Prepare for a Move in Only 24 Hours: An Hour-By-Hour Guide

how to move in 24 hours

In a perfect world, everyone would have several months to prepare for a move. As we all know, this doesn’t always happen. In the blink of an eye, moving day appears on the horizon, and what would ideally be a leisurely task becomes a panicked rush.

Contrary to popular belief, it is in fact possible to prepare for a move in only 24 hours. It takes focus and dedication, but it can be done, and we’re going to break down every stage of the process for you.

Let’s dive in.

Get Moving/Packing Supplies: 1-3 Hours

A staggering amount of moving time is wasted on emergency trips for more boxes, spare scissors, extra tape, or bubble wrap. Before you reach for something to pack, take some time, sit down, and create a detailed list of what you’re going to need to move. Consider what you own and what kind of protection it will require for transportation.

  • If you’ve got plates to pack, will you cushion them between linens and clothing, or will you need plenty of newspaper and bubble wrap?
  • If you have a home library, how many boxes will hold your books (and do they need to be heavy-duty)?
  • How will you pack your TV?
  • If you have lots of heavy furniture to move, would a hand truck be useful?
  • Do you have the tools you need to disassemble your furniture?
  • Do you have enough trash bags/suitcases/plastic packing bins?
  • Do you have a pen for labeling boxes?

Whatever you determine you need, go out and get it now.

If you’re using a moving company, this is also the part where you should book their services. If you’re moving on a weekend or at peak moving season (basically any point between April and September), do your very best to book your moving company two months in advance. If you wait until the day of, you’ll burn through time trying to find a company that you like that isn’t also already booked to capacity, and if you can’t find anyone, you’ll be scrambling to wrangle friends or family to help out.

If you’re going to rent your own truck and move things on your own, do yourself a favor and make sure the truck has a loading ramp. Trust us – it’s a lifesaver.

Sort Your Stuff (and Trash or Donate What You Can): 1-2.5 Hours

Moving is easier when you have less to move. This isn’t to say that you should chuck everything in the trash, but it’s a good opportunity to seriously evaluate what you want to bring with you.

  • Are there clothes or shoes that you never wear, and you’ve been meaning to get rid of? It’s time.
  • Is there a hideously ugly side chair that you’ve never gotten around to throwing out? Say goodbye to it now.
  • Do you want to upgrade to a new bedroom dresser in your next place? Don’t bring your old one along just to get rid of it later.

Your piles of stuff to discard can grow as you continue packing but having a designated plan in mind will make life a lot easier as you go.

Pack Your Post-Move Bag: 1 Hour

This is your time to do something that Future You will love you for. Pack a bag with enough clothes and personal supplies for a few days, as if you were going on a short vacation. Assume that there will be nothing waiting at your new place and bring along some basic cleaning supplies, like a broom, cleaning agents, and garbage bags.

Don’t forget the supplies you’ll need to unpack! Scissors, tape, and reassembly tools will save you hours of frustration.

Disassemble Everything You Can: 2-5 Hours

Is your office desk too big or heavy to be moved from the room? Take it apart into more manageable pieces. Remove pictures from the walls (don’t forget to save the nails and screws for re-hanging) and take apart any easy-to-reassemble items, like bookshelves.

This step will streamline the packing process, but it can also save you floor space on the moving truck, which means a better chance that you won’t run out of room (and into a panic) when it’s time to load up. If you’ve got power tools, use them – they’ll save a ton of time. When you’re done, don’t forget to put those tools in with your post-move bag for reassembly later.

Pack Up, Room by Room: About 2.5 Hours Per Room

This is the stage where it’s going to be up to you to schedule your own time. Different rooms will take different amounts of time to pack up, depending on how big they are and what’s in them. For a 3-bedroom house with a living room and a kitchen, try to aim for about 2.5 hours per room. You’ve already got your packing supplies, so it should be as easy as putting things in boxes. Label boxes as you go to make unpacking easier. If you’re short on time, there are moving companies that can pack your items for you.

To keep yourself on track, set a timer or an alarm on your phone. If you’ve only got 24 hours to pack, small distractions can add up quickly. Any spare time should be used constructively. When you’re done, your belongings will be packed and ready to move, and you’ll have only spent 24 hours on the process.

Well done!

Moving Time

If you’ve got the right supplies (and some extra hands to help), packing things into a moving van can go very quickly. A hand truck or moving straps can make big items easy to carry, and the big stuff is what you’ll want to load onto the truck first. Placing most of the weight towards the front and along the sides of the truck will help make it more stable while you’re driving. Remember to place lighter objects on top of heavier ones, and never the other way around. Ultimately, you want to make sure that the weight of your belongings is evenly distributed along the truck bed.

Of course, if you’ve booked a moving company, you can just relax during this stage (and after packing in 24 hours, you’ll have earned a break). They’ll take care of everything from arriving with the moving van to professionally loading and securing your belongings. When you arrive at your new place, they’ll also help you unload your boxes and furniture for a stress-free transition.

Bonus Round: Cleaning

No one wants to move into a dirty space. Do the new tenants a favor and tidy up after all the foot traffic by vacuuming, dusting, and sweeping. It shouldn’t take more than an hour or two, depending on the size of your space. If you’re ambitious, a quick mop can make floors look fantastic.

Moving is a big job, so if you’re looking for some professional help, give us a call at (561) 832-6156 or contact us online. We provide moving services for both local and long-distance moves (and we can even help you pack).