San Francisco’s Guide on How To Pack To Move In A Hurry When Every Minute Counts

Posted in: Moving Hacks

Written by: Amelia Mead

You promised yourself you wouldn’t be packing in a hurry, but here you are, sweat dripping from your forehead, and you’re asking yourself: how do I pack and move in 2 days? Although it seems like a challenge, with our tips on how to pack to move in a hurry, you will be done in the blink of an eye. So how do you pack a last-minute move? Well, it all starts with asking the right questions.

How Soon Before Moving Should I Start Packing?

So, you got a new job in one of the best places to live in Bay Area you always dreamed about. You are glad you can finally move to your dream home. However, you’re unsure how long it will take you to box everything up? Well, ideally, you want to have at least a full day reserved for boxing up. Do not be fooled tho, there is so much more that goes into packing than just boxing up your belongings.

Before you even begin, you should start with planning and making a relocation to-do list. When packing to move in a hurry, it might be tempting to throw all of your belongings in cartons and call it a day. However, you might regret this appealing tactic later on in the relocation process. That’s why we recommend you start your process by creating two lists – one for the boxing supplies and the other one for choosing which belongings you will be taking to the new apartment.

Make a Checklist of Supplies You’ll Need

If you are attempting to move and box up on your own without calling local movers in Bay Area, you will need some packing supplies. We recommend that before you visit your local supplies store, you make sure which supplies you already own. For example, almost every household will have objects such as a pair of scissors, post-it notes, markers, and some tape. It might not be a bad idea to also get crafty with your supplies since good relocation hacks can save you both money and space.

Don’t stock up on items right before the move, and try to use socks and towels for cushioning instead of bubble wrap. Garbage bags are another common item you can employ in multiple ways. For example, garbage bags can become your last-minute improvised luggage, as well as a way to box up easily (and later take out) clothes you usually keep on hangers. However, you won’t have everything you’ll require at home. Some of the supplies you might not have and will need to buy are the following:

  • Cartons in different sizes (small, medium, large, TV boxes),
  • Furniture pads,
  • Box cutter,
  • Measuring tape.

The truth is you do not want to buy unnecessary equipment, but you also do not want to be going back and forth to the store. Thinking in advance and making a list of supplies is a crucial first step you won’t want to miss! If your relocation expenses checklist allows you to hire professional Bay Area movers, you can skip this entire step since Bay Area moving companies already have all boxing supplies.

person taping over the box
Double-check which boxing up materials you already own

Pack Only the Necessary – The Best Way to Purge Your House

As already mentioned, you shouldn’t hoard unnecessary objects, so decluttering should be one of the first thighs on your list. As you might have realized, a big part of boxing up is actually making lists. Another essential list is a list of objects you will want to throw away, recycle, donate or resell. When it comes to choosing between what to keep and what to throw away, the most important tip is to not let your feelings guide you. You want to think practically about your belongings.

When it comes to your stuff, ask yourself how often do you use particular objects. If you haven’t used something in more than three months, maybe it’s time to put it in one of the give-away boxes. Once you’ve decided what stuff to keep, assemble four bins for the stuff that no longer serves you: one for recycling, one for throwing away, one for donations, and the last one for reselling. If you would like to resell some objects, it might be a good idea to have your camera phone with you. This way, you can take pictures and post them online. You can even send them to your friends and family to give them the first pick. If you are unsure how to downsize for a move, take a look at the video below for more tips on decluttering.

Tips on How to Pack to Move in a Hurry: The Boxing up Order

Once you’ve decided on objects that are definitely coming with you, it’s time to think about the order in which to box them up. Since you’re looking for the best way to move efficiently, the order of boxing up your belongings is going to be a crucial part of the process. We recommend it goes something like this:

  • Box up the furniture and other heavy pieces first. Be careful when it comes to relocating your piano and similar heavy objects since these can be a real safety hazard. Cleaning out the biggest objects first will give you a clearer picture of how much room, both in the trucks you rented and in your new home, is left for the rest of your things.
  • Decorative, breakable objects are the second to be packed. At this point, focus on how to box up books, lamps, and framed photos – the smaller, more fragile objects. This is when you will need your boxing supplies, such as cushioning, at hand, in order to move everything safely.
  • Essentials are the last to go. Essentials will be the last objects you will use and the first ones you will want to take out after you move. Make sure to also put them at the most accessible position in the truck since you won’t want to spend hours later on looking for them. If you have a pet, you’ll have to think about its essentials too. Our advice would be to leave a pet with a friend or a family member so that your animal companion doesn’t get stressed. If you do not have this as an option, check out our tips for relocating with pets.
packed up room
Box up the bulkiest objects first

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Boxing up is a lot easier when done in company, and a lot more fun too! It is known that two brains think better than one (especially when the only thing in your mind is how to pack for a move quickly), two pairs of eyes can better see what was missed, two pairs of feet will move faster, and most importantly, two pairs of hands will box up and carry things more easily.

Calling up someone who isn’t consumed by the pressure of the move is an excellent way to ease up all that relocation stress you are under. Call up your friends and family for help, put on some music, and get to work. If you didn’t have time to organize a going-away party, this could be your little way of saying goodbye to the home you are leaving behind. As a thank-you, your helpers can get the first pick out of all those things you’re planning to donate or resell.

two girls ready for packing
Friends and family can turn a move into a going-away party

What to Look Out for When Boxing up in a Hurry?

When wondering how to pack quickly, do not forget to do it smartly as well. The general rule of thumb is that the last room for cleaning out is the kitchen. At the same time, a lot of kitchen appliances, such as toasters, fancy silverware, and champagne glasses, are not going to be lying around until the last minute. These items you tend to use more rarely will go under your second, decorative, and specialty category of items. It’s crucial not to overextend the essentials category – there is a reason it is called that way.

What you might need to keep out until the very last minute are forks and knives, can openers for some quick meals, a water heater, and, let’s be honest – maybe even a wine opener. Do not forget to leave out some detergent and a sponge to wash the dishes once you are done, or perhaps just opt-out for some plastic utensils for this occasion. Watch out when boxing up dishes because such fragile objects must be boxed up carefully to avoid damage. If local movers are helping you with the move, keep in mind that there are some items movers won’t move, one of which is food – so if you plan on taking food with you, consider taking it via your own vehicle.

The Best Would Be to Pack a Moving Day Essentials Bag

Think about your move as taking a multiple-day trip – essentially, you are going to be traveling to a different location, even if it is only a few blocks away. So, you might want to bring a small bag of essentials with you, containing all items you would take on a few day’s trip. In your quest to understand how to pack quickly for a move, you might forget about the things you will need for the big day of the move. Trust us – you do not want to end up without any fresh clothes and with only slippers for shoes.

You will want to have your medication, some clothes, and toiletries close to you. These essentials will keep you afloat until you get nice and settled. Amidst all the relocating chaos, you should also keep in mind that you will have to eat something before, during, and after relocating, and you will probably be too tired to cook once you move. One of our recommendations is to leave out comfy clothes for the move, as well as a few cans of pre-made food, maybe some fruit, and a bottle of water.

suitcases near the colorful wall
Bring a small suitcase of essentials as if you are going for a holiday.

Don’t Forget to Label Your Stuff as You Go

This step can seem redundant but think about your future self. After two stressful days, you do not want to spend hours and hours on the first day in your new home looking for that one box with pots and pans just to make some coffee. One of the most straightforward tips to help you avoid all this fuss is to have a marker at hand at all times while boxing up.

Chances are, your boxes will contain a lot of stuff that do not typically go together. For example, you might find your favorite flower vase in the same place as makeup and toilet paper, so if this happens, do not forget to put multiple labels on the carton to avoid unnecessary confusion. Do not forget to label boxes with breakables and valuables as ”fragile”.

box with a fragile sign on it
Remember to label all of your cartons, especially those with fragile objects

Remember to Clean Before Leaving

The final essential box you want to leave out until the very last moment is your box with cleaning supplies. If you want to get the deposit money you left to your soon-to-be former landlord, then chances are you need to leave the apartment spotless on your way out.

Although hiring a cleaning company might be more efficient, paying for cleaning might turn out to be a costly venture. If you opt-out for cleaning the home yourself, here is a simple tip to keep in mind: start cleaning from the top of the apartment and work your way down. You should start with things like the ceiling fan, walls, and windows and leave the cleaning and vacuuming of floors for the end to avoid re-doing these tasks.

Do a Final Walk Around the House to Inspect Everything

Yay, you are almost done! One last step is needed, though, so do not forget to check every room one last time to make sure you didn’t leave anything behind. Before leaving, turn off the lights on your way out, as well as ceiling fans.

a hand holding cleaning supplie
Clean the apartment before you leave to get the deposit money

When in Doubt, Call Golden Bay Relocation to the Rescue

Let’s be honest – if you are under a deadline and in the position to hire one of the moving companies in Bay Area, it might not be a bad idea to do just that. Choosing the right local movers in Bay Area might seem complicated since there are quite a few of them and even some that employ relocation scams. Although we can’t choose for you, we can say that our company is a safe, affordable, and trustworthy moving company in Bay Area. We provide packing services as well as residential moving services, and even commercial relocation if you are moving your office or corporate space. If you need someone to assist you with the packing and moving, or just some manpower to carry your load, our experienced movers in San Francisco can help you with this since we provide labor-only moving services. Don’t hesitate to contact us for any questions and concerns you have – we will be happy to assist you in any way possible.

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Amelia Mead
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