How to Pack to Move in a Hurry

How to Pack to Move in a Hurry

If you need to pack and move in a hurry you’re probably pretty stressed. The following pointers will help you get packed up fast and be ready for your last-minute move.

Choose How You’ll Manage Packing

Before you panic, be aware that you can choose from various options to get packed up in a hurry. It’s important to make this decision before you start packing because it will determine how you proceed with packing:

  • Full-service move. Not only do full-service movers pack up your household, but they also manage the entire move for you. Imagine your stress melting away while movers pack up your household at lightning speed. The full-service team brings all the packing materials then quickly gets to work to box up your house in a heartbeat. Once packed, they’ll load, transport, unload, and unpack everything. The moving company can even arrange storage for you. This option is the most expensive but is far and above the best choice when you’re trying to pack and move in a hurry.
  • A moving company can pack your entire household or just certain rooms. Some rooms, like your kitchen or home office, can take an especially long time or special skills to pack. However you decide to customize your packing needs, the bottom line is that when a trained packing team shows up, you can be packed up in record time.
  • You’re flying solo when you try to do it yourself and pack in a hurry. Although this choice can be the cheapest way to go, you can pay a high price for all the stress involved. Truly, this option is only feasible if you have enough time. After all, packing is the most time-consuming and energy-zapping part of most moves.

Call in the Troops

If you’re the designated packer, don’t go it alone – call in the troops to help. Call a trusted family member or friend and ask them to send out an SOS. They can use social media to quickly gather a cadre of helpers who can come to your aid.

  • Have the trusted person organize everyone to bring boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, permanent markers, brightly colored tape, and plenty of heavy-duty trash bags. You’ll dedicate the boxes for delicate and fragile items. Everything else will quickly get tossed in trash bags.
  • Try to stick with medium size boxes when packing delicate items. Large boxes get heavy quickly and can burst open. What’s more, lifting heavy boxes can strain backs – the last thing you want to happen especially when you’re moving on a tight time frame.
  • On average, about 15 medium boxes will be sufficient to pack up the fragile items in a one-bedroom apartment. Be sure to put your suitcases to work and use them for fragile items too.

Make a List

Even though you may feel like you don’t have time, the list is essential for getting you ready for the next, most important step of all. Here we go: In each room, write down which things you’ll throw away, recycle, donate, or sell.

Start the Purge

While you’re waiting for your squad of helpers or the moving team to arrive, you’re going to embark on one of the most critical tasks of all – you’re going to ruthlessly purge your entire household. After all, having less stuff to pack is the key to a machspeed pack-a-thon. You’re the only person who can complete this imperative step so grab your list and trash bags. Without mercy, start filling them according to your categories:

  • Throw away
  • Recycle
  • Donate
  • Sell

As you’re purging, gather all your socks, t-shirts, kids’ stuffies, towels, linens, pillows, and other soft materials that can be used as packing for fragile items like dishes, glassware, lamps, and other breakables. Throw these soft items on a table which you’ll use as a packing station. When your crew shows up with the boxes and packing supplies, put them to work packing the fragile stuff.

Begin Packing

Unless you’ve hired full-service movers, it’s time to start getting everything boxed or bagged for the upcoming move:

  • Start with essentials that you’ll need throughout the move. Ideally, use a duffle or suitcase for your essentials, and be sure to label the bag so it doesn’t get loaded on the truck. Include stuff you’ll need until you get into your new place like medication, chargers, change of clothes, toiletries, towels, a first aid kit, a few tools, and important documents like your passport and birth certificate. Unless you have digital records for utility, bank, insurance, and subscription accounts, include that paperwork with your essentials too. You’ll see why below.
  • Pack room-by-room. You’ll be more productive and less likely to get distracted.
  • Leave clothes in drawers. If it makes furniture lighter to carry, just take out drawers with clothes still in them.
  • Wrap trash bags around hanging clothes. Grab about ten hangers of clothes at a time and just pull a trash bag up over the group. Tie the bag closed around the hanger necks so the hangers won’t fall out or get tangled.
  • Stuff all the rest of your clothes, linens, and non-fragile belongings in trash bags.
  • Don’t forget to check attics, basements, garages, garden sheds, and other easy-to-forget spots.


As trash bags get filled, it can quickly become confusing to tell true trash or donate bags from the bags that will get moved with you. Develop a clear labeling system. It can be difficult to write on plastic trash bags so opt for tape. Wrap brightly colored tape around the top cinched part of the bags that are not moving with you. Notify your packing/moving team of your labeling system.

When You Need More Help

If it turns out that friends and family simply aren’t available to help at the last minute or you’re running out of time, ask a professional mover to step in.

The Movers NYC is a licensed, bonded, insured moving company that understands short notice and emergency moves. Our expert crews are trained to pack up any size household in record time. It will definitely be worth your while to request our free emergency packing quotes.