Moving is among one of the most stressful life experiences, and this can be compounded if you’re moving quickly. It can be easy to become overwhelmed and feel paralyzed if you have to move in a hurry, but with the proper planning, you can make a fast move happen in an orderly fashion. 

Here are tips to help you make a fast move go smoothly.

6 Tips for Moving Quickly

1. Stop and Take a Moment to Plan

First things first: if you’ll need any sort of help with your move, now is the time to get on the schedule. This might mean bringing in a moving company to pack everything up as well as move it or it may only include the latter. If you’re a DIY mover, you may still need to rent a moving van. Part of this preparation process might involve researching and securing a good apartment in the place you’re relocating. No matter what, getting these logistics scheduled as soon as you know about your move will make certain that everything is ready to go when you are.

2. Stock up on the Appropriate Supplies

If you plan to do the packing yourself, there’s nothing more frustrating than starting the process without having the proper packing supplies. This means various sized boxes, plenty of packing tape, markers, and material to cushion your fragile items. Having these items on hand from the beginning will ensure that every box gets packed the right way from the very start.

3. Use This as an Opportunity to Declutter

The more you pack, the more you have to move and unpack. This makes moving an excellent opportunity to pare down your belongings and declutter. As you begin to pack up an area, have two boxes on hand — one for actual packing and one to collect items to be donated to charity. This is also a great chance to go green by recycling unwanted paperwork and outdated electronics.

4. Pack One Room at a Time

While it may seem intuitive to try to group similar items together, preparing for a fast move will be easier if you simply pack one room at a time, even if this means putting different types of items together. Doing this will ensure that when you unpack, everything that comes out of each box will go in one specific room or area. As you pack, use softer items as a buffer for your fragile things (wrapping water glasses with dish towels, for example).

5. Label Your Boxes Obsessively

When you first pack your boxes, it seems that you’ll easily be able to remember what items went where. Once those boxes are all shuffled around and moved into your new place, finding what you’re looking for might not be so easy. This is why it’s important, no matter your hurry, to take the time to mark a detailed list on each box. Something as simple as “Cooking Skillets, Spatulas, Ladles, Etc.” will help you much more than a label that simply says “Kitchen Items.”

6. Communicate With Your Moving Company and Landlord(s)

Before the day of your move, make sure you have good communication with both your current and your new landlord in order to be aware of anything the moving company may need to know. Some properties require moving to occur during specific hours or ask for a damage deposit before using the elevator for a move. Some may require use of a service elevator or may need to arrange for use of an elevator key to stop it while items are being loaded. Clear communication with landlords and property management will prevent you from running into problems during the last minute of a fast move. 

Just because you have a fast move coming up doesn’t mean you don’t have time to plan ahead. Especially when your move is happening quickly, careful planning will reduce your stress and help you get settled faster in a great new apartment once the move is over.