Are you moving in 2 weeks and still not ready? There’s no time for lecturing; you’ve got a lot to do in a less-than-ideal amount of time.
However, it is doable, and yes, you can still move.
At the risk of sounding cliché, it’s extremely important that you avoid panicking right now.
Because now it’s time for action.
In the third episode of our Master Your Move series, Erin, our Austin Market Manager, is back with the best advice for moving out in a time crunch.
Here are Erin’s top tips on how to prepare for a moving company within two weeks—whether you live in an apartment or a house!
P.S. Don’t forget to download the checklist for moving in 2 weeks!
Top Things to Do 2 Weeks Ahead (No Matter Where You’re Moving)
“Two weeks will fly by fast, and spots fill up quickly.”
— Erin. 3 Men Movers Market Manager, Austin
You probably thought you had more time. After all, two weeks can seem like enough.
But, it really isn’t… Especially considering everything you have to do, like:
- Find a moving company
- Donate or get rid of anything you don’t want to take with you
- Packing everything you own (including the supplies, closing/taping and labeling boxes)
- Handle other move-related errands (like changing your address, vehicle, or voter registration, setting up new utilities, etc)
- And finally, the actual move day
Not to mention unpacking and setting up your new place, or shopping around for anything you need to get settled.
Remember, you’re also competing with hundreds of other people who need to move due to expiring leases!
So, if you’ve done absolutely none of the above, take a deep breath, read on, and download the checklist for moving in 2 weeks!
General Tips For Moving in 2 Weeks:
Erin highly recommends some key steps to prepare for moving company in just 2 weeks… No matter where you’re moving to or from:
- Book a mover as fast as possible. This is extremely important during peak moving seasons (like summer) when tons of people are moving. Not sure what to look for? We’ve got just the right questions to ask—especially if you want to move quickly—and how to find a legitimate company.
- Clearly label the contents and anything fragile.
- Check on parking or truck access from the street. Make sure you speak to your landlord or neighbors first to avoid any conflicts.
- Schedule any necessary appointments as far in advance as possible (e.g. reserving an elevator, hiring an electrician, locating cleaners or specialty disposal, finding contractors to disassemble certain items like playground or workout equipment). You’ll also want to note the times.
- Get packing supplies. Take stock of the easily damaged things you have, (like TVs, mirrors, glasses, artwork, jewelry, etc.) If you’re packing yourself, buy or repurpose supplies that can make packing easier: strong boxes, packing tape, permanent markers, blankets for wrapping, bubble wrap, leg casters, box dividers (or clean towels) for glasses and dishes, and plastic wrap or tarp for transporting live, potted plants. MASTER TIP: Break out and use the boxes or cases that your devices came in (e.g. TVs, jewelry, lamps, cookware).
- Call your moving company and check your appointment. If movers haven’t already done a virtual or in-person walkthrough, take photos or video and send it to them yourself. This is especially key if you’re using the company’s packing services. MASTER TIP: Open all closets, cabinets, doors, and drawers so the company can accurately gauge how much they’ll be packing and/or moving. Review your quote with them and ask about any additional fees not outlined that could be tacked on after your move for certain reasons.
- 2 nights & 1 night before moving: get a good night’s rest, because sleep deprivation adds up and leaves most people less than alert. Trust us, you don’t want to be grumpy or groggy while you’re moving.
- Pack up the last things you’ll use in the morning. Toiletries, cosmetics, medication/vitamins, snacks, dog food, kid’s supplies—think of everything you know you’ll need to use on move day that won’t go on the truck. Keep them easily accessible by using a backpack, suitcase, or duffel bag and toss it in your car. The same goes for live, potted plants; make room in your vehicle, because they can’t legally be transported in a moving truck. MASTER TIP: Wrap plants and tarp your floor so the soil doesn’t spill.
- Make sure you have your payment ready. When you first book and sign, all scheduled charges should be explained and documented upfront. You definitely don’t want your move day to arrive and you’re unable to pay. Legally, moving companies can retain your items on their trucks until you can pay as agreed in your contract. No one likes being in that situation, so make sure you have enough money to cover your move (you can always call the mover later if there’s an issue!) MASTER TIP: If payment is a problem, save yourself and your moving company some awkwardness and cancel or reschedule for when you’re ready.
- Check labels & move boxes out of the way. Clearing a path for your movers to get to and from your apartment door is the best way to make your move faster. MASTER TIP: Make sure any fragile items are clearly marked on all sides of the box with an arrow facing upwards.
- Do one last sweep with movers before leaving. The worst feeling is leaving something behind. (Plus, it’s a nightmare if you’re moving long-distance!) Avoid this by doing one final sweep of your entire apartment or home. MASTER TIP: While moving, leave open all closets, cabinets, and drawers to make sure you and your movers don’t miss a thing. Get a step ladder to check on top of kitchen cabinets where a lot of people often place decorations.
Download Your Free 2-Week Moving Checklist
Whether you’re moving from a house or apartment, this free, 3-page guide will help you prepare in under two weeks. Simply click to download!
Preparing to Move From an Apartment in 2 Weeks:
If you’re making the move from an apartment to a house, you’ll have some specific things to consider. Most likely, you’ll have more time constraints moving out than moving into a neighborhood.
According to Erin, this is the best way to prep two weeks before moving from an apartment.
As soon as you know you’re moving out of an apartment:
- Repair any and all damages. This is a big one because apartments will charge you for damages after you’ve moved out (even if they were already there). While you still live in your apartment, it’s 100% free to notify your leasing office about existing damages and have them repaired!
- Make necessary reservations at your apartment complex. You might be required to reserve an elevator, parking spots, or do certain things before you move. The complex may also need to adhere to certain procedures or do things like install hangers in your reserved elevator for the movers. Talk to the leasing office in advance and give them ample details.
- Clean your apartment thoroughly. Tackle the biggest, dirtiest jobs first (do a bit every day). That way the lighter cleaning can wait until move day so you’re not overwhelmed or in the way. You could even get your deposit back if it’s clean enough! MASTER TIP: schedule your move so you have an extra day to intensively clean your apartment after all the furniture is gone.
5-7 days before moving from your apartment:
- Start packing everything. Being overwhelmed is a major factor of stress during move day. Packing early eliminates that. Moving companies often offer packing and/or unpacking if you don’t want to do it all on your own. At 3 Men Movers, we not only offer both services, but our unpackers will organize everything so you’re prepared to start living.
- Declutter & see what you can sell/give away. This is a great time not only to pack, but to go through any junk or things you no longer want that can be donated. Certain clothing consignments may be able to give you extra cash for your unwanted attire, or you can drop them off at nonprofit centers.
2-4 days before moving from your apartment:
- Revisit your apartment office & recap your move day. Is there anything you forgot to tell the leasing office? Perhaps there’s something your movers told you that changes your plans a bit? Either way, let your office know. On the flip side, inform your leasing office how your move day will generally go and ensure all your reservations still stand, uninterrupted. Review parking options and the permitted loading areas, then relay this info to your moving company. (You don’t want movers wasting any time trying to determine where to park or load).
- Wrap up any major cleaning and repairs. Even if you’ve booked your move so that you have an extra day to clean your empty apartment, you should still have most of it done. Repairs should definitely be done at least a day before movers set foot in your apartment.
The same day you’re moving out of an apartment:
- Communicate with your movers. While they should have all the important information before they arrive, it never hurts to check twice. Call the company when they open and ask if everything is on schedule.
- When movers arrive, show them everything. Like where certain things are, (e.g., stairs, parking and loading dock, elevators, etc.) Also, during peak seasons, some highly-requested crews may be busier than normal. If you’re not the first appointment of the day, this could push back your move start time a bit—especially if the previous job had more items than expected or if they weren’t totally prepared.
Preparing to Move From a House in 2 Weeks:
If you’re moving from a house, you do have more flexibility as far as time and parking availability. But there are still some ways you can specifically prepare if you’re two weeks away from moving and not ready.
As soon as you know you’re moving out of a house:
- Start packing right away. You might have fewer time constraints than an apartment-dweller, but none of that matters if you’re not packed before move day. Start cleaning and clearing out old junk, too. You’ll likely have more unwanted stuff if you live in a house rather than an apartment.
- Talk to your neighbors. Communicate with your neighbors in advance so there will be a spot for your movers’ truck. You don’t want your movers to have to compete with other contractors or personal vehicles if your neighbors are using services or hosting gatherings on the same day. Your move will definitely take longer if crew members have to walk from down the street to move items out of your home.
- Book your move at the appropriate time. While you don’t have to worry about handing over the keys to a leasing agent right away, you still should be considerate. So when you’re scheduling your move, keep in mind any conflicting information you uncovered while speaking with neighbors.
7-10 days before moving from a house:
- Get repairs and contracting services done. If you’re renting, ask your landlord about repairs.
- Thoroughly label and number your boxes. As listed under the General tips, you should already have gotten moving boxes and supplies and started packing. Besides simply writing ‘fragile’ on your boxes, number them to match the rooms they will go into at the new place. (More on that below).
5-10 days before moving out of a house:
- Schedule contractors to dismantle any special or expensive items. Certain furniture and equipment must be dismantled before moving (like grandfather clocks, light fixtures, Peloton bikes, gun safes that are bolted into the floor or need doors removed).
- Get the proper equipment, casing, boxes, wraps, etc. for any instruments, jewelry, ammunition).
1-2 days before your move from a house:
- Communicate any obstacles getting to your home. When your moving company opens, give them a call to let them know if there’s anything out of the ordinary. Is your street clear? Are your neighbors doing construction or expecting lots of cars on the street? Will there be any hills that movers have to traverse while hauling your stuff to the truck? What about low-hanging trees or cables?
- Assist with a virtual walkthrough. Send your moving company photos of how much stuff you need to move. A simple cell phone photo of each room will do, but remember to snap your closets, cabinets, dressers with clothing, and outdoor furniture. Knowing how much and what you have to move will help the moving company send you the right crew and inform you of any fee changes. No one likes surprise charges after moving!
- Check on any storage facility restrictions. On move day, the clock will be ticking and most movers charge hourly. So waiting on any mishaps at a storage facility could end up being expensive. If you’re moving things into or out of storage, make sure a facility manager is there in case you have issues. It’s also vital to know whether the storage company restricts moves after a certain time.
- Do your laundry. This goes without saying, but no one wants to transport dirty clothing.
- Clean & disconnect appliances. Any appliances like washers, dryers, and refrigerators should be disconnected at least 24 hours in advance of your move. Some movers will assist you with this, but many others won’t (movers generally aren’t trained to do that kind of thing). Moving companies will often ask you to waive liability so they aren’t responsible if anything goes wrong. If you need help with disconnecting and reconnecting a washer or dryer, ask your chosen moving company during booking. MASTER TIP: For dryers, make sure the vent is thoroughly cleaned before installing it in your new home.
- Set up utilities in your new space. Set up or transfer your cable, internet, water, gas, and electricity before your move. In some areas of Texas, like DFW and Houston, you can choose your electricity provider and shop for the cheapest electricity rate.
The same day you’re moving out of your home:
- Charge your cell phone. Before—or even during—your move, the moving company or crew may need to get in touch with you. Keep your cell phone on you and charged at all times so you and your movers don’t miss any important news. Don’t forget to turn up your ringer volume!
- Prepare everything you need to use that day. If there are things you know you’ll need (like snacks, medications, or your toothbrush) keep them separate in a backpack or tote bag.
- Do a walkthrough before & after moving furniture. It seems repetitive, but we can’t stress this enough: open every closet, cabinet, and drawer before your movers start and after everything is moved out. Before you head off to your destination, don’t forget to do one final walkthrough with your movers to ensure nothing’s left behind. It’s also crucial to clear out any drawers with clothing or drawers before dressers get lifted and shifted on a dolly, so items and inner parts don’t rip or break. Make sure the movers do a final check of the truck after you move into the new space.
- Label the doors of each room to match your boxes. Using a sticky note, copy the numbers you put on the boxes to denote where each box will go at your new place. This will prevent movers from constantly having to ask where you want every box placed, and will generally speed up your move.
*Special Note on When to Pack a House:
We typically recommend that you start packing a house one month in advance. But if you have a house to pack and haven’t done anything at all, start now!
How much time you dedicate to packing and how much you have to pack are huge factors in how long your move takes.
Will you spend 8 hours a day packing over the course of one or two weekends?
Do you work such long hours that packing by yourself for 12 hours isn’t possible?
MASTER TIP: Here’s a quick guide to packing in advance by home size with a standard amount of belongings:
- 2-3 bedroom home + standard amount of items: 3 weeks – 1 month ahead
- 3-5 bedroom home + standard amount of items: As soon as you know you’re moving.
If you’re worried about having a last-minute move and have only two weeks to plan—relax.
The best thing you can do now is to pack, find a mover, and follow this guide to moving in 2 weeks.