How to pack an apartment quickly

I wanted to write about how to pack an apartment quickly because I’ve encountered this scenario a once. With only having 3 days to move, I had to organize everything to make it easier on myself. I sat down for an hour and wrote down everything I needed to do to start packing. This is what I came up with.

My How to pack an apartment quickly list:

  • Schedule a truck and professional movers
  • Find packaging boxes
  • Donate items you didn’t need
  • Ask for help
  • Label everything in boxes

Schedule a moving truck and (or) movers first

How to pack and apartment quickly

The first thing I did was book a truck and schedule movers in my area. I had to call 3 different moving companies because the first 2 were already booked and could not accommodate my move date. This was frustrating at first, but I kept calling movers that were high rated on Yelp and finally found one.

Professional movers usually have their scheduled booked weeks in advanced. Therefore, you should immediately book and schedule them first before doing anything else. If you’re out of luck and can’t book a mover on time, you will have to do it yourself. As for me, I was fortunate to call a moving company that had an available slot for my move date.

If you need a rental truck, you should call to reserve one after you book movers. Some moving companies have their own truck, so this may not be an issue. But, if you find that you must move yourself, you need to schedule a U-Haul truck as soon as possible. Luckily, U-hauls are not too expensive and are easy to schedule. You don’t have to worry about short supply as they are usually good about having trucks available. They have a big network of locations where they can find available trucks.

Purchase or find moving boxes to pack your apartment quickly

The second thing I did was make sure to get moving boxes immediately. I ended up asking a group chat I have with a group of friends and they were able to get me all the boxes I needed. I was fortunate enough to not have to buy moving boxes.

If you find yourself not being able to collect or find boxes, you can always purchase them at Home Depot or Lowe’s. They are not expensive, but nothing beats free boxes.  

A good tip with packing boxes is to make sure all the heavy items go into the smaller boxes. Then, you pack all the lighter stuff in the bigger boxes. This will allow you to be able to lift and carry the bigger boxes with ease. You don’t want to have a huge box filled with heavy items that would make it extremely hard to move. Likewise, the small heavier boxes will be manageable to move.

Another tip for packing clothes or garments would be to use trash bags instead of boxes. Open a hefty bag and flip it upside down. Poke a hole in the middle of the topside of the bag so you can put 10-20 garments inside the bag and have the hangers go in the whole. This will become a cheap homemade garment bag that will protect your clothes from getting dirty or damaged.

You can also use plastic totes to move, but I wouldn’t recommend them. I bought one once and realized I didn’t want to have a tote in my apartment after I unpacked it. It looked funky and didn’t fit anywhere. I ended up giving it away and pretty much wasted $25 dollars from purchasing the tote. I would rather buy cheaper boxes and give them away or recycle them when I’m done.

How to pack and apartment quickly

I huge mistake that a lot of people make is pack items they no longer need. I too, have made this mistake as well. The mentality of keeping everything is something I had to move away from. I had many items that were broken that I thought I would fix, or items that I could give away to someone who could really use it.

Keeping these items and moving them adds to your moving time and takes up truck space when trying to move out quickly. It is counter intuitive to the goal of moving out fast.

What I ended up doing was donating a lot of my clothes that I hadn’t worn more than 2 years to a local goodwill. I also donated a wooden desk that I was in my position for 3 years. It was a yellow desk that I was planning on painting white. I just never got around to it, and I decided to donate it to a thrift store.

There are other items I realized that I could give away that I knew I wasn’t using anymore. This is what you should do too to make your packing go by faster.

If time allows, I recommend having a yard sale and sell everything at a cheap price. The goal is to get rid of items and not make the most profit off them. By the end of the yard sale, I would then donate everything to dissolve myself from having to move them.

Ask friends and relatives for help

It’s time to cash in favors with your friends and relatives. I would have no problem helping someone I cared for with moving. Therefore, it is reasonable to have friends help you pack and move.

My sister has helped me move numerous times and because of this, it cuts my packing time in half. I was able to pack up all my stuff in less than a day with her help. It helps that she has moved out herself a few times as well so she knew how to pack and organize everything the way they should.

The best thing about having help is that you can cut the moving time dramatically. I would suggest having 1 or 2 people help max. If you have bulkier items, I will ask for a 3rd helper.

Additionally, you can also hire profession movers for help. These workers are extremely resourceful and fast. You can have everything moved within the same day because they know how to move things efficiently. I would highly suggest having movers if you really need to move within a day and will require muscle to move bulky items.

Label boxes to help pack your apartment quickly

Lastly, LABEL EVERYTHING! After moving 6 times, I’ve learned that having the boxes labeled makes it much easier to pack and unpack. Keeping organize will make your packing and move go by much faster because you know where everything is.

You probably won’t have everything unpacked organized in one day.  It is important to know where the essential items are in. For example, you should know where the toilet paper, pots, and pillows are. These are items you will need so it would be smart to have the box labeled so you don’t go scavenger hunting.