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9 Last-Minute Packing Tips for Moving

A man and woman load Penske boxes onto a moving truck.

If moving day is fast approaching and you’re short on time, use these last-minute tips to pack your belongings efficiently, stay on schedule and ensure a smooth transition to your new home.

1. Create a Plan

A younger man and woman look a packing list on an iPad.

Create a packing list to prioritize what needs to be packed. To start, focus on packing everyday items such as clothing, toiletries and medications, then make a list of rooms to tackle in order of priority to stay organized and on track.

2. Prioritize Your Moving Day Essentials

A woman packs items into a small suitcase.

When time is limited, focus on packing essential items first. Gather important documents, medications, toiletries, snacks, water, a first aid kit, tools and a change of clothes in a separate box or bag to keep with you during the move. This ensures easy access to necessities throughout the day, avoiding the need to rummage through packed boxes during the move. For additional ideas, check out our Moving Day Survival Kit Checklist.

3. Gather Packing Supplies

A woman in her living room wraps a vase in bubble wrap to pack.

Gather all necessary packing supplies before you begin. Stock up on boxes, tape and bubble wrap to avoid interruptions during packing. Having everything you need on hand will help you pack quickly and efficiently.

4. Utilize Multi-Use Packing Materials

Get creative with your packing materials. In addition to bubble wrap, use towels, blankets and clothing to cushion fragile items and fill empty spaces in boxes. This protects your belongings and saves space in your rental truck by eliminating the need for additional packing materials.

5. Label Boxes Clearly

With limited time, you can speed up the packing process by labeling boxes. Use a marker to write the contents of each box and the room it belongs in, making it easier to find items when unpacking. In addition to writing out each room name, color code each room and its corresponding boxes to make unloading easy enough for anyone to know exactly where it belongs.

6. Pack Clothes in Bins or Bags

Instead of folding and packing clothes in boxes, save time by putting them directly into plastic containers or large bags. This eliminates the need for folding and lets you transport clothing to your new home without worrying about unpacking boxes later.

7. Utilize Suitcases and Totes

Use suitcases, backpacks and tote bags to pack heavier items such as books or small appliances. Suitcases are easy to roll and accommodate bulky items, while backpacks and tote bags are perfect for transporting smaller items like shoes, accessories or fragile items. For additional packing tips and tricks, read Six Creative Packing Hacks for a Less Stressful Move.

8. Enlist Help

A man and woman carry Penske boxes out of the house to a yellow moving van.

Ask friends or family members to help pack and load the rental truck. Assign specific tasks to each person to streamline the process and ensure everything gets done quickly.

9. Plan for Unforseen Circumstances

A man, woman and their dog sit on the floor holding a laptop surrounded by open moving boxes.

Unexpected delays or challenges may arise. Stay flexible and have a backup plan, such as reserving additional time with your rental truck.

With these last-minute packing tips, you can pack efficiently and stay on schedule, ensuring a smooth and stress-free moving experience. Remember to stay organized, prioritize essential items and enlist the help of others to make the process as easy as possible.

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