Moving is never easy, but when you have to move quickly, it can feel like a much more difficult task. With that in mind, we’ve brought you four tips on how to stay organized when you’re moving on a short deadline.

moving on a short deadline

Make a to-do list

Finding out that you need to make a move can be overwhelming, especially when it needs to happen on a tight deadline. That’s why the first thing to do in this scenario is to take the time to organize your thoughts by creating a to-do list. This will give you the structure you need to move through the rest of your move.

Start by doing a brain dump of all the little tasks you can think of related to your move. Include everything you can think of from scheduling movers to buying packing supplies or having a charitable service come pick up donations.
Then, once you’re done, write the list out once more. This time, do your best to put the tasks in a chronological order.

Once you’re done, keep the list close at hand so you can refer back to it during the moving process. Don’t be afraid to add to it any time you think of something new that you need to do. Additionally, remember to check tasks off as you complete them.

Establish a Timeline

Deadlines can easily be missed or overlooked when you’re in a rush. Consider making a binder or folder to keep all important moving documents. My first page would be a to do page that’s organized by deadlines. The faster you get a timeline going, the faster you can start checking off the list and prioritizing what needs to be done.

Research and Reserve

Reserve your movers, temporary hotel or living situations as soon as possible. I would research and get recommendations for about 3-5 movers as well as living options in order to not get overwhelmed. As soon as you know where you’ll be moving to, don’t wait on finding a place to live. If you’re not sure you want to stay in a certain house, you can ask if they offer short leases. Military housing usually offers month-to-month in case you change your mind.

Follow a packing system

As you pack, you’ll also want to follow a system that will help keep you as organized as possible. Every person knows what type of system will work best for them, but we have a few suggestions to help you get started:

  • Start by gathering all the packing materials you’ll need for the room,
  • Use soft items like t-shirts or oven mitts to protect more breakable items
  • Don’t pack your clothes separately from their drawers. Simply secure the drawers closed with [product name] and move them as-is.
  • Create a color-coded labeling system with markers that allows you to see where boxes belong with just a glance.
  • Make a list of all the items in each box. That way, you won’t have to go hunting for items that you need when you arrive at your destination.

No matter what type of system you create, consistency is the key. Follow the same system for all of your boxes. Not only will doing so help you become more efficient at packing as the system starts to become second nature, but it will also help you stay organized so you’ll have a better idea of what you’re unpacking when you get to your new home.