The Last Minute Move Checklist: How to Move at the Last Minute

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So you’re moving soon? Like, really soon? Well, it’s time to get packing … literally.

Whether the official “we’re moving!” decision happened last minute, or life got busy and moving snuck up on you, you’ve found yourself here – needing to move fast. That’s absolutely okay.

Check out our last-minute move checklist here.

Everything that you need can get done. I know because I’ve gotten stuck doing it too, so I wrote a last minute moving checklist about my experience. Here’s how to get moved in record time.

How Do I Pack in a Hurry?

  • Broadcast to your friends and family on social media
  • Radically get rid of as much stuff as you don’t need ASAP
  • Call and email a list of utilities, school, and businesses
  • Check online for cheap, last minute movers
  • Sketch out how much time your packing will need
  • Prep a “necessities bag”
  • Do the mandatory cleanup
  • Don’t bother sorting, only pack

We’ll go over all of these steps below.

There are some very straightforward ways to make packing in a hurry fast. Whether in a 2 bedroom apartment, 3 bedroom house or more, these strategies will get you in the moving truck – with your stuff ready to drive off.

The #1 way to move in record time…

Last Minute Move

…is to have less to pack.

That’s why it’s vital to be ruthless on donating, selling and throwing things out. As shared in the Kon Mari Method, don’t bring items with you merely because you’ve always had them. Assess if the item:

  • Has a real purpose
  • Brings long-term joy
  • Actually gets used
  • Is a top priority for your new space

One question to ask yourself: “If this was put in storage for a year, would I miss it?”

If not, it’s probably good to give away or toss. Even if you don’t have 6-8 weeks, as you’re packing be ruthless. Put stuff in the “do not keep” pile. Want to be more radical? Put up a listing on Craigslist for a time and place people can come and just take stuff from your place under supervision!

Need last second, free boxes? Check out this guide.

How Long Does It Take to Pack a 2 Bedroom or 3 Bedroom Home?

How long does it take to move

The precise amount of time it takes to pack depends on the amount of stuff one has, but here are ballpark figures cited for a professional mover to move the place after you’re done packing, depending on the home style:

  • 1 bedroom apartment: 2 – 4 hours
  • 2 bedroom apartment: 3 – 5 hours
  • 3 bedroom house: 6 – 10 hours
  • 4 bedroom house: 8 – 12 hours

Please note: these are estimated moving times for professional movers moving a house, NOT the average person or family.

Most people who pack their own home need a much longer amount of time to have their home packed, compared to movers. Usually it takes a minimum of a few days for a 1–2 bedroom home.

Have social media? Use it.

It only takes a moment to broadcast your last minute move predicament to anyone who might be willing to lend a hand, Moving.com reminds us. Even if you hire movers, any extra hands on deck or donated resources will get things done far zippier.

Next, call as many of these people as possible, ASAP

Last Minute Move

It’s best to do this stuff about four weeks out, but better late than never, right? Even though some of these changes won’t take effect in time for your move-in date, it’s best you take care of contacting these people before you’re unpacking at the new place:

  • Current landlord
  • Utility companies
  • Local schools
  • Homeowner’s insurance company
  • Bank/credit card companies
  • Government agencies
  • Anywhere you hold subscriptions
  • Anyone else who may be sending you important documents over the next few months

Don’t bother labeling boxes

While the idea of boxes labeled “His clothes” and “Kids’ bedding” sounds lovely, time is too precious for such details in a rush. The most important thing is to get objects in boxes – and have them taped up. Yes, mugs may end up with lotions, but they’ll make it to the new home – that’s what matters.

Updater suggests trying recyclable moving bins, which can save a ton of time during the packing/unpacking portion of your move, if you have more than a day to track some down.

“Sites like HireAHelper have a vast network of local movers and will personally call them for you to find someone who’s trustworthy and available right now.”

If you still insist on a loose way of organizing, the best way to fudge clarity is to assign a different color marker for each room of your house: kitchen, bedroom, living room, etc. Make an easily visible mark on each box for the general room it belongs to, and leave it at that.

Prep a “necessities bag”

Last Minute Move

When packing in a rush, a structured moving checklist may go the window. However, no matter how quickly you move, you absolutely need to make sure the most important items stay close by. These items are:

  • Important papers or financial items (like checkbooks)
  • Medications
  • Phone chargers
  • Daily routine toiletries, like toothpaste and moisturizer
  • 1 – 2 outfits for changing into

With this handy bag at the ready, you may move and have no idea where that favorite mug or comfy sweater is, but you’ll have the core items you definitely need.

Get pro help (for as little as $200)

Last Minute Move

As capable as you are, last minute movers have experience getting boxes loaded into cars at shocking speeds.

Let’s face it, if you could afford a $5,000 move, you probably don’t need most of the tips on this list. Luckily, if you call up your local truck rental place and they have something available, pairing a local rental truck with local movers can actually be super affordable, and might save your life during a last minute move!

While movers used to be expensive, the new gig economy has made it easier to hire movers that are actually affordable. In some cases, packing and/or labor help can be as little as $200.

Which, for most, is well worth countless hours of stress and squabbles. As stressed as you probably are, it’s hard to move your whole place knowing a pro moving team would have gotten the items into your truck safely – and in a fraction of the time.

Last minute movers have experience getting boxes loaded into cars at shocking speeds.”

Sites like HireAHelper have a vast network of local movers and will personally call them for you at the last minute to find someone who’s trustworthy and available right now. Their moving agents still compare your last minute options by their reviews and price point, don’t worry.

It’s true, your mover usually doesn’t have to be booked weeks or months in advance, it just helps.

Finish up with any mandatory clean up

Last Minute Move

If selling a home, it feels good to leave the home clean. If renting, cleaning is a necessity – especially if you want that much needed deposit back. At the very least, clean these top five items that leave the biggest “oh this looks clean” impression:

  • Kitchen cabinets and counters
  • The refrigerator (especially the inside)
  • Bathtub or shower
  • Bathroom counters & toilet
  • The stovetop

A sparkling bathroom counter and nice looking stove make a massive impact on a landlord perceiving the home as “doesn’t look so good”…or passing inspection.

Protip: Make sure not everything gets cleaned up – back up important files on your laptop or computer so nothing accidentally gets lost if your computer gets damaged or lost in the panic!

What about movers? Can they really pack that much faster than me?

Yes, they can.

No matter how efficient, organized and strong one is, a professional mover has the training and experience to pack a home at an incredible, near-unprecedented speed. A professional is trained to get multiple 5-star reviews one to three times a day! There is nothing they haven’t seen or done.

Get Help Loading Your Truck

See prices for movers by the hour – instantly.

Read real customer reviews.

Easily book your help online.

 

Not only that, but because they work in teams (typically a minimum of two), vetted movers know how tackle any job as a united, “we got this” team, unlike most couples or families who’ve only moved a few times and still find lifting the couch “you got it!?” challenging.

In (literally) 1 minute, I was closer to a totally moved home

Because movers are so much quicker, hiring pros is the best way to ensure a smooth, less stressful moving timeline.

Luckily, I found out there are businesses who’s entire job is to find the cheapest movers available now, not just grimey ones who take your personal info and call you for weeks. Within seconds and with no personal information, I was able to get a free estimate for a pro moving team near me.

If time is the most important factor to you, affordable movers are the #1 recommendation for any efficient moving checklist. Trust me on this one.

Save the Last Minute Move Checklist

Last Minute Move Checklist
Last Minute Move Checklist

All the tips above and more, in one handy graph!

Have a little bit more time to move? Check out our robust moving checklist, too!


Allison Gower, a Bay Area native turned San Diego local, is a brand strategist and copywriter passionate about connecting purpose-driven brands and people. As seen in Forbes and a speaker at a variety of women entrepreneur events, her joy is empowering others – whether through education, personality-filled words or finding or starting great businesses. 
Illustrations by Emily Roberts

The Year-Long Home Maintenance Checklist: When to Do Big Chores?

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Category: Home Improvement, Organization

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Every year you aim to start good habits with your health, your career, your relationships. But what about your home? The space you spend time in every.single.day should receive some TLC and attention, too.

Instead of vowing to get your body in shape, let’s get your home in shape! In 2018, you may have neglected your home and we’re not judging. (I mean, who really knows the last time they changed their air filter?)

Your 2019 Home Checklist

But 2019 is the year to change that! We’ve curated a handy-dandy checklist to map out the year ahead. If you accomplish each task every month, your home is going to be a well-oiled machine. Now let’s get to it!

Note: Tasks marked with * are recurring tasks you’ll complete multiple times over the course of the year.

Winter Tasks

When you’re stuck inside due to the cold, you might as well put your downtime to good use. We both love starting the year with a nice purge. And if you haven’t seen the new Marie Kondo show on Netflix (seriously, where have you been??), then it just may give you the kick in the pants to part with all of your stuff.

While there will always be recurring tasks to complete on the checklist, the winter time is all about purging and organizing every nook and cranny in your home.

Split it up over the next 3 months and it won’t be quite as overwhelming!

January

February

  • Compile tax documents; set up a time to complete taxes
  • Purge and donate kitchen gadgets
  • Purge and donate pantry foods
  • Wipe down fridge*
  • Clean garbage disposal*
  • Change furnace filter*

March

  • Purge and organize toiletries
  • Purge and organize the linen closet
  • Check caulking around bathtubs and showers
  • Clean car inside and out*

Spring Tasks

No duh: the springtime is all about spring cleaning! You spent the past few months purging and organizing spaces in your home, but now it’s time to give everything a nice deep clean. (And don’t forget to clean these 6 overlooked areas).

Not to mention, the springtime is the start of all your big outdoor projects. Get your lawn and garden cleaned, manicured, and ready for new life to grow. These are especially crucial because you really can’t do anything about it once you miss your window!

April

  • Get air conditioner serviced
  • Aerate lawn
  • Wash drapes, rugs, upholstery
  • Launder shower curtain and liner
  • Wash windows and screens*
  • Clear your gutters*
  • Dust light fixtures*
  • Wipe down baseboards*

May

  • Setup outdoor patio furniture
  • Inspect home’s exterior and roof for necessary repairs
  • Prune overgrown bushes
  • Clear dead plants and shrubs (early May)
  • Plant flowers (late May)
  • Change furnace filter*
  • Change batteries in smoke & CO2 detectors*

June

  • Replace outdoor lights that have burned out
  • Clean grill and check propane tank
  • Clean deck and make necessary repairs
  • Power wash sidewalks and walkways
  • Clean car inside and out*

Summer Tasks

Oh, the sweet summertime. It can be easy to let your household chores slide during the summer months. We get it, summer is about vacations and relaxing. But these are worthwhile tasks to accomplish when the temps are warmer and you’re spending more time outside (hopefully).

Also, as you near Labor Day, school will be on the mind. That’s when you’ll want to make sure your home is still organized from your hard work earlier this year. Purge paper clutter and books so you can start the school year fresh!

July

  • Fix broken screen doors
  • Add fresh mulch to landscaping
  • Organize and sweep out the garage
  • Dust light fixtures*
  • Wipe down baseboards*

August

  • Hose down garbage cans
  • Purge office and organize paperwork for the upcoming school year
  • Purge and donate books
  • Clean faucet and shower heads
  • Wipe down fridge*
  • Change furnace filter*

September

  • Service chimney
  • Empty out planters
  • Store lawn furniture
  • Clean car inside and out*
  • Wash windows and screens*

Fall Tasks

Keep that momentum going into the fall season! Fall is the time to prepare for the cold months ahead. Focus on prepping the exterior of your home to protect it against the snow and ice that will soon be here.

With the holidays approaching, this is also a time when you’re the most likely to host guests. Luckily, your home should be running smoothly with all of the work you’ve put in this year. We also encourage you to keep December a little light on the home projects, since you will most likely have limited free time.

October

  • Plant spring blooming plants, shrubs, tall grasses, etc.
  • Remove hoses from water spickets
  • Fertilize lawn
  • Check your sump pump
  • Clear your gutters*
  • Dust light fixtures*
  • Wipe down baseboards*

November

  • Check weatherstripping on doors and windows
  • Have heating systems serviced
  • Rake and gather leaves
  • Purge pantry and donate (good timing for the holidays!)
  • Change furnace filter*
  • Change batteries in smoke & CO2 detectors*

December

Free Printable – Home Checklist

If you’re ready to make 2019 the best year yet for your home, then we encourage you to download or screenshot this free printable. That way, you can print it out and check things off as you go. (Trust us, there is no better feeling than checking off those little boxes!)


Illustrations by M. Dean

What You Should Bring, Could Bring and DON’T Bring When Moving Into a Dorm

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Category: College Moves

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‘Tis the season for college dorm room shopping! If you’ve been to any of the big box stores lately, we’re confident you have seen all the colorful storage things just screaming “take me to college!”.

Some college students are eager to start prepping for their new “home away from home”, while others aren’t too interested in putting in much extra time. Whichever you are, we aren’t judging. We’re just here to make sure everyone is prepared for the excitement!

With that in mind, here’s an in depth synopsis about what you should bring, what you could bring, and what you don’t bring to college come fall. Be independent and avoid having mom and dad come visit (with the essentials you forgot) less than a week after moving into your new digs.

What You Should Bring

Towel, Toiletries and Laundry Detergent

Whether your dorm is equipped with private bathrooms or community bathrooms, this is the number one must: multiple towels, toiletries and shower shoes. Most college students opt for a shower caddy, which is a handy way to corral all of their shower essentials when traveling to and from the shower. Be sure to choose a shower caddy that can drain any water from the shower, because you don’t want it to become moldy from sitting water.

Unfortunately, college life also comes with learning to do your own laundry, and usually, the laundry facilities aren’t anything to get excited about. Stock up on plenty of laundry detergent, softener and dryer sheets to keep your clothing looking its best (and your parents at bay) all semester long.

A Microwave and Mini Fridge with Snacks

Tried and true for a reason: make sure you pack a microwave with some snacks! Healthy or unhealthy, we’re definitely not judging, just reminding you that having your own stash of food is important. You don’t want to find yourself starving and the cafeteria is closed, nor do you want to pay cafeteria prices. You probably don’t want to buy food in bulk because you won’t have a ton of places to store it, but having some snacks stashed away to hold you over until the cafe opens is essential.

Speaking of snacks, most dorms also allow you to bring your own microwave and mini fridge. You can always cut down on the costs of these items by arranging with your roommate to each bring one of the two, that way you only have to invest in one, not both.

Plenty of Power Strips and Extension Cords

Laptop, printer, phone charger, microwave, mini fridge, blow dryer, iron, string lights, coffee maker…. all these things hog outlets. Dorms only have a few outlets though, and you’ll likely be sharing them with your roomie on top of it. What can we say, the struggle is real! Along with all of these everyday essentials, be sure to pack at least one power strip and possible extension cord so you never get caught with a dead cell phone or no coffee! That could be bad.

A Secure Box for Very Important Papers

Focusing on the basic must-have stuff makes it easy to forget about this essential. Make sure you bring your driver’s license, insurance card, social security number (or card as long as you can keep it safe), emergency contact and medical info, paperwork for refillable prescriptions, and any other documents you may need while you’re away. We hope you never have to use some of these, but having them with you just in case is necessary.

What You Could Bring

Carpet Squares or a Cool Rug

Some dorm rooms come with commercial grade carpets, but most of these carpets have seen high traffic for several years (at least!). Packing an additional rug or carpet squares to add to your dorm will not only make your room look a lot cuter, but it will make the whole space feel a lot more warm and cozy. Consider a cool rug because this tiny upgrade will make such a difference… and may even keep your room a bit warmer in the winter if it experiences any kind of drafts like our dorms rooms did.

A Bunch of Cleaning Supplies

No matter your lifestyle, living in these cramped quarters all day every day means that your dorm room is bound to get a little messy! And since mom or dad isn’t tagging along to clean up after you, it’s important to pack some cleaning supplies so you can keep the place clean… especially during flu season.

Here’s a list of some basic items you should consider buying a few or all of, especially if you have a closet space:

  • Vaccum
  • Disinfectant
  • Duster
  • Swiffer mop
  • Windex
  • Bleach wipes
  • Dish soap

A Printer

Before going out and splurging on a new printer or lugging your large printer into your dorm room, be sure you actually need this piece.

Although having a personal printer is a huge perk when it comes time to last second papers, most schools offer a free printing lab that can do the same job. Plus printers are large and take up some valuable space in your room. Not to mention they can be costly with ink refills and necessary repairs, so be sure it’s a definite must (or a fancy luxury) before you add it to your shopping list!

What You Don’t Bring

Twin Bed Sheets

Although it may appear as though you will have a twin bed in your dorm room, most dorms actually have XL twins instead of the traditional twin sized bed. So packing twin-sized bedding will be a big mistake since you’ll find out pretty quickly that these new sheets won’t fit on your new bed! We speak from experience. If you want to double check, try social media to get some inside intel.

An Office Chair

Almost every dorm these days provides their own chairs. Coupled with how much space these things take up in a car, you absolutely do not want to make the mistake of doubling up. And if you’re really attached to your chair at home? Considering how big dorm rooms are, now’s the perfect time to start learning to love other seats!

Your Pet

Do we even have to say this? Apparently, we do. We know, we know… it’s hard to leave home, and even harder to leave home when you’re leaving your beloved pet at home. But unfortunately, dorm rooms do not allow pets of any kind. So sadly you can’t sneak in your pooch, kitty or even turtle into the halls of your new home.

Any Luggage at All

We urge you to skip the bulky luggage. Unless you need it for frequent flights back home, luggage is an item that will take up so much valuable space in your tiny new digs. Instead, try packing everything you have in oversized duffle bags (or even trash bags) that can be broken down and stored under your bed or somewhere else less invasive. The duffle bag will still allow you to pack up and travel, yet won’t waste valuable space like large luggage would.

Communicate and Consolidate! Whatever Your Roommate Is Bringing

It’s important to touch base with your roommate before the move-in day so you can coordinate what you are both bringing so you don’t double up! Space is very limited and sometimes so are funds, so splitting these items up will not only ensure your room isn’t overflowing with doubles of everything, but will also help cut down on costs for both of you.

The countdown to college is officially on. Hopefully, now you are fully prepared for what you should bring, could bring, and should NEVER bring to move-in day!

Is It Weird to Help Your Movers? 10 Things Movers Absolutely Love

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Our movers love to move quickly and efficiently, so take it from me, it’s definitely not a weird thing to help your own mover… but not by lifting anything! Helping them in other ways is more than just a load off their backs: the faster they can get done, the more money you will save.

To help move your move along, I can say from experience that these 10 areas are the best, most useful things you can do ahead of your Hybrid move. Of course, most movers will be happy to do the things on this list for you, but do everyone a favor – yourself included – and consider being mover ready if you’re looking to save the absolute most amount of money. I’ll tell them it was your idea.

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