On average, preparation for a move should start about seven to eight weeks before your move date. This gives you more than enough time to properly pack, organize and talk logistics with your moving company. Unfortunately, things don't always go as planned, and you need to move on short notice.
No matter the pressure you feel when you find out you are required to relocate last minute, stay calm and follow these guidelines to guarantee a successful upcoming move.
Create a deadline for hiring a moving company
Two things that must be done immediately when moving last minute are picking the date to leave and hiring a moving company that will help you do that quickly.
In this situation, it's best to hire a full-service company -- if you can afford it. A full-service moving company will be able to pack up your entire house in less time than it would take you, and they'll know the most efficient and safe ways to do it.
If the motive for your last minute move is money, or the lack thereof, hiring a moving company is not necessarily an option.
Tips for saving money in an emergency move
Now that you know how to move on short notice, here are tips that you can follow when going through an emergency move.
- Start as early as possible. Once you're aware that an emergency move needs to take place, it's best to begin planning as soon as possible. The longer you procrastinate, the harder the moving process will be in the long run. Start looking for movers and getting price estimates if you have too many items to move on your own. Expect high prices for short notice moves. Compare estimates from at least three companies in your area to ensure you get the best bang for your buck.
- Pack as soon as you can. Arrange your items room by room and pack in order of importance. This will help you avoid forgetting items or losing important documents. In this type of situation, you want to carry as little as possible and sell what you can to fund your last minute move. Although it may be difficult to sell your stuff, most moving companies charge by weight.
- Don't multi-task. You may think multi-tasking is the best way to gather all your items at once, but this can backfire badly. Important items can get lost in the shuffle, and it's easy to stress or get overwhelmed. Multi-tasking is a skill that not many of us have mastered -- especially when it comes to moving. Sit down and create a list of thing that need to get done... then complete those tasks one at a time.
- Ask for help. Help from family or friends will take a lot of stress out of your move. Allocate different tasks and responsibilities to each person. Family and friends provide a different type of help than moving companies. They understand the importance of your stuff, because they are familiar with it on a personal level. They also, for the most part, will accept food as a form of payment.
Things commonly forgotten during emergency moves
In the rush of moving last minute, there are many things that can slip our mind, such as remembering what to pack to keeping in touch with the moving company.
- Don't let companies take advantage of you. Moving last minute means you will be subject to fees, but don't let them charge you for everything and anything. You are a customer and have the right to be priced fairly, which is one of the reasons why you should get estimates from more than just one company. Look out for any extra charges that they try to add on during the move while they're loading and unloading your stuff. When speaking with moving companies, be very detailed about how much stuff and when you're moving to get the most accurate estimate.
- Contact utilities about your move. We all have different services installed into our home. Amenities such as internet, cable and electricity are things we pay for on a monthly basis and is something people tend to overlook when moving. These companies will not know if you are moving into a new home unless you contact them directly. If you fail to do so, you will continue to get charged for services you are no longer using. Some companies will transfer services from your old home to your new home.
- Transfer any important records. In the chaos of moving, transferring medical records (or other important documents) is probably the last thing on your mind. If you already have a new doctor set up, they might be able to facilitate the process for you.
Moving on a very short notice can easily let several things fall through the crack. Take this move as calmly and slowly as you can so that you don’t forget anything you should be doing.