How to Prepare for Last-Minute Moving?

Posted Moving Tips and Tricks / June 17, 2022
Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

You’ve probably heard that relocation is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life, and that can be especially true for those planning to move abroad. However, it can turn into an absolute nightmare when you don’t have enough time on your hands. Last-minute moving abroad is challenging to complete – but not impossible. Here is all you should do to make moving overseas on a tight schedule successful.

To complete a last-minute move successfully, you have to put all of your organizational skills to work. Create a checklist and timetable for all the tasks that must be completed before the relocation day – gather important documentation, set the budget, notify others about the move, and pack efficiently. However, keep in mind that hiring movers is the best way to achieve a successful move, especially if it’s on short notice.

First Rule of Organizing a Last-Minute Move – Stay Calm

Relocation stress is a common companion of each move, but especially an international one. It’s not easy thinking about how you’ll be far away from your loved ones or that you’ll be living in a foreign country, surrounded only by the unfamiliar. Not to mention that the consequences of relocation mistakes can be much worse when you’re not even in the same country to fix them! All of that combined is threatening to significantly affect your anxiety levels – if you don’t put a stop to it first.

Keeping calm and staying organized is key to any successful move. Even when you’re relocating in a hurry, good organization will help you stay collected enough to complete the move. The essential thing to remember is not to tackle all the tasks at once but one at a time. Not only will you avoid making mistakes, but you’ll see the progress in the relocation process, which will undoubtedly keep you calmer.

Of course, remember that an international move cannot be the same as a local or even long-distance one. While you can get the answers on “How do you move house in 3 days?” or “How do you move in 24 hours?” when you move within the same country, when you plan to move across the world, a bit more extended period is not only preferable but often necessary.

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Get as Much Last-Minute Moving Help as Possible

The more people are involved in relocation preparations, the more you’ll be able to speed up the process. Therefore, contact your friends, family, and relatives – anyone who can help you in any form should be welcomed into your house with open arms. Don’t be above begging! Tasks such as wrapping, boxing up, protecting, cleaning, or even pet and babysitting can be completed easier and faster with a little bit of help on the side.

That being said, hiring an overseas shipping company is your safest bet when you want to move efficiently and safely. Moreover, if you plan to live in another country, getting professional relocation services is more of a necessity than a commodity. Every international move implies complicated shipping overseas logistics. Therefore, everyone who doesn’t plan to move with just a backpack and a smile on their face must research the best companies around – no matter how many days they have until the move.

Use All the Additional Services International Movers Can Offer

The more professional help you get, the less you’ll have to do on your own and, therefore, the sooner you’ll be able to move. Getting packing services, for example, can save you a lot of time. Gathering all the supplies and equipment and wrapping and boxing up will be the movers’ responsibility.

The same goes with shipping a car overseas. If you opt for professional overseas vehicle shipping, all you have to do (once packed) is fly over to your new home. Driving such a long distance is not only unsafe, but it can also steal a lot of precious hours. More importantly, it’s often not even possible. Therefore, when you decide to get in touch with an international moving company, be sure you’re informed about all the additional services you can use – and get them.

Finding the Right Mover on a Short Notice

Movers are there to save the day when your reasons for relocating demand you move in a hurry, but you must ensure they are legitimate and trustworthy. Although it’s an option that can be completed the fastest, you can’t just go with the first company you stumble upon. If you want to find a reliable overseas moving company, you must:

  • Take a quick look at their reviews and recommendations – pay special attention to reviews on BBB and complaint records on FMCSA’s website,
  • Schedule more than one virtual estimate – organizing in-home estimates will waste much of your precious time, but virtual ones can be completed much faster.
  • Compare the quotes – although your initial instinct will be to go with the cheapest one, take a second to think. It’s always better to choose movers that show professionalism and good customer service than simply the most affordable ones.
  • Check if the company is insured and licensed – when you first contact the company’s representatives, ask about their US DOT number to check their insurance and license status.

Make Sure You Have All Documentation You Need

Moving internationally means that you must have a passport valid for at least the next six months – if it’s not, the first thing you have to do is run to get a new one. Keep in mind that, even with the expedited processing, you may wait up to seven months. And that’s just one of the documents needed to travel abroad. The other one is, naturally, a visa.

The good news is that many countries worldwide allow entry for US citizens, even without travel visas. However, if you plan on relocating to Egypt, Brazil, Bolivia, or Australia, for example, a visa will be required. The period for obtaining a visa depends on the visa type and the country you’re relocating to. If you’ve decided to move to France, for example, visa processing takes up to twenty workdays, while obtaining a visa for relocating to Greece takes five days less, on average.

So, how do I move immediately, you asked? Only when you have a valid passport and don’t need a visa to enter the future country – but even then, it’s quite an impossible task. However, note that you’ll have to gather other types of documents, such as marriage and birth certificates, as well as tax records – don’t forget that US citizens are subjected to the double taxation policy after they move overseas. As for medical, vet, and school records (if you’re relocating with kids or going to college abroad), find out if there is a way to transfer them electronically so you don’t waste precious hours gathering them.

Create a Doable Last-Minute Moving Checklist

In order to stay organized in all the chaos and hurry, you’ll have to create a rational to-do list with all the tasks that must be completed before the relocation day. Aside from hiring movers and gathering documentation, the moving abroad checklist must also include:

  • Reduced research of the new country – you won’t be able to go into details of a new culture, but you must be informed about the official currency, language, and the like.
  • Set a relocation budget – when you start planning the move, you must know how much money you have at your disposal.
  • Change the address – How do I move without neighbors knowing? You can’t do so with the mail piling in your old mailbox! Go to the nearest USPS postal office, but don’t forget to notify all other important institutions about the move, like insurance, healthcare and utility providers, banks, lenders, IRS, and Social Security Administration.
  • Say goodbye to friends and family – it would be good to squeeze in a goodbye party for both your sake and the sake of your loved ones.

International Moving on a Tight Schedule Will Cost More, So Be Prepared for It

Ideally, relocation services should be booked at least several months in advance. However, it’s impossible when you’re relocating in a hurry. Many reliable companies will likely be already booked once you contact them, or the price of the move will go up due to short notice. On top of that, keep in mind that last-minute flights usually cost significantly more than those booked in advance. Therefore, it gets pretty complicated combining a relocation on a low budget with the move in a hurry.

Additionally, a move on short notice makes it harder to save up some money, so you need to find a way to financially support yourself when you start living overseas. Take a look at the video below to get some ideas on how to do it:

Ingenious Last-Minute Moving Tips for Rapid Packing

Packaging is the hardest part of each relocation process – and the one that takes up the most of your pre-relocation days. Therefore, if you’re relocating in a hurry but don’t want to get a professional packing service, memorize all of the following relocation hacks:

Look for boxing up supplies in your house

What is the easiest and cheapest way to move? If you don’t want much of your money and hours to go into finding and purchasing packaging supplies, learn how to work with what you already got. Used boxes, shopping, garbage and duffle bags, plastic containers, and even pots can all be used as storing spaces.

On the other hand, using clothes, towels, and linens for wrapping and padding will provide good protection for your belongings. Moreover, you’ll be packaging those items simultaneously, killing two birds with one stone. Don’t worry – you’ll iron them once you move.

Declutter, declutter, declutter

The fewer objects you have to pack, the less time you’ll spend on packing and less money on relocating. So, be ruthless when purging through your home and bring only those belongings you can’t live without. All of the rest can be bought later on once you settle. As for the unwanted items, throw away the unusable ones, and leave others to your loved ones to sell or donate the rest. Of course, consider getting a storage service for all those belongings you’re indecisive about.

Pack items as they are

If you decide to bring your furniture, make sure you leave the things inside them as they are. What does it mean? When packing clothes, for example, leave them on the hangers – just ensure they stay protected by using a garbage bag. The same goes for the objects in drawers, cabinets, and the like. Once you secure things inside, don’t forget to seal the furniture shut, so they don’t open during the move.

Pack room by room

While it’s nice to pack while following the logic of similar things together, it will last long. Instead, finish boxing up one room before getting to the other. Your only concern should be not to overfill boxes and not to leave any free space in them.

When Packing, Set Aside a Box with Essential Items

Moving by sea is the most common choice when it comes to international moves, but it implies that you’ll have to wait a while for your cargo to arrive. In the meantime, you’ll need the daily essentials such as a change of clothes, toiletries, electronics (with chargers), and medications. Therefore, prepare a separate suitcase for those essentials and ensure it stays with you during the relocation day and the whole move to another country.

Hire the Best International Movers Near You, and They’ll Be Able to Handle Any Kind of Move

How do I move at the last minute, you wanted to know? We provided you with many useful suggestions, but nothing tops the benefits you’ll gain from hiring reliable movers. But what to do while waiting for moving professionals to finish the job? There are plenty of relocation tasks that demand your attention. Learning about the future home is one of them. It will help you get over the initial culture shock and ease the adapting process, making adjusting to a new country easier and more enjoyable. So, let your relocation team do what they know best while you start preparing for the new chapter of your life.

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