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How to Complete a Move in Less Than 24 Hours

Krista Diamond | August 21, 2017 @ 12:28 PM

In a perfect world, you’d have months to prepare for a move. During this time you’d be able to leisurely sort through your belongings, carefully pack them up and move them to your new place on your own schedule. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world.

In reality, moving involves time constraints. Maybe you’re dealing with a last minute relocation. Maybe you aren’t able to take a few days off from work to complete a move. Or maybe you’re just the kind of person who wants to finish a move fast (we don’t blame you). Whatever the situation may be, here are the steps you need to take to complete a move in less than 24 hours.

Get Supplies First

Rookie moving mistake number one is thinking that you’ve already got all of the boxes and other moving supplies you need to get the job done. Avoid having to run out in the middle of packing to buy more tape by being prepared.

Stop by your nearest storage facility that sells moving supplies and pick up boxes, speciality boxes (you’ll need them to move or store items like your flat screen TV), acid-free tissue paper, bubble wrap, tape and anything else you need. For heavy items and furniture, consider getting a hand truck. If you’re moving a bunch of large items that won’t fit in your car, you can also rent a moving truck from many storage facilities.

Sort It Out

Want to know one of the best moving hacks? Have less stuff to move. We’re not saying that you need to abandon all of your worldly possessions. But you should make a point to downsize before a move.

Spend an hour or two sorting your belongings into categories: things you’ll move, things you’ll throw out and things you’ll donate. If you’re doing this far enough in advance, you can actually contact a donation center and ask them to come haul away any large items you’re giving to charity. But if not, handle the donating and tossing part yourself and then get back to moving everything else.

Pack a Weekend Bag

Grab a carry-on suitcase or overnight bag and pack it with essentials like you would if you were leaving town for the weekend. This will make your life much, much easier once you’ve actually moved into your new home. If you don’t have time to unpack right away or just don’t feel like unpacking right away, you’ll still have everything you need to live your life until you are ready to tackle those boxes.


Before you start packing things into boxes, make thing easier on yourself by preparing your stuff. This means disassembling furniture, taking down items that are hanging from the walls and ceiling and placing essential screws and nails into containers that won’t get lost. You’ll also want to strip linens from your bed, remove settings from your table and remove books from your bookshelf.

Time Yourself

Can we all agree that packing is the hardest part of moving? Make it less intimidating by tackling it one room at a time. To ensure that you adhere to your 24 hours or less time frame, give yourself a set amount of time for each room. You can even set an alarm on your phone.

Doing this will incentive you to stick to the task at hand rather than getting distracted or frustrated with the admittedly not-fun job of packing for a move.


You can go all out and create an inventory or you can just get in the habit of labelling. This will save you time when unpacking and it will also guide you when carrying fragile or heavy boxes.

Your labelling system doesn’t have to be fancy, especially if you’re in a rush. Just label each box with what’s inside (Example: Plates) and what room it belongs in (Example: Kitchen).

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

We’re not saying that you can’t complete a move in under 24 hours all by yourself, but if you want to make it easier, ask for help. This means rallying your friends (i.e. bribing them with promises of pizza and beer once the move is complete), but it can also mean enlisting the help of a moving company or renting a moving truck from a storage facility.

Speaking of storage facilities, you can make your move easier by using self storage. If you’re confronted with an unexpected move, you can’t get into your new place right away or just reading this article makes you realize that that 24 hour time frame might not be doable, consider renting a storage unit to simplify the process.

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