Three words: motivation, energy, and efficiency.
But why would anyone try to pack a house for moving in only two weeks? That’s harsh—especially if you have to secure new housing simultaneously! Maybe it’s for a new job or caring for a relative. Perhaps your rental agreement has ended, and the landlord doesn’t want to renew it.
Ryan works in collegiate athletics and when it’s time to change jobs, it happens FAST! He has accepted a job offer and been at the new job in as little as 3 days! That means it’s time to pack (something I end up in charge of) and move as quickly as possible.
Whatever the reason, you need to go into the packing process with an upbeat attitude.
Of course, you might have a few other choice words to describe your feelings about needing to pack your house in two weeks. But we know it can be done, and in this article, we’ll tell you how.
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Why Motivation, Energy, and Efficiency?
The answer is easy! If you don’t invest heart and soul in your packing project, you could face a lot of inconvenience down the road. If you can’t muster the physical and mental fortitude and momentum to get the job done on time, you might end up paying someone to do it—or worse!
And if you don’t have (and strictly adhere to) a plan of action, you’ll be flailing your arms and pounding your head, wondering what to do next. In short, rush projects don’t come along every day. But when they do, you should be ready to hit the ground running.
That’s it in a nutshell: motivation, energy, and efficiency.
So here’s what we recommend…
Packing a House in 14 Days
Packing a house is already stressful enough, trying to get it all done in two weeks takes it to a whole new level. The best I’ve found to keep my sanity is to break everything down into 4 steps, giving myself a few days to complete each one.
Here is each step, how long to give yourself to complete it and how to get each one done quickly and efficiently.
Step 1: Prepare (Days 1-2)
First thing: hire professional movers or reserve a truck for a DIY move. You might need to call around at this late stage, especially if it’s during prime moving season.
Then, before anything else, do a rapid and merciless purge of everything you seldom use, and that can be replaced if needed. Next, take everything in good condition to a charitable organization like goodwill. Then, assume what remains (besides what you’re packing, of course), and book a dumpster rental for the next day or so.
Next, acquire moving supplies—but only buy what you aren’t already packing, have around the house, and/or can rent or borrow:
- Moving boxes (new or used but in good condition)
- Bubble wrap
- Packing paper
- Moving blankets and furniture pads (invest in some for long-term use, rent, or borrow)
- Stretch plastic wrap (if absolutely necessary)
- Heavy-duty packing tape
- Permanent markers
- Trash bags
- Mattress bags or two old mattress covers to protect front and back
Use your judgment to decide which of these items or materials you need, especially if you already have some of it or can substitute more environmentally-friendly items, e.g., newspapers or clothing, towels, or linens you’re taking anyway. By the way, socks make great cushioning!
You will also need to reserve any lodging for the trip, whether hotels/ motels or friends/relatives. Also, confirm details with your movers or truck rental. Set times to disconnect your current utilities and connect the new ones. And, finally, try to enlist some friends to help out on moving day.
Step 2: Organize (Days 3-4)
Before starting to pack your house for moving, sort out what you will need on the journey to your new place, pack a suitcase and set it aside along with anything else, you foresee going with you in the car.
We advise packing for at least two weeks from arrival in case of delays with the house closing, moving truck arrival, etc.
Step 3: Pack (Days 5-10)
Sort the items you will move by priority, from least likely to use in the short term to the most essential. Then pack them in boxes, with each container labeled by room, content, or both (but don’t tape them closed until you’re almost ready to load them onto the truck). Finally, find the least used space in your home and use it as a staging area for loaded moving boxes.
Doing this will help ensure that you haven’t forgotten anything when it comes time to load the truck. A quick final check of closets, cabinets, attic, basement, garage, etc., should do it!
Step 4: Finalize (Days 11-14)
The end of your two-week packing time frame will arrive before you realize it, but not without your being fully prepared for it. So now is the time for the second-to-last-minute tasks. Start by rechecking everything you confirmed already—just to be sure.
If you hired professional movers, get bottled water and/or sports drinks, plus cash for their tips. If friends and family helped with packing and loading and will enjoy some nourishment, buy snacks and beverages and schedule a generous pizza delivery. If there’s still time and you’re moving locally, consider driving a few carloads to your new place to save a little time and money.
And don’t forget to give the house a thorough broom cleaning once everything (besides what’s going in your car) has been packed, loaded, and taken away.
What if Something Unforeseen Happens?
Packing your house in two weeks literally packs a lot into very little time. But what should you do if there’s a movers’ or weather-related delay? What if you or someone in your household becomes ill? And what if you simply can’t get it all done in such a short amount of time?
Try to stay on task and to inconvenience only yourself and your family. It might help to list everything you can put off until after the move, such as tossing bunches of non-breakable items into moving boxes and sealing them to go. Tsk, tsk. If you need to burden others, give them as much advance notice as possible and be completely honest about the situation.
There’s a first time for everything, and this will hopefully be the last, at least for the specific individuals and companies involved. And if you’re rushing your move for a new job, be sure to include your new employer in this group. If it’s a genuine emergency, people should understand.
Then, take a deep breath and be proud of all the work you’ve already done.
So Short a Time Frame!
Those of us with a possible move on the horizon should be keenly alert to events that could change at any time. And why not? There is relatively little that you couldn’t do to prepare your house for a possible move that wouldn’t be a good idea, no matter what. When did you last do a thorough housecleaning or weeded worn-out or seldom-used stuff?
If the call comes for a rushed move, you already will have much of the work done and planned the rest. Remember that motivation, energy, and efficiency can see you through quite a bit, especially when making these three concepts part of a routine.