Moving is Stressful. Packing is a Chore. Organising is Headache-Inducing. Loading and Unloading your Entire Life is Exhausting!
The one thing that makes moving even more stressful is having less time to move.
In a perfect world, you’d have more than a month to get everything together for a smooth transition, but life doesn’t always work that way.
Whether your boss has given you a week to be in a new county (or even country!) or you simply procrastinated until the night before the Move, knowing how to pack efficiently and quickly will come in handy.
Here’s a few tips to help take a little bit of stress out of moving in a hurry …
How Are You Moving?
When forced to make a last-minute move, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed by the number of tasks you have on your to-do list. Not knowing when to start packing and moving is normal and can be paralyzing, which takes away from the valuable time you need to use packing and organizing.
As soon as you know about your move, get to work hiring either a Removals Company or renting a van (or find a friend with a van!) Either way, the first thing to determine is how you’re going to get all your stuff to where you’re going!
Keep Track of your Valuables
Even if you aren’t in a hurry, moving can quickly become messy and disorganized, which can result in losing or misplacing valuable items. To prevent anxiety over where you placed your granny’s engagement ring, keep things like jewellery, cash, laptops, wallet, important documents and medications in a place where you can keep a close eye on them.
When moving, people you don’t know might be in and out of your home, which can make it very easy to blame misplaced items on the removals company, cleaning company or even friends who may have helped you move.
To prevent any misunderstandings, make sure you always know where your valuables are, or keep them close so it’s impossible to misplace them.
Stop Dithering over Decluttering … Donate it or Throw it Away
As soon as you figure out your plan for moving, it’s time to start sorting through your things and begin packing.
You should begin purging items you no longer need or want as soon as possible. As you start organising, put anything you don’t want or need anymore in a ‘donate’ or ‘throw-away’ box. It’s important to do this while you’re organising, and not while you’re packing.
Getting rid of things you won’t be taking with you first will allow you to pack up the things you will be taking much more quickly and efficiently.
Get Packing Supplies
Spare yourself multiple trips back and forth to the store and pick up all of the packing materials you will need either in one trip or from one place.
Before you go, make sure you write a list so you don’t forget anything, and always remember to get more than you think you might need.
Packing tip: keep clothes on the hanger when moving and simply place a bin bag over your clothes. You will be able to easily move your clothes from wardrobe, to transport, to your new wardrobe without the hassle of packing and unpacking.
Packing tip: Not all of your items will fit into a specific category when packing them. Keep a large box for random, non-breakable items like your coin collection or that decorative wreath made of old wine corks.
In a perfect world, you would have time to neatly stack all your items in various perfectly labeled boxes. However, when you’re moving in a hurry you don’t have the luxury of time when it comes to organising.
So, everything your Mam taught you about organisation is allowed to go out the window so you can quickly get from point A to point B.
It’s okay to pack your linens in with your hairdryer and your phone chargers with your utensils and coffee maker. However, do keep in mind to securely wrap up fragile items in packing paper. Disorganized boxes are fine; boxes filled with broken items, not so much!
If you’re taking your drawer cabinets with you, don’t worry about emptying your drawers of their contents. Depending on what’s in them and the sturdiness of the drawers, you might be able to transport your things as separate drawers.
Wake Up Early!
While this might sound kind of obvious, getting an early start to your day can be a game-changer. If you’re not a morning person, consider becoming one just for the duration of your move. Future You will be thankful you decided not to hit the Snooze button seventeen times!
Starting even an hour earlier than normal will allow you to finish your to-do list for that day, finish up things you might have forgotten about, or put off the night before. Waking up even an hour earlier might even relieve some anxiety and feelings of panic because you now have time you might not have had before.
When you plan on waking up earlier, don’t allow yourself to get side-tracked – you haven’t got up at 6am to drink coffee and scroll through social media! Have a clear idea of what needs to get done and give yourself enough time to get it done.
Moving is a huge task, especially when it needs to be done quickly. It’s completely okay and normal to turn to your friends or family if you need some extra hands.
Having others around to help you can also keep you focused, allow you to stay on track as well as simply getting the job done faster.
Small tasks like packing up your kitchen cabinets or dropping off items for donation or the Bring Centre can easily become very time-consuming if you’re working completely on your own. More people means more hands means tasks getting done quicker!
Hire a Cleaner!
In the midst of the Moving Chaos, it might be easy to forget about the person who will be moving into your home after you leave. And especially important if you’re renting and want to get your deposit back!
If you’re moving in a hurry, you probably won’t have time to do a thorough cleaning on your own, so we would recommend hiring a cleaning service.
This might mean having someone there cleaning as you’re running around trying to pack, but it will take a little weight off of your shoulders and allow you to focus on what really matters, which is packing up and keeping track of your things.
If your home is going to be empty for a while before the next tenant moves in, maybe try to arrange with your landlord to have cleaners come in after you’ve left.
If you have Children, Get them Involved!
If you have children you know just how easily they get bored or distracted which could be an inconvenience for you as you’re trying to pack up and move. They might also be stressed and confused by all the sudden changes, so distracting them with little tasks may help them feel a part of it all. While you shouldn’t make them responsible for the entire packing process, consider having your kids pack up their own things such as stuffed animals or books.
You can even turn packing into a game by seeing who can pack the fastest, or offering a reward to whoever can pack up the most items in an hour.
One other thing, don’t forget about your cat, dog or rabbit or budgie or whatever pet you have. They will be utterly confused by everything that is going on! Consider leaving them with a pet-sitter during all the chaos!
Take Photos as you Pack
No, we don’t mean take selfies of your stressed, sweaty head! When moving in a rush, you probably won’t have time to take account of every item you have and create a detailed inventory of your possessions. Taking pictures of your items in the boxes will allow you to keep track of your things easily. Just remember to label the box in some way that you’ll know which photo relates to which box!
One look at the photo will allow you to recreate your home décor, reassemble any furniture and organise your things to how you had them before.
Use your Space Efficiently
When you’re moving in a hurry, efficiency is everything. This applies to both your time and packing space. One of the best, often overlooked tips while packing up for a move is utilizing your larger belongings such as suitcases to pack smaller items. This will save you a lot of space when packing up your moving van and cut down on the clutter.
Also consider using holdalls or suitcases that you already own, instead of packing them in cardboard boxes. Use anything and everything to your packing advantage, if you’re taking your bedroom cabinet with you, keep the clothes inside the drawers.
Packing tip: Instead of throwing your books into boxes and risking hurting your back while trying to pick the box up, put books in suitcases that have wheels. This will not only save time, keep you from getting too sweaty but also avoid straining your back.
When packing to move, it’s very easy to get distracted by either nostalgic old items or simply your TV or phone. To prevent yourself from getting side-tracked, give yourself specific tasks (e.g. packing up the linen closet) and do not stop until that immediate task is complete. Kick it up a notch and set a timer for one hour and see how quickly you can get your task finished.
Packing tip: While packing, listen to some music or your favorite audiobook. This will keep you both entertained, and stimulated which will help your focus and speed when it comes to packing.