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Moving At Short Notice – How To Do It

Posted on 27th April 2023 by Master Removers

In an ideal world, we’d have all the time we needed to prepare for moving house. We’d draw up our moving plan no less than three months before the big day and nothing would get left to chance. Our preferred moving company would be available at the exact date and time we needed them and the whole thing would be pulled off without so much as breaking a sweat or chipping a fingernail. But sometimes life forces us to be realists – a completely unforeseeable event throws our best-laid plans into the air and we’re left flustered, running here and there trying to pick up the pieces. We could be manoeuvred into a short-notice house move for any number of reasons, from bereavement to an unanticipated work posting or from change in financial circumstances to plain, old-fashioned inefficiency on our own parts. If you’ve been at the receiving end of such an upheaval, then you know how important it is to know the basics of short-notice moving. Here’s our Master Remover guide to moving house at the last minute.

Take A Breath

Your first instinct might be to panic. Here, it’s best to take a deep breath and remember, even people who’ve gone about their move the most conscientious way possible, planning everything six months in advance and getting all their ducks in a row, will succumb to panic at certain flashpoints during their moving process. Moving is stressful, no matter how many or few precautions you take. So you’re not alone and nor have you been singled out for a unique ordeal that others are spared. It’s going to be OK and will somehow resolve itself, no matter how awful it looks at the outset. Try to keep that in mind. 

Moving Plan

A last-minute move is still a move. By that, we mean that most of the steps you’d go through if you had plenty of time are still required if you don’t. And what always comes first is a moving plan. Perhaps the best side-effect of a written plan is that it’s guaranteed to start puncturing the stress you’re experiencing. Go through the property you’re leaving, using the time-honoured method of separating everything into categories – the stuff you’re taking with you, the stuff that’s going to charity shops, that which is going to refuse and, if applicable, that which is going into storage. You may have additional categories of your own. 

Create a hit-list of all the utility companies you use and make the necessary changes to your accounts with them. Do a ring-round of friends and family to see if you can rope in some extra help and support through the process. Conduct quick research into moving companies, so that you’ve got a list to go through, should your first few options turn out to be fully booked. 

Removal Companies

Every company in the Master Removers Group will endeavour to fit you in, even if there’s scarcely much notice. Not only that, they’ll be happy to talk you through any other worries you have about the logistics of a sudden move and help you acquire all the boxes and packing materials you need to start getting your belongings ready or arrange for their own packers to visit you and take the job off your shoulders. You’ll get quick, clear, easy-to-follow quotations and the mists will begin to clear as you see the end that’s now coming into sight. If at all possible, give your chosen moving company a week’s notice.

Getting Rid

If you’re doing this in a hurry, you might not want to go through some of the more time consuming stages, like seeing if sites like musicMagpie will buy the unwanted CDs, books or bits of old tech you’ve found in the attic. Instead, you’ll probably be better off making a single donation dash to your nearest charity shops or seeing if your friends want any of it. What’s left will then need to be swiftly thrown away, either via recycling or refuse. The important thing is that you get rid of everything you possibly can get rid of. The last thing a last-minute move needs is any superfluous baggage. 

Packing Up

Everything needs to be ready for loading into vehicles on moving day, so there’s no time to lose with packing. If you’ve been able to acquire packing materials from your moving company, that should comprise multiple shapes and sizes, including wardrobe boxes for your precious clothes and plenty of good-quality, durable tape, plus labels, markers, bubble wrap and more. But if your last-minute move has been chaotic, with no time to get hold of a moving company, then a dash to the local shops to see if they can give you cardboard boxes they no longer want may be in order. As with a well-planned move, always try to get hold of more boxes than you think you actually need. If you’re packing solo, without the help of professional packers, then call in those favours from friends and family, and go methodically through your house, packing up room by room. Don’t forget to create that all-important box (or boxes); the one that will contain anything you might need as soon as you arrive at your new place, whether that’s documents pertaining to the move, a kettle, some food, towels, loo roll, and a change of clothes (or at the very least, a change of underwear). 

And Finally

Cleaning the property may well be the final task, especially if you’re moving between rentals and a requirement of the lease is to leave the flat or house in the same state of cleanliness in which you found it.

Doing It Yourself

If it’s really come down to the wire and you’re required to move at two or, heaven forbid, one day’s notice, you may end up opting to do it yourself. This is when, rather than looking into moving companies, you need to draw up a list of van rentals and bring in one or two extra friends than you’d initially anticipated. You should also look into parking restrictions at the destination end of your journey, so that you don’t encounter problems when you’re trying to unload.