How to Move on Short Notice

Packing Tips Prepare for the Move
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In a perfect world, you are planning and preparing for your move, everything goes smoothly, you are packing, getting ready, and then, you wake up. Moving is a process that would usually require anywhere between a month-two months, and you would have to plan tiny details and logistics. Sometimes, in real life, it happens that things just come at you fast and so does the short notice move.

Man throwing boxes

There are two types of asap moves:

When you have no time between finding out you are moving and the move itself

When you procrastinate way too much, having in mind you will have enough time, but it happens that you are moving in two days and you didn’t do a thing.

In any of these two scenarios, you have to move and Philadelphia Movers are here to make your job easier.

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Make a list and a timeline

When you have a last minute move happening, everything seems necessary and extremely difficult to obtain. Also, everything seems to be a must. A must that you have no time for. It is easy to start feeling like you will have a panic attack from the things that need to be done.

Don’t let this discourage you and get things going. 

We would recommend making a list and crossing items off. 

Taping the box

The most important thing in this situation would be to create a list of tasks with everything included. Things like renting movers, packing the house, cleaning before leaving, taking kids to grandparents and organizing important documents should be top priority.

Also, make a list with dates and just check things off as you move through the list. This will make you feel better and more organized once the moving date approaches.

Logistics makes the job done

Your first step should probably be to hire movers asap. Of course, this depends if you want to move yourself or have professionals help you out. If you decide to use movers, check Philadelphia Movers, and go to FAQ just to make sure you have all of your questions answered. 

The sooner you have the movers, the more time you will have to dedicate to other important things. This is the quickest and most hassle-free way to handle a short notice move. 

Mover putting the items in the truck

Good moving company will be able to help you with packing, loading, moving, unloading and even unpacking if you need it and that will make you relieved and less anxious. 

Anxiety before the move

Ask for help if you need it

This should bring you no shame or bad feeling. If you are moving on short notice, you will need at least several days to do everything, even with the moving company included. Ask your friends and family if they can help out. Just make sure to order pizza or burgers after everything is done.

Try to shift your perspective

As crazy as this might sound to you, looking from a different point of view can make you calm. Sometimes, a short notice move can lead to making bad decisions, therefore, take a deep breath, and wait until you are ready to make any important decisions. Also, include other people in your plans if needed. 

Think beyond your move

Packing and preparing things for the move probably seems the most important thing now that your move is approaching. But before you start checking Marie Kondo on Netflix, try thinking about the following things:


If you are moving, your kids will probably be changing schools. Notify the school they are currently going to on what would be their last day. Also, research schools in your new area and enroll your kids in the one that suits you.


Another important thing to do is to cancel your utilities in your old home and start them in your new one or you will end up having no electricity and water once you move in.

New doctor / pediatrician / dentist

If you are moving out, check for the new doctor, pediatrician for kids and the new dentist in your new area. Make sure they are informed if there is anything particular and get your medical and dental records before you move. If you have a pet, get your pet veterinarian record as well. 

Prepare your child for the move

This is for all parents and this may not be an easy task. Nevermind how small the child is or how much you think they would forget or that they don’t understand, think this way – you were a child as well and every bigger change had a huge impact on you.

You have to be very careful when explaining to your child about the upcoming move, especially if it is on short notice. Talk to them about leaving friends and school, explain that you will come and visit whenever you can and inform them about all the new possibilities your new district will have – new school, friends, hobbies…

Have in mind that your child may not be so happy about the move and that he/she will need time to process it. Take it easy and let them know you are there to help out throughout the whole process.

Mother and daughter getting ready for the move

Purge. Get rid of all the things you don’t need

If you have decided that you will go with self packing service, it would be best to start decluttering. The less you have to move, the easier the move will be. And what better period to start your new organizational life than when you are moving. Go through each room and start separating things you no longer need or want. You can separate them into three piles:

  • Donate
  • Recycle
  • Throw

You need to think in a practical, not sentimental way. Moving is a great time to purge and short notice move is an even better reason for you to travel with the minimal amount of items. If you think you will pack and move everything and then declutter when you move into your new place, that is not such a good idea. Sort them before the move and save your time and energy for something more important.

Once you have everything ready to go, don’t let the bags stay in front of the apartment waiting for something to happen. If items are in good condition, chances are that you will be able to donate most of the things to Goodwill. And what’s supposed to be thrown away – throw it away.

Keep, donate, trash

Get material and supplies asap

SInce you are moving in a few days, it would be best to get all supplies as soon as you can. Going for materials later will cost you more time and nerves, as well as re-supplying, so try to get enough in order to avoid additional stress. If you decide to go for full-packing service Philadelphia movers will be more than happy to help you. 

List of packing supplies needed:

  • Boxes
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Plastic and bubble wrap
  • Blankets, old sheets
  • Stickers and markers
  • Plastic bags and totes
Scissors and markers

Start packing

If you decide you will let movers pack your furniture and that you will do the rest, it is about time to think about your packing strategy.

When it comes to short notice packing, the most important thing is good organization and good packing supplies that we have mentioned above because the main goal is for your items to arrive safe and untouched at the delivery.

Also, it is very important that once the items arrive, you are aware of what is in which box so you don’t get completely confused. Here are few packing tips to make your life easier:

  • Use old newspaper sheets to pack glass and breakables

Along with blankets and towels, old newspaper sheets can be a very good way of protecting glass. Just make sure to wrap your fragile items in two-three sheets and cover them with a towel and you will be good to go.

  • Pack carefully but not with an OCD

It is okay if you accidentally packed wine glasses with your favorite magnets from traveling abroad as long as you label what exactly is in each box just in order to skip roaming around when you get into your new apartment.

Since you don’t have a lot of time to move, it would be best to skip obsessive packing by colors, shapes and sizes. Just make sure that all items are well wrapped and protected.

Items wrapped in paper sheets
  • Bring boxes once you need them

It would be completely crazy to fill your studio apartment with boxes before you know what will go in each box. Bring box by box and fill them carefully in order to avoid confusion. 

  • Packing clothes 

There is always an option to use wardrobe boxes for your hanging items. But, if you are hiring movers, you will need to let them know in advance how many wardrobe boxes you will need since they take a lot of space in the truck.

Instead of using them, you can use big garbage bags for your hanging items and tie bag’s strings around hangers. If you are moving clothes and dressers, you can let your movers know that there are clothes inside and they will move dressers together with clothes.

Packing jeans into a box

Leave your move to professionals

If you decide to hire professional movers, maybe it is time to leave stress behind and let the games begin. Movers are trained individuals and they are there for a reason and when it comes to short notice moves, they might happen to be the best option.

Have in mind that they are used to packing and moving, they have their ways of organizing everything, labeling and protecting the items, and the most important thing, their equipment may be much better. 

Mover preparing to move boxes

The thing with using movers is that they will bring hundred percent new boxes, new wrapping materials and make sure to protect each item.

Another important thing is that the moving company is held accountable for your items, and if you decide to pack yourself and things arrive at the delivery in pieces, you will get nothing.

When it comes to movers, they offer insurance for everything that they have packed and you always have an option of taking additional, full replacement value insurance. 

We can help you!

Hiring Philadelphia Movers will definitely help you go through your short notice move as easy as it can go. We will do our best to make sure your items are safely delivered while you deal with other important things before you move to your new Philadelphia neighborhood. Give us a call and get your free quote today.