7 Tips for a Last Minute Move

Jon Fesmire |

Moving is difficult—add to it a short time frame and the situation becomes even tougher. If you’re faced with needing to move quickly, consider these tips. They’re meant to make the process a little easier, and a lot more doable.

Plan the Trip

If you’re not moving far, then go rent a storage unit immediately. The advantage of doing this is that it allows you to spread out the move a little more. Pack a bunch of boxes and bring them to your unit. Repeat as needed. You won’t have to put them in the truck on moving day. Instead, you’ll be able to go to your storage unit at your leisure after you’ve moved in to bring the rest of your belongings home. This also helps if you don’t have much help, as it makes it easier to load what’s in your house onto the truck with just a friend or two.

If you’re moving farther, such as across state lines, plan your route carefully, and book hotel rooms along the way, about every eight hours worth of travel. That way you don’t drive too much, but you’ll still make good time. Also, reserve your moving truck as soon as possible to make sure you get a good deal and the size truck you need.


Whenever you have to move, it’s important to declutter; this is an opportunity to pare down your belongings, and it doesn’t make sense to move a bunch of things you don’t need. This can be a long process. Since you have to move quickly, you’ll need to speed it up, so keep it simple. Make a list of the big things in your home that you’ll either bring with you, donate, or throw out. The categories are self explanatory. As you go through each room packing everything else, keep a couple of bins for donation and trash items.

Use the Full Day

Each day, start in the morning. Use work vacation days if you need to. When you start early, you’ll be able to get more done. If you have to do more packing than expected or go out to get more moving supplies, you’ll have extra time to do it.

Get Supplies

Yes, you will need moving supplies. Make sure you get boxes (mostly small to medium, which can fit most things), packing paper, bubble wrap, packing tape, labels, permanent markers, and a pair of scissors. Self storage facilities are often the best places to get moving supplies. Oh yes, we recommend getting a good lock too for the back of the moving truck.

Pack One Room at a Time

Don’t scatter your attention across your home. Instead, focus on one room at a time. That way, you won’t be running from room to room packing boxes. Also, you’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment every time you finish a room. Start with bigger rooms, and move to smaller rooms. You’ll feel less overwhelmed going from packing the living room to tackling the bathroom than the other way around. Also, remember to label every box by room so you know exactly where to put it at your new place.

Just Pack

Since you’re moving last minute, don’t waste time sorting as you pack, beyond sorting out things to donate and throw out. You can still pack like with like, such as books in boxes together, clothes in boxes together, and so on, but save sorting them further for when you’re unpacking at your new place.

Get Help

Friends and family can be a great help, both on and before moving day. Ask some friends if they can come over to help you pack. Give them first dibs on items you plan to donate, and make sure to feed them. Few will pass up a free pizza dinner.

These tips should leave you better equipped to handle a last minute move. It may be hard now, but soon enough you’ll be in your new place and you can once again relax.