Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page
The stress with any move is inevitable and unavoidable, but
it is so much worse when having to pack quickly. Whatever circumstance led you
to pack for a move quickly, it may not be a welcome task. After all, your life
will suddenly boil down to numbers and boxes, and you’ll have to make some
unpleasant decisions of leaving some things behind. Not panicking is easier
said than done, but if you read through our guide on how to pack for a move
quickly, the panic will definitely be replaced with calm, guided action.
CALCULATE MY MOVE
1) Acceptance: Understand that you have a limited amount of time on your hands, and you can’t
waste it by simply sitting by and stressing out. Accept that though the time is
limited, it is still enough time to get things in order. When push comes to
shove, we get down to the grind and get things done. Change that mindset from a
passive worrier to an active do-er and get moving!
2) Essentials first: Before you get into a tizzy, head to the cupboard/safe that has all your important documents. These can include bank documents, cheque books, identity cards, and any such items of importance. Place them in a backpack and keep the backpack in a secure space that won’t be turned inside out with the chaos of the move. Wear it at all times when the move is happening.
Read What to Pack First When Moving
3) Helping hands: Time to call in those favours and rally the family - you’ll need the help! We
recommend involving people who you trust and who you know are reliable. Avoid
calling too many people, resulting in confusion and chaos that a crowd is bound
4) Choose a moving company: How to choose a reliable moving company is tricky, and there’s always a few do’s and don'ts to keep in mind. In the rush of your limited time, these are not to be ignored. Rather, do your homework and pick a reliable moving company wisely. Quickly read up on how to pick a good moving company, or simply contact us for some quick service. Whatever you do, don’t just run a Google search and hurriedly pick the first name you see.
List of Best Moving Companies
5) Narrow it down: Now that two main essentials are out of the way, you can get down to the
packing. Before you start to dump things into suitcases and bags, you have to
narrow it all down to the items you’ll be carrying and those that you won’t.
Clear out a space in a room to make this easier. Then, look at every item in
the house. Consider the following when deciding if it stays or goes to make the
As you’re going through everything, sort them into bundles - to give away, to throw out, to pack, and essentials. Your essentials are items like your phone charger, laptop and its charger, important medicines and anti-allergens, and so on. Get a friend to drop off the items to be given away at one of the many donation centers.
5 Charities for Donation Pick Up
There are several centers that take in furniture, clothes, dishes, household appliances and more. This way, you get to help someone needy despite the chaos of your situation. Alternatively, you can also have them dropped off at a recycling center and tell your friends to head there to take their pick of the items.
1800-GOT-JUNK Review and Pricing
6) Make a list: Yes, you’re in a terrible hurry and sitting down to make a list seems like a waste of time. But, having a to-do list is known to bring a sense of organization and control, whether it is in your day-to-day life or when tackling a task such as this. It is far from a waste of time, and will help you approach the packing in an orderly manner. List down the rooms in your house, break each up into smaller packing goals i.e what item in the room gets packed first.
Whether it is an overall checklist of things to get done
(more packing boxes, inventory all items) or a list of more detail, jotting
things down on a secure pad and keeping it accessible or on you will certainly
7) Find out what you can’t pack: Every moving company has certain items that they will not shift. Make sure you get a list of these items. This way, you avoid wasting time and resources in packing up items that you’ll be forced to leave behind on the last day.
8) Packing material: A well-known and easy way to cut corners on those moving costs is to try for free boxes and packing material from local businesses, family members and people who have recently shifted. However, unless you are absolutely sure of this option, we recommend not exploring it. Instead, shut a blind eye to the costs you’ll incur and choose the secure option of purchasing boxes and packaging material instead.
You save on time; the boxes are new which means you won’t waste time checking to see if they’re dirty, or reinforcing their bases to make them sturdy enough for your items. Plus you always run the risk of accidents when using older, previously used boxes and material. The last thing you want is a hindrance of a box coming apart, or moving to your new home only to find half your items damaged due to old bubble wrap.
Where to Buy Moving Boxes?
In addition to these more obvious items, stock up on some sturdy notepads and permanent markers. You don’t want to be bang in the middle of things just to face a frustrating problem like your pen running out of ink. If you have a hard time acquiring bubble wrap, get a hold of wrapping paper and newspapers - they are also padding materials to ensure your belongings don’t clank against each other in their boxes.
9) Create an
inventory: Creating an inventory of the items you’ll be moving is an
important step that must not be overlooked. But instead of running around with
pens and papers yourself, designate this to whoever is your second in command.
If you’d rather see it done yourself, dictate items out while someone quickly
jots it down. Remember, time is of the essence and efficiency is the need of
Alternatively, you can make the use of modern technology -
take a photograph of the items instead. Click at the box’s contents before they
are sealed, and either get a printout of the photo to stick to the box, or
write a number on the box that corresponds to the number of the photograph.
Make sure there’s enough brightness to see it all and that your photo is clear.
Once this is done, ensure you write important instructions that pertain to the
items in the box on the outside in clear writing with a marker (eg. Handle with
care, Fragile items).
10) Code the boxes: This isn’t so much to help you move as much as it is to help you unpack. After the harrowing rush of moving quickly, you want to be able to unpack and settle down into your new normal with relative ease. Coding your boxes can help with that. This simply involves marking the boxes according to their contents and importance. For example, use a green marker on all boxes packed with the kitchen items. Alternatively, write a big K on the side of the box. Just make sure you remember what color/alphabet stands for what so there’s no later confusion.
How to Label Boxes for Moving?
In addition to this, label the boxes packed with
essentials/important items that have to be unpacked first. This saves you the
confusion of ripping open every box in the new house, desperately looking for
everything you need immediately. Or even worse, realising that the things you
need for your first two days are in the truck, scheduled to arrive in 3 days.
Doing this ensures you have all your necessary things around you and you can
open the other, less important boxes in a more relaxed manner.
Now that you have all your preparation in place, it’s time
to tackle the actual task of packing everything. But follow our guide and stick
by your written schedule and you’ll do just fine.
Which Room To Tackle
As with most tasks, your energy level and determination to
get it done is highest at the start. This is why we recommend starting to pack
with the toughest room. Follow our order of rooms and take it from here.
All of these should get done within 1 day. If you still have
time to spare, pack up the closet. If not, do it first thing the next morning.
All of these should take a day. If you find tasks spilling
over and generally seeming chaotic, take a look at your to-do list/schedule and
re-work it to match your current position. Keep a constant eye on the deadline.
Packing 101 Checklist
Packing with such limited time is strenuous, and all your
time will be spent packing up. In a situation like this, you need all the help
you can get. We’ve listed down additional packing tips that are sure to help a
bunch. In an hour where you have less time to think, read through lists like
this. Pick from the ones you need and get going.
Set the atmosphere: When you’re packing in a hurry, your stress levels are bound to be
skyrocketing. You’ll be snappy, barking orders at everyone around. In a
situation where stress can actually get you even more worked up, you need to
give yourself some positivity. Grab a hold of a bluetooth speaker and put on
some music. You may constantly need your phone to make calls or take
photographs to inventory things so ideally attach it to something else.
Your friends or family are around helping you out - crack a
few jokes and sing loudly to the songs playing. Aside from the chaos, you can
make this something that you remember for a long time to come, and breaking a
sweat with the people you love is a great way to bond with them, deepening your
relationship even further. When you’re all done and ready for the packers, give
yourselves a break from the chaos and step out for some dinner. Just make sure
to save the alcohol for after you’ve moved into the new home!
Be all packed when
the movers arrive: No matter how small it is, do not leave anything
unpacked. Avoid letting any packing work spill over onto the day the movers
arrive. This way you are not only physically present, but also metally
prepared. Free from the worry of the ‘how to pack’ question, your mind will be
clear and focused. Leaving things for the last minute means you are running
around trying to get things done while the movers are trying to do their jobs,
creating more confusion and causing you to get unnecessarily worked up.
Keep your phone on you but only use it when the need arises.
Ensure you’re not the only person in the house when they arrive - grab a hold
of someone and make them your second in command, and brief them on any
important instructions, like which boxes go in first and so on.
Keep drawer contents intact: This tip is great for any moving situation, but especially useful when you’re in a fix. Instead of painstakingly emptying out all the paraphernalia, wrapping each individual item and placing it in boxes, just keep them in the drawer itself. This saves you loads of time, packing material and boxes, as well as the time it’ll take to unpack. Just ensure that the furniture piece doesn’t become too heavy and weighted to carry and there are no fragile and easily breakable items. Pack it up with packing material so the items don’t shift around, and firmly secure the drawer shut so it doesn’t accidentally open.
How to Pack Pictures and Mirrors for Moving?
Keep clothes intact: You can also leave your clothes intact in the wardrobe by fastening sturdy
garbage bags around them. Place them with their hangers into bags if that also
Use old clothes as
packing material: Running short of packing material? Or worried your more
important items won’t have as much left for them? Grab hold of all those old
clothes that survived the ‘donation’ pile. This includes ‘home wear’, you know
the type - those old tees that are too comfy to give away. Use these as padding
between items wherever you find the need.
Give yourself breaks: Your body will be charged up on adrenaline and your mind will plague you for
every minute ‘wasted’. But this is an important step. The only way the move won’t
happen is if you burn out right in the middle of it. You are responsible for
yourself above everything else after all, so make sure you give yourself some
much-needed breaks. Ideally take a short break after you pack one room. Sit
yourself down, preferably near a window, so you get some fresh air. Take a few
minutes to gather yourself, hydrate with plenty of water, and snack on
something, preferably an energy bar.
Try to get a good night’s rest every night, especially the
night before the move. Do not sacrifice meals for the sake of the packing. If
the situation is dire, leave someone to pack while you take a meal break. Stop
when you feel overwhelmed, and don’t be afraid to ask for support when you need
it, whether it is with a quick pep talk or a hug.
Get someone to watch
the kids and the pets: The last thing you need is to have kids and pets
running around and adding to the confusion. If your kids are old enough, you
can keep them around to help out with the packing, especially when it comes to
packing their own clothes and toys. But if not, just ask a friend or a parent
and leave the kids and pets over at theirs for the day. This will reduce the
confusion that they can unknowingly bring to the situation and also keep them
away from any potential harm. Also, this is especially important for pets; the
sudden upturning may startle them. They may seek shelter behind one of the many
heavy boxes or run off in the confusion. Make sure they’re out of harm’s way.
boxes: The stress of not having enough boxes is a real thing. But whatever
you do, please don’t overstuff boxes. You may pack it up and seal it as tight
as you possibly can, but it could always tear open from the sides or the
bottom. You also risk damaging your items in this way.
safety for speed: Hurriedly packing things sure gets it done faster, but
the job will be shabbily done. Carelessly wrapping tape around bubble wrapped
items and chucking them into the first box you see means you’ll likely meet
with a nasty surprise when the boxes are opened. Seeing your things broken when
you’re unpacking is a major mood and mental peace damper! Make sure everything
is securely packed, even if it means taking the time to ensure it is.
Make use of suitcases: You’re bound to be transporting suitcases, so why not use them? Pile things into your suitcases; we recommend books. A box full of books is ridiculously heavy to carry and the lack of a grip makes it even worse. The wheelies on your suitcase will help a ton with this. It offers easy mobility; just make sure that it isn’t packed up a little too much and isn’t too heavy. Alternatively, you can also pack up precious, fragile items in a suitcase - after the usual bubble wrap, wrap a blanket or sheet around it and cushion it between more sheets.
How to Pack a Suitcase for a Relocation?
Make sure it is neatly and securely tucked in with no wiggle
room. More importantly, remember that there is something fragile there so you
won’t yank out the sheets when unpacking. Write a note and place it right on
top of the sheets so it's the first thing you see when you open the suitcase.
Use adhesive paper/masking tape: There are alternatives to opt for if you’d rather avoid writing directly on the side of the box with a marker. An easy way to mark your boxes is to get printouts of all your labels on adhesive paper and just stick them onto the box. Or, you can use masking tape - its paper-like covering means you can easily write on it with markers and stick it onto the box. Above all else, remember this - no matter how much or how little time you have, it is always enough to slow down and progress through the problem in an organized manner. Finding the right kind of mover will ease all your worries on moving day. Thankfully, that’s where we come in. Let us help you hire the best movers, read and follow all the steps above, and before you know it, the move will be done!
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