Let’s face it: moving can be a truly nerve-racking experience. In addition to leaving loving memories and maybe even friends and family behind, there is something else that you’ll need to leave: your comfort zone. Squeezing your life (and your needs *sigh*) into tiny boxes is difficult, and it might make things feel a bit overwhelming.
But don’t worry: there are ways to overcome these difficult times before the move, even if you don’t have a lot of experience.
Consider, for example, consulting a useful moving tasks checklist, which covers the most important things you need to take into account before moving, or asking moving experts for additional tips and tricks.
But no matter how hectic things get: it’s never too late to turn your move into a neatly and well-organized one.
Check out these 6 battle-tested last-minute moving tips that saved me a lot of trouble over the past years. The best thing? They cost next to nothing, and it doesn’t take a lot of time to make them happen!
1. Last-Minute Moving Tip: Opt for Subtle Yet Clear Box Labels
There are quite a few interesting tips on how to label your moving boxes. The thing is, they often fail to see the bigger picture, which is particularly important if you can’t know for sure who is going to be in contact with your moving boxes.
Truck drivers might, for example, leave the boxes unattended for a couple of minutes, or a shady person might be traveling with the same transport service as your boxes; some of which afterwards might be missing.
You probably can’t control what happens there, but what you can do is to not expose the content of your boxes more than necessary. Avoid labels like jewellery, stereo equipment, or stamp collection. Even labels like kitchen supplies might suggest that the box contains something worth selling – and also worth stealing. Labels like fragile are, however, still necessary and important!
A subtle and therefore safer way to label your boxes is to use simple numbers and make a detailed list of the box content on a separate sheet of paper you’ll carry in your wallet. And it really is a last-minute moving tip, because you can do it even half an hour before the movers come knocking on your door.
Also, be sure to write the number on all four sides of the box (numbers at the top of the box are usually useless, except if you’re planning on storing them horizontally), so that you don’t have to move other boxes to find the one you’re looking for.
2. Last-Minute Moving Tip: Prepare an Emergency Bag
Emergency bags contain things you’ll most definitely need to make it through the moving day. My emergency bag always contains the following things:
- magnesium supplements: they improve muscle function and reduce fatigue;
- vitamin C supplements: they support your immune system;
- chocolate and snacks: in addition to being great mood boosters, sweets will help you get back on track in no time;
- band-aids and bandaging material: this is a last-minute moving tip you should really take to heart. You never know when and if you might need them, but when you do – you need to have them at hands asap.
3. Last-Minute Moving Tip: Prepare An Emergency Box
As opposed to emergency bags, emergency boxes have a more technical purpose.
Most of us have been there: almost everything is gone, all the boxes are in the van, and then you see it. A strange stain on the floor. The 5 huge pillows on the cardboard you forgot. Argh. And the things you need to fix this just never seem to be around.
It took me about three rather difficult moves to realize that there is a baffingly simple way to be prepared for this kind of situation: get an emergency bag. It’s very quick and simple, and considering all the trouble you could go through without these items, one might even call this the most important last-minute moving tip. My emergency bag always includes:
- towels and lots of cloths;
- universal cleaner;
- a pocket knife;
- sealing tape;
- garbage bags.
Strong garbage bags can be a real lifesaver if you run out of boxes. Or if you need a clean spot to sit on.
You can, of course, add other things you think you might need. After all, it’s a last-minute moving tip, not a last-minute moving rule.
4. Last-Minute Moving Tip: Be Careful with Your Valuables
Mishandling your valuables is often considered to be one of the biggest moving mistakes.
You can choose to leave your valuables in the van or to leave them in the apartment, but the fact is that both places can be left unattended for a certain amount of time. Unfortunately, the dark side notices things like that.
What I prefer is to carry the most important things (phone, ID, money, keys) with me in a bag that allows me to move and lift freely.
Whether or not you choose to carry your valuables with you, make sure you still have at least a spare pocket (with zipper, please!).
5. Last-Minute Moving Tip: Know Where You Are, Where to Go, and Write it Down
With all the work that needs to be done, don’t forget that you’ll need to be able to continue with your daily routine as normally as possible after having locked the door of your former place. Chances are you’ll feel like Robinson Crusoe if you don’t do the necessary research about your new neighborhood before actually arriving there. This is why this last-minute moving tip is also a last-minute tip for surviving the first couple of days at your new place.
What you’ll need to do is to make a list of nearby grocery stores, taxi numbers, pharmacies and internet cafes (you’d be surprised how difficult it is to get internet access in certain places), and most importantly: carry this list with you for the first couple of days.
It’s a simple, yet powerful last-minute moving tip that saved me tons of trouble, which I could have gotten myself into by simply assuming everything would just fall into place somehow.
6. Last-Minute Moving Tip: Bring Something with You That Will Give Your New Home That Instant ‚Home Sweet Home‘ Feeling
Honestly, there are nicer things than arriving at a messy and seemingly empty new apartment after a hard day. So anything that can put a smile on your face a give your new home a little bit of warmth will be more than welcome.
Choose something that is not fragile and that fits into your emergency bag or pocket (grandmas antique porcelain vase she gave you at her deathbed might not be the best choice).
Whether it is a funny mug from a dear friend of yours, a picture of your loved ones, or a piece of candy from your nieces – anything that will help you feel at home in a New York minute will do!