How To Prepare For A Last-Minute Move

As with any major life change, it’s ingrained that you should try to be as prepared as possible. Taking the time to prepare for big events, changes, or projects can be the key to success. So, when you’re planning a move, most experts suggest giving yourself at least two months to get everything sorted.

Moving is stressful even when you do have those suggested eight weeks to plan. But sometimes, things happen that force us to make a last-minute move. Maybe you, unfortunately, broke up with your significant other. Maybe your home was damaged by a natural disaster. Or you landed your dream job in another city that starts next week.

While these situations aren’t ideal, it’s still possible to move successfully even if you don’t have much time to plan everything out. Here are a few things to consider if you need to hire a moving company for your last-minute move and what you can do to prepare under some intense time constraints.

How To Prepare For A Last-Minute Move

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Do Your Research

If you find yourself in last-minute move situation, it’s possible that you’ll try to cut corners anywhere you can in order to get everything done quickly. But even in a time crunch, you should still do thorough research just like you would if you had months to plan your move.

  • Ask around to your friends and colleagues. Getting a good recommendation from someone you know and trust is sometimes the best way to find a good product. Start there and see who the people in your circle have trusted with their move.
  • Look up a few moving brokers online for quotes. Brokers specialize in coordinating long-distance moves and can line up licensed, insured and qualified long distance movers to do the actual job. Many are able to give you quotes online, and most have staff available for in-person help. Be sure to check if the broker is registered with the FMCSA.
  • There are companies who are available for emergency moves and one could be an option for a last-minute move. Keep in mind though, that rates will probably be higher than moves planned far in advance.
  • Check for their USDOT number to make sure that the company you’re interested in is licensed and authorized to move your household items.

Make it a priority to spend some time doing a little bit of research to avoid setting yourself back even more by choosing a company that isn’t reliable.

Know What You’ll Be Moving

It’ll be difficult to move if you don’t know what you’ll be moving. Get everything as organized as possible, as soon as possible. Sort through your stuff and decide what will go with you and what you can do without.

  • Consider purging your unwanted belongings. When performing a last-minute move, take a minimalist approach and considering bringing only what you absolutely need. And if there’s anything like silverware or a coffee machine that you can easily buy in your new area, consider replacing some things in the effort to move with less.
  • Look into getting the cheapest storage units to use as an interim while you get settled in your new place. This will be a good option for those who need to move out of their home but aren’t necessarily moving to a whole new area. Keep things you want to keep in a storage unit and focus on only moving what you’ll need right away.
  • For everything you won’t be bringing with you, consider giving it to friends or donating it to those in need. Many companies offer pickup services for any donations you have which could make it easier on you.

This is probably the most time-consuming part of moving, so set aside as much time as possible for sorting through your things.

Ask Important Questions

Before you hire a moving company to help you with your last-minute move, it’s important to ask questions about what kind of service you’ll be getting, how much it’ll cost, and compare them to other companies.

  • Ask about fees up front and make sure you know what exactly you’ll be paying for their services. Make sure you’re aware of any costs that may come up so that you can be prepared if they do come up.
  • Ask about what services you’ll be getting and if you need to do anything yourself. Will the company box things for you? Do you need to have everything packed? How long will it take? These are all good questions to ask before hiring a mover.
  • Once you’ve narrowed down your options, ask for an estimate based on your personal circumstances. What you’ll find on a company’s website are usually generic prices so it’s smart to know what they will quote for your specific move.

Remember, your goal shouldn’t necessarily be finding the cheap moving company. You want to get the best service possible at the best price. Asking the right question will help you get the biggest bang for your buck.

Pro Tip

Avoid making your move more costly than it needs to be. We have compiled a list of moving-related discounts and deals of 2021. It is ok, if your preferred moving company is not on this list. Kindly visit their website or call them to confirm if they offer any discounts. You won’t spend much time doing this, but you could, in turn, save some money.

Be As Flexible As Possible

When attempting a last-minute move, it’s best to be mentally prepared for anything. Staying flexible during this process is key. It’s possible that a lot of moving companies will be booked by all those people who did have months to plan their transition. So, it really is important to not only have a plan B, but a plan C, D, and E as well.

  • If you’re doing the moving labor yourself, instead of hiring one big truck consider hiring a smaller one and taking multiple trips. Or ask your friends who have pickup trucks and large vans to help out.
  • Realize that you may not be perfectly settled in your new place for a while. When you make a last-minute move, it’s probably not going to be incredibly smooth and might take a while to fully adjust.

Overall, moving last-minute is definitely not ideal, but it is definitely doable. With the limited time you may have, it’s important to use it wisely. Prioritizing will be essential to a successful move when you don’t have tons to time to precisely organize all the details.

Take some time to do your research and get the best moving service available, expedite your decision making and choose what will stay and what will go, ask the right questions before you choose a moving company to work with, and be as flexible as possible when things don’t go exactly to plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the right time to pack for my move?

Generally, packing should commence at least three weeks before your planned move date. The normal moving preparation phase should commence around six to eight weeks in advance. Earlier packing before the moving date will make things easier when your moving day comes.

Is there any moving checklist available for a last minute move?

Usually, it is a last minute move; hence, it is expected to be a non-scheduled move. You can still prepare a mini-checklist to get you organized. Contact your moving company to confirm things like the arrival time on a moving day, cell phone numbers, and last-minute information. Make sure you schedule a company that will clean the home after the movers are done or pick a day that you will revisit the house to clean it before the new occupants arrive.

Which is cheaper between moving old furniture and buying a new one?

Keeping your old furniture if your move doesn’t involve long-distance (local move) is advisable. You will be spending a lesser amount of moving old furniture locally than buying new ones. However, if it is a long-distance move, you may reconsider this option.

Do I need to remove all my clothes from the dresser before moving?

If you don’t have enough moving boxes or don’t have enough space, you may consider leaving the clothes inside the drawers. Take out any loose, valuable, or fragile items from the drawers. If the dresser remains upright all through the move, then make sure its drawers are full.

What should I be doing as movers move my goods?

Regardless of the part your movers are hired to handle for your move; you definitely want to avoid a situation where you will pay them to move items you no longer need. Make sure you declutter your home of any unnecessary or unwanted belongings and trash, sell, recycle, or donate them immediately you are sure of your moving.

What are the tips to pack to move in a hurry?

Focus on the goal of your move and stick to the following tip for packing when moving in last-minute:

  • Prioritize packing, and postpone sorting. This is no time to worry about packing similar items together or designating a box for the same item.
  • Wrap breakables using towels, socks, and other soft items.
  • Arrange boxes as necessary
  • Pack clothes just the way they are.

What is the method I can use to pack an apartment in just a day?

Packing an apartment in a day, try these tips:

  • Get your moving supplies the night before your packing. Make sure all the packing supplies you need are available the night before you start packing.
  • Splurge on wardrobe boxes
  • Start earlier
  • Take it one room at a time
  • Label everything
  • Stack your items as you proceed.

How can I declutter before my move?

To declutter before your moving day, follow these tips:

  • Create some time for yourself. Start working long before the moving day to get everything together.
  • Use extras
  • Pack a box for necessities
  • Pack the mementos last
  • Use 3 boxes
  • Run the practical test
  • Confirm expiration dates
  • Donate, sell, or recycle.

How do you downsize when moving?

Create a space in your home to place the boxes as you get ready for your moving day. Designate a box each for clothes, kitchen, bedroom, and others to simplify your unpacking process. It will also enable you to monitor moving boxes as they are being hauled from your old home to your new home.

How can I pack paintings when moving?

Wrap your large photos and canvas paintings using bubble wrap. Make sure the art piece, if facing down on the bubble wrap and tape the bubble wrap around the item. Make sure the box that will be used in packing the paintings is not much larger than the item and make sure the box is properly sealed using packing tape.

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