7 Hacks to Help You Move Last Minute

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A successful last-minute move can seem beyond the realm of possibility, when you consider how grueling moves often are with a month or more to prepare. Try not to panic. A sudden move that doesn’t end in chaos is absolutely doable, with the help of these seven last-minute moving hacks.

1. Plot Out a Schedule

A great first step in a last-minute move is to fully assess the volume of work to be done, from room to room and with any garage or outdoor items also in mind. If you live a minimalist lifestyle, you’ve got this! The biggest challenge for most people is an accumulation of things that are largely out of sight and out of mind. You may have as much that you need and want to move with you as you have things that should be discarded, donated, sold, or gifted. Based on what you discover, map out a schedule of what precisely must done in the days and hours you have to pack.

2. Cleverly Enlist Willing Helpers

  • It is notoriously difficult to get volunteer help with a move, but you can work around disheartening statistics. If you’ve determined that you cannot achieve your last-minute move by your lonesome, here are some ideas to convince friends, family, and/or coworkers to pitch in and help:
  • Start off by offering to pay for the help you receive. If they say they could never accept pay, let them know that you will have something enticing in hand to reward them with. This could be a paid-for massage session or a gift card for their favorite coffee shop, restaurant, or movie theatre.
  • Be honest about your level of desperation for help. But also let them know you plan to make packing as much like a party as possible. Create atmosphere with music and serve pizza and drinks.
  • Be specific about what you need them to do, such as applying packing tape or labeling all boxes. Give them a choice of rooms or chores to work on, if possible. You can include helpers for the task of cleaning cabinets, baseboards, and appliances after all has been packed up.
  • Let them know helpers get first dibs on all the items you plan to leave behind or donate.
  • Ask women to help. Research was done that found women are significantly less likely than men to turn down a request to help with a move or to give a misleading answer about helping.
  • Let helpers know the packing time will be well-organized and all needed packing and moving supplies will be on hand when they arrive.
  • Offer to reciprocate with a return favor.

3. Use Photos & Organization for Electronics

You’re packing in a hurry, but you don’t want to be left with problems in your new home as a result. Avoid frustration when trying to get electronics reconnected by taking a photo of where all the wires go before you disconnect them. Go a step further and keep electronics for various pieces of equipment organized in separate baggies. Label the bags so you know which device each plug is for. Keep all electronics together in one place and pack them in an “Open Immediately” box for your new home.

4. Pack Garments in Large Trash Bags

Make sure your mover allows the use of large garbage bags for packing things such as blankets and clothing. When packing your clothing, you may want to begin by using in any and all suitcases you have. The easiest and quickest way to pack clothes is in large bags. Buy the trash bags that are reinforced and less prone to tear. It’s best to go through your clothing yourself and put clothes you don’t wear in boxes designated for donation or giveaway to friends or family.

5. Use Containers

Many items in the home are containers, such as various baskets, whether for laundry or other storage. Pack moving items that aren’t fragile in all such baskets. If you have stacking containers, use the available space between them to store items that fit.

6. Pack Fragile Items Like a Pro

A professional packer offers good advice for packing like-sized fragile dishes. Wrap a plate, for example, in a thick layer of packing paper. Next, place an unwrapped dish of the same or similar size on top of it or next to it, if packed vertically. Then another carefully wrapped dish is next. Thoroughly cushion the bottom of boxes of dishes. In addition, add a thick layer of cushioning between layers so that the unwrapped items are thoroughly protected.

7. Mark Sides of Boxes in Certain Colors

Use one marker color for labeling boxes in each room, with every room having a different marker color. Write the name of the room and any notes about the contents in the designated color in clear letters on the sides of the boxes, not the tops.

Enjoy Your New Home!

These hacks can help you pull off a last-minute move while avoiding total chaos when you arrive at your new residence. Your first order of business in the new home should probably be to take a short breather. You may also want to add a reminder on a to-do list to send thank you cards or give a call to express appreciation to anyone who helped you achieve this impressive feat.


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