Under ideal circumstances, planning for your move will occur several months in advance of your actual moving date. However, we don't always get that luxury. Sometimes, a last-minute move is necessary. Maybe you or your spouse have a new job opportunity. Maybe you found the perfect home and have decided to act.

Here are a few things you can do when you have to hire moving services at the last minute, and you have virtually no time to plan.

Packing at the Last Minute

Packing is generally the project that takes the longest when it comes to moving. Your long distance or local movers can load and unload your truck in a matter of hours, but packing is a job that can take weeks.

One of the easiest ways to pack faster is to not pack at all. Consider getting rid of old things that you never use anymore, so you don't have to pack and move them. Go through each room in your house and look at old clothes you never wear, books you haven't read in years, and knickknacks that have sat in boxes for a decade. Donate these items before your move, and you may be able to reduce your tax bill if you itemize your deductions.

Did You Know? Moving companies also provide packing services, and they pack extraordinarily fast. It's something they do every day. Ask your movers about their comprehensive moving services.

Finding the Right Movers

Hiring long distance moving companies means getting estimates and taking a look at the reputation of the companies you've contacted. It's important to take the same steps in finding your movers as if you had all the time in the world to plan. Hiring reputable long-distance or local movers is not a project where you want to hurry and choose the first name you come across.

You don't have a lot of time to make your decision, and the company you choose might be booked solid (the good movers often have full schedules). To make sure you get the best results from your quick research, make a list of questions to ask your prospective moving companies.

If you're unable to hire movers for your entire move, you might think about asking if they have partial services available. If you're after long distance moving services and can't find movers to transport your possessions, you might see if they have time to cover another project, like packing your boxes or cleaning the residence after you depart. Moving companies like Black Tie Moving also provide cleaning services before and after you move.

Make a List

Local moving companies can load, transport, and unload your boxes quickly to accommodate your brief timeline. A list of your own can help you after your moving company has left, and you're surrounded by boxes in your new home.

Even if you only have a week – or even a few days – to move, write down a list of items you need to accomplish before, during, and after the move. Add to the list as necessary, and keep it close by, so you can add to it and check items off as they're accomplished.

Tips for Packing Quickly

If you're not able to hire a crew to pack your things and you're looking for a moving estimate that includes only the loading, transport, and unloading, there are some things you can do to make packing easier. When you've already donated everything, you want to give away, using some creative packing materials can help.

For example, you might think about using thick plastic bags to hold items like stuffed animals and clothing. You can use clear bags to make the contents of each easy to identify, and you can also label them with name tags for clarity.

Tip: Don't throw the bags out after you move. Recycle them or use them as trash bags in your new residence.

Also, consider mixing boxes with heavy and light items. For example, you might pack some of your heavier metal items from the kitchen in a box and top it with lighter objects like your dish linens. You'll be able to take advantage of using the entire box, and it won't be as heavy to carry as if it were filled with heavy objects.