Lindsay Smith
speed up moving

The faster you move out of your apartment, the sooner you can be finished with the whole stressful moving process! Other times, it’s not a choice, and circumstances force you to move out and into another apartment more quickly than you’d expect.

Whatever the reason, it’s possible to speed up the moving process. Here are some tips to help make that happen:

1. Start packing early

You may not think it matters how early you start packing as long as everything is ready to go by moving day, and to an extent that’s true. However, packing up early will give you ample time to go through your belongings. It also gives you time to purge excess stuff you never use or don’t need. Getting rid of things early will mean that you have to move less stuff later on. Invest that time before the truly stressful process of moving out starts to take up all your time and thoughts.

2. Stay organized

A systematic packing process can greatly increase your efficiency on moving day. Organize all of your boxes by room and make sure you know what’s in each one. You can label the boxes with all of the items that are in them, number the boxes and keep a list of items separately, or even take pictures of everything that’s going into each box. Any amount of organization will save you a lot of time rifling through boxes later, wondering where everything went.

This is especially important for of your moving information. Anything directly related to the move, like moving truck reservations, new apartment information and movers’ contact information, should be kept in an easily accessible place.

3. …But dont overthink it

Being methodical and organizing things takes a lot of time upfront, which you’ll make up with less hassle later. It’s easy, however, to spend too much time and energy organizing things. If you spend too long, you’re going to create overly elaborate systems that are either unnecessary or take more time than they’ll save you later. You’re taking stuff in one place and moving it to another place, and sometimes you just need to focus on getting it there rather than being overly clever about the process.

4. Prioritize ruthlessly

There are always a lot of things you need to do when moving, but they don’t all need to be done incredibly well. Is it really necessary for all your clothes to be neatly packed away, or can you just throw them all in garbage bags and empty the bags in the new place? Prioritize like this to save your time and effort for the things that really need your full time and attention.

5. Consolidate your belongings

Do you already have things in drawers? Leave them in the drawers and wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap to keep them from opening. While you’re at it, throw more things in the drawers, and do the same with bookshelves. Have some suitcases? Load them up, especially with heavier items, which are easier to move around on wheels. Use your shirts, sweaters, and towels as packing material rather than paper – anything to get more things in fewer containers.

6. Ask for help

This is perhaps the most important way to speed up your moving day : Get as much help as possible. Bribe your friends with beer and pizza, hire movers, or any more creative way to get more people helping. The more people you have carrying boxes, the faster everything will go.

7. Move some stuff early

Does your lease start before the big moving day? Then start moving things beforehand. Even if it’s just a couple boxes or suitcases, anything you do before moving day means one less thing to do on that day.

Ask your new landlord to let you know when the apartment will be available– if it’s a few days before moving day, you’ll have a little extra time.

8. Prepare everything the night before

You shouldn’t have anything to do on moving day but move – it’s already a daunting enough task. Everything from cleaning out the fridge to repairing the holes in your walls to packing up every last toiletry should be done the night before.

Keep some items that you’ll need that night or the next morning in a small suitcase or tote and put everything else in its box. You should also confirm your truck rental and make sure your friends know what time to head over the next day. Your goal is to, on moving day, be able to go straight from waking up to carrying boxes. Anything else you need to do will slow you down.

9. Pack the truck strategically

When packing the truck, load all of your furniture and other heavy items first, then follow up with your boxes and bags. Continue loading items from biggest to smallest to ensure you can fit all the larger boxes. Anything you threw in trash bags will be able to fit in the corners left by the boxes – maximizing just how much you can fit in the truck.

If there’s anything you’ll need right away at the new place, save it until the very end– it’ll be the last stuff to go in the truck and the first stuff to come out.


Photo by Cara Fuller on Unsplash



About The Author

Lindsay Smith is a Chicago-based freelance writer who uses her deadline-oriented writing skills for clients like Apartment Guide,, Womensforum Media Group and Brafton.