How to Handle Last-Minute Moving

November 25, 2019 / Posted in How-to
Eva Johnson

Digital nomad born in New York but currently living online, Eva knows everything there is to know about packing and moving.

Whether we’re talking about unexpected guests or last-minute moving, events take place every day that we cannot predict. In such situations, it’s important to know how to handle things with a cool head. If you just got the news that you have to move to another state on a short deadline, don’t panic. We’re here to share some useful tips on how to approach this task strategically and move without a fuss.

couple panicking about the move
Get as many boxes as you can

Get Organized for Last-Minute Moving

Yes, we understand that you’re in a hurry and all you want to do is start cramming all your belongings into boxes, but that’s simply not the right way to do it. No matter how tight of a deadline you have, you can surely set aside a minute or two to sit down, get organized and figure out a strategy. With a good plan, it will be much easier to track progress and know how much time you have left for your tasks. If you are moving with your family, try to distribute tasks among all family members.

When You Want to Prepare for a Last-Minute Move, Pack Fast and Smart

Now that you have a clear idea of everything you need to do, get down to work. Packing is part of the process that takes the longest and requires a lot of energy, so it’s crucial that you approach it the right way. Here are some tips you should consider in order to pack the right way.

Next on the Last Minute Moving Checklist – Gather as Many Boxes as Possible

Since your deadline is near, you can’t exactly make an inventory list based on which you’ll calculate how many boxes you’ll need. In other words, you’ll have to go off a hunch and simply get as many boxes as you can find. We suggest visiting your local grocery stores, bars, and shops and asking them whether they have any cardboard boxes they don’t need. More often than not, they’ll be happy to let you take those off their hands, and you’ll get your supplies for free.

Use What You Have to Pack and Protect Your Belongings So That the Auto Transport Company Can Transport It Safely

You don’t really have enough free time to go around buying moving boxes and other packing supplies such as bubble wrap, paper, and so on. Instead, use what you already have in your home as your DIY supplies. For example, towels, rags, or old clothes could serve as protective layers for your pots and pans. Instead of buying wardrobe boxes, simply use regular plastic trash bags to wrap your clothes. Of course, some items, such as duct tape, simply can’t be replaced, so make sure you have them on hand.

Prepare the Moving Day Essentials Bag Before the Car Shipping Company Arrives

As your relocation is pretty rushed, there is a good chance that you’ll reach your new home before your boxes do. If that happens, you’ll want to have a bag of first-day essentials with you. Pick a medium-sized duffel bag and pack everything you believe you’ll need once you get to your new home. This could include a spare set of clothes, bed linen, toiletries, meds you might be taking, phone chargers, and important documents. Of course, if you’re relocating with pets, make sure you pack their essentials too.


One of the Best Last-Minute Moving Tips – Pack Clothes as They Are

Having to wash, dry, iron, and fold clothes takes forever, and you simply don’t have the luxury to do it right now. So pack your clothes as they are and worry about sorting them out after the move. If you have a dresser you’re taking with you, instead of taking your clothes out and packing them, simply secure all drawers and doors with duct tape and plastic wrap and move the dresser as it is. Clothes that are already on hangers can simply be wrapped in some plastic for protection.

Use Original Boxes for Electronics, Even if You’ve Invested in Long Distance Moving Services

If you still have original boxes from your TVs, speakers, printers, computer components, and such, you should definitely use them. This way, you won’t have to waste time looking for a box with the right dimensions and figuring out how to protect your belongings.

Don’t Worry About Unbreakable Items

When it comes to items that can’t be easily broken, don’t worry too much about them. For example, you can simply tie your cutlery together with a couple of rubber bands and call it a day, instead of wrapping each one of them individually and wasting precious time.

Simple Labeling

Even though you’re in a hurry, you should still label your boxes. However, instead of coming up with a special system such as color-coding, simply write down the contents of a box and additional information such as “fragile” and move on to the next one.

Move Things out of the Way

As soon as you’re done sealing a box or disassembling a piece of furniture, move it out of the way. You can either start piling things up into corners or designate a whole room for the items you’ve already packed – whatever works for you.

You Could Use Some Help on the Moving Day

Even if you’re moving on your own, consider asking your friends or family members to help you out on the moving day. They could help you with some last-minute packing, or they could give you a hand in preparing your new home for your belongings. Alternatively, if you have children or pets, they could watch after them while you deal with movers.

Leave Some Things Behind

There is no reason why you should move absolutely everything. We’re sure you have some items around your home that you never really use, so why waste time packing them?

Donating Does Not Cost a Penny

If there are any items you don’t want to take with you that are in generally good condition, consider donating them. Many charity organizations have pick-up services, so you won’t have to waste time driving to their drop-off centers.

Use Storage Provided by Movers

If, however, you’d rather think about these items later, ask your moving company whether they provide storage services. Using them will make it possible to deal with this stuff later on after you’ve moved in and settled down in your new home.

storage and a dolly
Consider storing your belongings in a unit

If You Need Some Last-Minute Moving Help, Let Your Long-Distance Movers Know – They Can Help a Great Deal

Moving last minute is not something you have to face alone. Feel free to let your movers know that you’re on a short deadline – they’ll surely be able to help. By providing you with quick and reliable packing services and car shipping, movers will take a huge load off your hands.

Take Care of Yourself and Let the Long-Distance Moving Handle All

Sometimes when we’re in a hurry, we tend to disregard our own well-being and needs. Make sure you don’t skip meals and take an occasional five-minute break to recharge your batteries while preparing for the relocation and let professional cross-country movers do the heavy lifting.


What Is Considered “Last-Minute” When It Comes to Moving?

The term “last-minute” when it comes to moving is a bit subjective and can vary depending on the circumstances. In general, a move is considered last-minute when it’s planned with little notice and within a short timeframe. This could be anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks before the moving date, depending on the distance and size of the move. However, for some people, a last-minute move could mean planning and executing the move within 24-48 hours. Regardless of the specific timeframe, a last-minute move typically involves more logistical challenges and may require more effort to coordinate than a move that’s been planned well in advance.

Can I Still Find a Reliable Moving Company for a Last-Minute Move?

Yes, it is possible to find a reliable long-distance moving company for a last-minute move, but it may require some extra effort on your part. It’s important to research and vet any cross-country moving company you’re considering, regardless of how quickly you need to move. Look for cross-country movers with positive reviews and a good reputation, and check if they are licensed and insured. Be upfront about your timeline and ask for quotes from multiple car shipping and long-distance moving companies to compare prices and services. Additionally, be flexible with your moving date and try to schedule your move during less busy times, such as weekdays or off-season, to increase the chances of finding available movers.

How Much Does a Last-Minute Move Usually Cost?

The cost of a last-minute move can vary widely depending on several factors, such as the distance of the move, the number of items to be moved, the time of year, and the availability of moving companies. Generally, last-minute moves tend to be more expensive than planned moves, as there is less time to book movers and secure a truck. Additionally, cross-country moving during peak season or on weekends can also increase the cost. It’s recommended to get multiple quotes from long-distance moving companies and compare prices to ensure you’re getting a fair deal.

What Should I Do First if I Need to Move Last-Minute?

If you need to move last minute, the first thing you should do is make a plan. Start by assessing the amount of time you have until the move, and determine what tasks are the most urgent. Create a checklist of everything you need to do, including packing, hiring cross-country movers (if necessary), and notifying utility companies of your move. Prioritize your tasks based on their importance and urgency, and make sure to stick to your timeline as closely as possible. It may also be helpful to enlist the help of friends and family to make the process go more smoothly. By taking a strategic approach and staying organized, you can successfully navigate a last-minute move with minimal stress.

How Do I Pack Efficiently for a Last-Minute Move?

Packing efficiently for a last-minute move can be a challenge, but there are several strategies you can use to make the process go more smoothly. Start by focusing on the essentials, such as clothes, toiletries, and important documents. Pack these items first and set them aside so you can easily access them during and after the move. Use suitcases, duffel bags, and other containers you already own to pack your belongings, rather than buying new boxes.

Wrap fragile items in clothing or towels to save space and provide extra cushioning. Label your boxes clearly with the contents and the room they belong in to make unpacking easier. Finally, consider enlisting the help of a professional long-distance moving company to assist with the packing process, especially if you have limited time or need to move long distances.

What Should I Prioritize When Packing for a Last-Minute Move?

When packing for a last-minute move, it’s important to prioritize the most essential items first. This includes things like important documents, medications, toiletries, a few changes of clothes, and any electronics you’ll need immediately. It’s also important to pack items that are sentimental or have a high value to you personally.

If you have time, consider creating an inventory of your belongings and identifying which items are most important to you. This can help you stay focused and organized during the packing process, and make it easier to locate important items once you arrive at your new home. Additionally, prioritize packing items that are difficult or expensive to replace, such as family heirlooms or specialized equipment for work or hobbies.

How Do I Handle Utilities and Other Services When Moving Last-Minute?

Handling utilities and other services when moving last minute can be challenging, but there are several steps you can take to make the process go more smoothly. First, make a list of all the utilities and services you’ll need to cancel or transfer, including electricity, gas, water, internet, and cable. Contact each provider as soon as possible to notify them of your move and arrange for service to be discontinued or transferred.

If you’re moving to a new area, be sure to research local service providers and set up new accounts as soon as possible to ensure a smooth transition. Finally, don’t forget to update your address with the post office, as well as with any other important contacts, such as banks, credit card companies, and healthcare providers. Taking these steps can help ensure a seamless transition and minimize the stress of moving last minute.

What if I Need to Move in a Hurry and Haven’t Found a New Home Yet?

Moving in a hurry without having found a new home yet can be a difficult situation to navigate, but there are several steps you can take to make the process easier. First, consider temporary housing options such as extended-stay hotels or short-term rentals. This will give you a place to stay while you search for a more permanent home. Next, focus your search on areas where you’re most likely to find suitable housing quickly, such as neighborhoods with high vacancy rates or areas with a lot of turnovers.

You may also want to consider working with a real estate agent or a rental agency to help you find suitable options quickly. Finally, be prepared to act quickly once you do find a suitable home, as competition for available properties may be high. By staying organized and being proactive in your search, you can successfully navigate the challenges of moving in a hurry without having found a new home yet.

How Do I Manage the Stress of a Last-Minute Move?

Managing the stress of a last-minute move can be challenging, but there are several strategies you can use to make the process more manageable. First, make a plan and stick to it as closely as possible, prioritizing tasks and focusing on the essentials. Enlist the help of friends and family to ease the burden of packing and moving, and consider hiring professional movers if you’re short on time or resources. Take breaks when you need them and make sure to take care of your physical and emotional needs throughout the process. Finally, keep your perspective and remember that this is a temporary situation that will soon be resolved. By staying organized, seeking support, and practicing self-care, you can successfully navigate a last-minute move with minimal stress.

What Can I Do to Save Time During a Last-Minute Move?

Saving time during a last-minute move can be challenging, but there are several strategies you can use to streamline the process. First, focus on the essentials and prioritize packing items that are most important or difficult to replace. Use suitcases, duffel bags, and other containers you already own to pack your belongings, rather than spending time and money on new boxes. Consider enlisting the help of a professional long-distance moving company to assist with the packing and cross-country moving process, especially if you’re short on time or need to move across the country.

Finally, stay organized and make a detailed checklist of all the tasks you need to complete, prioritizing the most important and urgent items first. By focusing on efficiency and staying organized, you can save time and successfully navigate a last-minute move with minimal stress.

Can I Get Help With Packing and Unpacking During a Last-Minute Move?

Yes, there are several ways you can find help with packing and unpacking during a last-minute move.

  • Hire professional long-distance movers: Professional cross-country moving companies can offer packing and unpacking services as part of their moving packages. They have the expertise and equipment to pack your belongings quickly and efficiently, and they can also unpack and organize your items in your new home.
  • Ask friends and family for help: If you have a tight budget, consider asking friends and family for help. They can assist you with packing and unpacking, and it can also be a great opportunity to spend time together before you move.
  • Hire a packing service: Some long-distance moving companies specialize in providing packing services for those who don’t have the time or energy to pack their own belongings. These services can be a bit more expensive, but they can save you a lot of stress and hassle during a last-minute move.
  • Use online resources: You can find online resources such as packing guides, checklists, and videos that can help you with the packing and unpacking process. These resources can give you tips and tricks to make the process smoother and less stressful.

What Should I Do if I Can’t Take All My Belongings With Me During a Last-Minute Move?

If you are facing a last-minute move and cannot take all your belongings with you, there are a few options you can consider. First, prioritize your most essential items, such as important documents, medication, and valuables, and pack them in a separate bag or box that you can carry with you. Next, consider donating or selling items that you no longer need or use, to reduce the number of items you have to move. You can also consider renting a storage unit to store your belongings temporarily until you can come back to collect them or make arrangements to have them shipped to your new location. Finally, consider hiring professional long-distance movers who can help you pack and transport your belongings, making the process easier and more efficient.

How Do I Handle Paperwork and Documentation During a Last-Minute Move?

Handling paperwork and documentation during a last-minute move can be stressful, but there are some steps you can take to make the process easier. First, gather all your important documents, such as passports, birth certificates, and financial records, and keep them in a secure and easily accessible location. Consider creating a digital copy of these documents and storing them in the cloud, so you can access them from anywhere.

Next, update your contact information with relevant organizations, such as your bank, employer, and utility companies, to ensure you continue to receive important communications. Finally, make a checklist of all the paperwork and documentation you need to handle before and after your move, and take one step at a time to ensure you stay organized and on track.

What Should I Do if I Can’t Find a Moving Company for My Last-Minute Move?

If you can’t find a long-distance moving company for your last-minute move, there are a few options you can consider. First, ask for recommendations from friends and family or look for online reviews for local moving companies. You may be able to find a company that can accommodate your last-minute move. Second, consider renting a moving truck and doing the move on your own, if you have a small number of belongings. Alternatively, you could hire a few movers to help you load and unload the truck. Finally, if all else fails, you can consider postponing your move date, if possible, to allow more time to find a cross-country moving company.

How Do I Make Sure That Everything Goes Smoothly During a Last-Minute Move?

Making sure everything goes smoothly during a last-minute move can be challenging, but there are a few steps you can take to help the process go as smoothly as possible. First, create a checklist of all the tasks that need to be completed before and after the move, such as packing, updating your address, and transferring utilities. This will help you stay organized and on track.

Next, prioritize your most essential items and pack them separately, so you have them readily available during the move. Consider labeling your boxes clearly and creating an inventory list, so you can keep track of your belongings. Finally, be flexible and patient, as last-minute moves can be unpredictable. If unexpected issues arise, try to address them calmly and efficiently, and don’t hesitate to ask for help from friends or family if needed.

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