Short Notice Moving: 5 Tips for a Last Minute Move

moving on short notice? 5 essential tips for tackling a last-minute move

Moving is disruptive, tough, and challenging under the best of circumstances. But if you find yourself having to move at the last minute, the situation can quickly escalate into chaos. 

Tips for Moving in a Hurry

Dealing with the shock of having to relocate in a hurry can escalate into anxiety and worry. Avoid last-minute moving stress and chaos by following these five essential tips and get the job done fast while saving your sanity.

1.  Make a Plan

This is the most important step of all. Without a plan, your stressful situation will only escalate into utter confusion.

Break down your moving tasks into the number of days you have until you need to vacate. Then write your plan into a checklist. If you’re unsure about details, go online and search ‘moving checklists’. Don’t forget critical details. For example, if you have kids, notify their schools and teachers; if you have pets, consider boarding them during the move.

2.  Ask for Help

Don’t try to tackle a job like this all by yourself. Even if it feels uncomfortable to ask friends and family to help, this is a time when you need to count on them.

  • Assign each person specific jobs from your moving checklist. This alone will help relieve a lot of anxiety.
  • Take time off from work. There just aren’t enough hours in a day to work AND move at the last minute. If you feel pressure at work, ask co-workers to step in for you. You can always show your gratitude by taking them out for a special meal or event once you’re settled.

3. Purge, Purge, Purge

In other words, Recycle, Donate, Toss. The less you have to pack and move the faster and more efficient your last-minute move will be. This is a time to be ruthless. If an item feels too sentimental to get rid of, take a photo of it. Once you’re settled in your new home, you can always create a photo album of those sentimental photos.

As you purge, separate items into three distinct groups: recycle, donate, and toss. Many charity groups will pick up your donated furniture, small appliances, and household accessories.  Ask one of your helpers to take the recyclables to your local recycling center.  If you have a lot of items that will go into the trash, consider hiring a junk removal company to come and get everything.

4.  Pack

The anxiety of having to move in a hurry can tempt you to start packing before you’ve made a plan, before you’ve recruited help, or worst of all – before you’ve ruthlessly purged your stuff. Don’t let anxiety and panic lead you astray. Make sure you’ve handled steps 1 to 3 before even thinking of packing – and once you have 1 to 3 under your belt, this is what you’ll do:

Set up a packing station on a large surface such as the kitchen counter or dining table. Without a dedicated packing station, your supplies can end up behind a pillow or under a bed and you’ll waste precious time searching for what you need. Gather together:

  •  Packing tape, tape gun, packing paper, bubble wrap, large trash bags, boxes, and permanent markers.
  • Use towels, bedding, socks, and t-shirts to pack around delicate items such as lamps, vases, dishware, etc.
  • Pack clothes, linens, and soft items like throw pillows in large trash bags instead of boxes. 
  • A true time saver is to simply wrap a large trash bag around hanging clothes.

5. Hire Professional Movers

If the planning, finding busy family and friends to help, and all that tedious packing seem overwhelming, take care of yourself and hire a professional moving company to handle your last-minute move. At Samba Moving, our experienced NYC crews are pros at managing short notice, emergency, and last-minute moves with courtesy and maximum efficiency.


Save yourself the worry, anxiety, confusion, and stress of having to move in a hurry and hire Samba Movers to do the hard work for you. From packing and unpacking, furniture disassembly to reassembly, and white glove specialty services, Samba Movers can do whatever it takes to have you moved safely and efficiently . . . in a jiffy!

If you’re faced with a last-minute move, don’t try to do it alone. Count on the pros at Samba Movers to step in and get you moved fast. Ask for a free quote now!