Checklist for Moving in a Hurry and Packing Tips

Young couple packing belongings in cardboard boxes, moving house
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Moving in a short time requires some ingenuity, a lot of energy, and help in getting organized, which is why you need a quick checklist to make sure you have covered all the bases.

Assuming you have found a place to go, next you need to decide how your stuff will be moved from one place to the other. And, then, get packing. There are several options for moving and packing.

Book a Mover

When it comes to booking a moving company, often the decision comes down to money and time. Since it has been established that you do not have much time, then if you have money, you have a little more flexibility. You will want to consider hiring movers to move your stuff. This is usually the least stressful option. The catch is that booking a mover usually requires more than a week's notice. However, if you are moving during the offseason (any time other than summer), you should be able to find a mover who can help.

If you are short on money, then moving on your own will save you cash, but not necessarily time. In fact, it will be a giant time sink. Another factor to consider is how far you are moving. Long-distance movers are harder to book than local companies. Movers also need to know how much stuff you have to move. If you are only moving a studio apartment or small one-bedroom, often larger moving companies can accommodate you by adding your things to a truck that is not quite full. 

Rent a Truck

If you have a lot to move and you do not get a moving company, then try getting a truck or van rental. Truck rentals, while usually fully booked in the summer months, are often fairly easy to come by in the offseason. If you are moving in the summer, call all the rental agencies in your area to see if anything is available, and then book what you can. Even if it is a small passenger van, you may end up taking multiple trips back and forth, but it will accommodate more stuff than your car or a taxi can.

Pack Your Car

If you do not need a truck or you cannot rent one, then use your car. If you do not have a car, then recruit all your family and friends who have a truck, car, or van to help out. It is amazing how much stuff you can pack into one car. All you need is a little help and some tips on how to pack more in your car. 

Just remember when you are planning how you will move your stuff, to think about combining transportation modes. For instance, you might hire a local mover to move your stuff, but you might also save some time and money, if you pack as much as you can into your car and friends' cars, too.

Call Utility Companies

If you are responsible for paying utilities—electric, water, cable, internet—then you will need to call to have your current service canceled and/or transferred to your new place. If you are moving long distance, you may need to find new services in your new city or town. Get a list of your bills and run through them one by one. It should not take more than an hour to do, but it is important to get it done as soon as possible, so you are not charged for services you are not using.

Hunt Down Packing Boxes

Get packing supplies. Boxes are the No. 1 thing you need for moving. The easiest way to get some is to run out to your local storage or moving store and purchase them. While you are at the store, make sure you pick up packing tape and a marker (if you do not already have some). To save money, head to a local grocery or beverage store to ask for used boxes. Drug stores are also a great place to find good boxes. Alternatively, ask your family and friends for any plastic containers or bins or extra boxes they might have. You can never have too many boxes. Better to have too many than not enough. 

Packing Your Items

While garbage bags are not ideal, for a fast move, you just might need to lean on them. Buy the heavy-duty clear type which will not only hold your stuff better, but you can see exactly what you packed. Bags are perfect for clothing, linens, towels, and anything else that is bulky and takes up a lot of room. As I mentioned earlier, plastic bins are another option. Some companies will rent them to you, which is a great time-saver and eco-friendly, too.

You will need packing tape to secure your boxes and marker to label your boxes. Newspaper or packing paper is good for wrapping your fragile valuables like glassware, china, and other breakable items. If you do not have paper, you can substitute it with towels, linens, and even clothes. For dish packing or packing glassware, thicker fabrics are almost as good as bubble wrap. It is cheap, easy, and a great way to pack two items at once.