In the best of circumstances, you have weeks or even months to plan a move. But, sometimes, you aren’t that lucky, getting no more than a long weekend to tackle the momentous task. Figuring out how to pack for a move in three days is daunting. Luckily, it isn’t impossible.
Whether you have to determine how to pack to move in a week or how to pack and move in one day, you can handle it. Here are five efficient moving tips that can work as a step-by-step guide, allowing you to get ready and move in three days or less.
1. Enlist the Right Kind of Moving Help
When it comes to the best way to pack an apartment for a move (or a house for that matter), getting help is the way to go. Trying to go it alone isn’t wise. There’s a decent chance you’ll find the process overwhelming, or you could run out of time, causing you to have to leave crucial items behind or pack them carelessly.
While making a “help me pack my house” call to friends and family isn’t easy, do it. Many of your nearest and dearest will support you, making dealing with moving on short notice easier. At a minimum, it lets you avoid having to pay for some labor. If you know people with pickup trucks or vans, you might be able to skip the moving company or truck rental, too.
If you can afford to hire out some of your moving needs, start with a truck rental or moving company. Being able to load all of your belongings (with or without the company’s help) onto a single vehicle makes moving quick easier. You won’t have to make multiple trips to your new home, saving you a ton of time.
Additionally, consider hiring a cleaning service. When it comes to moving apartment tips (or moving from a rental house), this one makes a difference. You can make sure that the cleaning service handles everything your landlord requires, increasing the odds that you’ll pass your inspection and get your deposit back. Plus, you can spend every minute of your time focused on getting your stuff from point A to point B. When you’re battling with how to move in 3 days, every extra moment makes a difference.
While it may seem like starting with coordinating your help first isn’t a smart move, it is. It takes time to make the calls and confirm who can be there. Plus, the more notice you can give family members, friends, or the companies you choose to hire, the more likely they’ll be able to fit you into their schedules, so don’t delay.
2. Create a Last-Minute Moving Checklist (or Several)
Before you even start packing, you need to prioritize. If you have to move in days instead of weeks, you need to focus your efforts on critical items. That way, the necessities are handled first, ensuring they won’t get overlooked.
Here are some core items that need to be on your packing list:
- Plates, bowls, and drinking glasses (at least one per household member)
- Utensils (at least one set per household member)
- Cookware (minimum of one pot, one pan, one skillet, one baking sheet, one casserole dish)
- Bedding and pillows
- Computers and other critical electronics (including chargers)
Next, take a minute to create a packing supplies list. This can include items you buy, acquire for free, or have on hand, depending on your budget and timeline.
If you’re hitting a store to get moving supplies, start with:
- Boxes (multiple sizes)
- Packing tape
- Bubble wrap or foam cushioning
- Marker (for labeling the box’s contents)
In some cases, you can get boxes for free from retail stores. Many will let you take boxes they were going to recycle, but you do need to ask first.
Otherwise, if you are stuck with what you have on-hand only, look for:
- Luggage and travel bags
- Reusable shopping bags
- Plastic or paper shopping bags
- Garbage bags
- Newspaper or sales flyers (for wrapping breakables)
- Paper towels (for wrapping breakables)
You can also use clothing and towels to wrap breakables if you’d rather go that route. For example, socks can be great drinking glasses, as you can place them inside the glass for support and pull them onto the cup to protect the outside.
Additionally, you need to create a third last-minute moving checklist. This is especially critical if you are living in a rental, as there may be rules about how you need to leave the space.
For example, if you are trying to figure out how to move apartments efficiently, you need to review your rental agreement for terms relating to getting your security deposit back and avoiding any moveout fees. That way, you can concentrate on the must-dos, which may include:
- Vacuum, sweep, and mop floors
- Wipe baseboards
- Clean shower and tub
- Wipe down bathroom vanity and sink
- Scrub toilet
- Clean kitchen sink and counter
- Clean kitchen appliances
- Dust all other surfaces
3. Pack the Essentials First
If you’re trying to pack in a hurry, begin with the essentials. Use your checklist to cover all of your must-haves, ensuring they make their way into a moving box or bag immediately. That way, you won’t risk overlooking something critical or losing track of where a necessary item ends up. You can have them all bundled together, making it the most efficient way to move apartments or houses when time is tight.
Additionally, consider doing all of this work yourself. It lets you choose which items fit the must-have criteria, as your friends and family might not know which plates, clothing, or other goods you’d rather bring. Plus, you’ll feel relieved knowing your essentials are handled, and that can make it less likely that you’ll be overwhelmed by packing moving forward.
4. Compress for Success
Certain items are necessities, but they also take up a lot of space. Folded clothes, blankets, comforters, and pillows are prime examples. All of them take up more room because they are fluffy naturally.
Luckily, there is something you can do to shrink these items, allowing you to pack more in less space while making bulky goods more manageable. With SpaceSaver Bags, you can remove excess air and compress blankets, duvets, comforters, pillows, sweaters, and more.
Start by selecting SpaceSaver Bags with the right amount of space. If you need to move fast, the variety pack, featuring three each of the small, medium, large, and jumbo sizes, is a great place to start, giving you plenty of flexibility.
Next, fill the bags up with compressible goods. Seal the bag, and attach a vacuum cleaner or the hand pump (which is included, for free). Then, use the vacuum or hang bump to remove the excess air and compress the items.
Once that’s done, just grab the SpaceSaver bags and put them in a box or carry them to the truck. Finally, when you get to your new home, break the seal, and your items will spring back to life in mere moments.
5. Trash as You Pack
If you’re moving in a hurry, the less you have to haul, the better. When it’s time to pack up, don’t just shuffle non-priority items around. Instead, consider whether you actually need each thing. If the answer is no, put it in a garbage bag or trash pile.
If you make one corner of every room a “toss” section, you can shift anything you don’t want to that corner. Then, after you’re done packing the essentials, you can take that stuff to the garbage can or make a single trip to the dump, ridding yourself of clutter for good.
5. Don’t Over Organize
If “get ready, we move in three days” is your mantra, then a bit of organization is your friend. For example, taking the time to create the last-minute moving checklist, as discussed above, is a good idea. But, beyond that, too much organizing holds you back. You should spend your time packing, not thinking about what goes where.
Instead of sorting every box by a single category, just go room by room and fill the boxes up with whatever’s there. As long as you are placing heavier items on the bottom and breakables near the top, don’t overthink it. That’ll only slow you down.
Plus, by packing one room at a time, you are creating an organizational pattern. After you fill the box, label it based on the room you were in when you were packing. Then, you’ll know where it all goes once you arrive at your new home.
You Can Handle a Last-Minute Move
The best way to get moving quickly is to focus on efficiency. In fact, by using the tips above and getting the right kind of help, you can pack in a hurry and potentially pull off a fast one-day move. Just take a deep breath and focus. Before you know it, you’ll be all set and on to your new home.