing your cool:
1. Reserve a Moving Crew or a Rental Truck, ASAP
The first thing you need to do is find a way to get your possessions to your new home. Cathy Goodwin, author of “Making the Big Move: How to Transform Relocation Into a Creative Life Transition,” says you should make sure you have a moving crew or a rental truck lined up.
Because professional movers book their dates weeks or months ahead of time, you may have a hard time finding one at the last minute. In that case, be prepared for a do-it-yourself move with a rental vehicle. If you need a storage unit on short notice, search SpareFoot for the best option near you.
2. Find Packing Boxes
If you don’t have time to round up used cardboard boxes from grocery stores, just purchase some. You usually can find boxes and other packing supplies for sale at rental truck outlets.
3. Give Away Things You Don’t Need
A common mistake is taking too many things to your new home. Your packing will go more quickly if you get rid of of unwanted or easily replaceable items. Gather all unneeded clothes, sporting goods, furniture, and books and take them to a thrift store. If you have time, hold a garage sale.
Don’t let sentiment prevent you from streamlining your moving truck load.
“If you have stuff you don’t need, get rid of it,” said Goodwin.
4. Ask For Help
Don’t underestimate how much work you’ll face. It is probably a good time to call in that favor from your friends and relatives. They can help you pack and lug boxes to your new spot.
Kent says you’ll draw a larger crowd of helpers if you offer to provide a meal. When pressed for time, use pizza delivery.
5. Keep Track of What You Pack
A common mistake is not to label boxes properly. This is essential so you’ll know exactly what each box contains. “It’s so easy to lose track of things,” said Carol Miler Fradkin, the author of “Moving Gracefully: A Guide to Relocating Yourself & Your Family.”
Good labeling will save you time when you reach your destination. Fradkin suggests packing a box of essential things you can’t afford to lose and keeping it close. You can use it to store bills, insurance policies, and “all the crucial stuff.”
Use your smartphone to quickly and easily photograph the contents of each box.
6. Consider Using Packing Pros
Professional packers aren’t cheap, but when you’re in a hurry they’re worth the price. If you have doubts about your ability to manage a quick move on your own, you can find professional movers who offer packing services online.
“They will do it faster,” said Goodwin.
7. Prepare to Camp Out For a Night or Two
Unpacking is a big job and may take more than one day. Your bedroom may not be properly set up on the first night in your new home. Be sure to pack a “camp out” box that includes temporary bedding, such as sleeping bags and pillows.