Little Time to Plan Your Move? How to Plan a Move Quickly

In a perfect world, you start looking for moving companies a couple months before you move. You then pick your movers at least a month before you move.

But this world ain't perfect.

Life happens, and you might find yourself in need of moving services right away.

Maybe another mover bailed on you; maybe you had a fire at your place and you don't feel like buying iron lungs for the kids; maybe you've got a mold issue that requires a full-scale restoration and you need to vamoose for awhile.

Whatever: You need someone to move you - NOW.

Here's what to do:

1. Stay calm - You WILL find someone, even if you're moving in the high season.

2. Realize you might pay a bit more than you expected. Moving companies will sometimes charge a premium if they're forced to rush a move. Particularly for long distance moves, there are many pieces to fit together. Be aware of that when talking with moving companies.

3. Be upfront with the movers and let them know when you need to move. Be explicit if you need to be out by a certain date.

4. Don't act desperate. Even though you need someone pronto, let them know you're talking to several firms that want your business.

5. Get organized. This is important for a normal move; it's crucial for a rushed move.

Get your stuff ready to move as soon as possible. If you are doing your own packing, try to get most of your things packed and ready for the mover to see. Get rid of any goods not going and have everything as organized as possible. The more clear it is for the mover what needs to be moved will help getting more accurate moving quotes, and on moving day, it will ensure everything goes more smoothly.

If you are having the mover pack, have your stuff organized and easily accessible to the packers. Any third party services like appliance and electronics disconnect that take time and cost money can be done in advance. A move checklist should be made for every step to make sure everything is planned and arranged.

Frankly, if you're organized and prepared, you will get the better price and have a more smooth move in the process.

6. Finally, and most importantly - don't just choose the first moving company that can accommodate you. Even though you're rushed, you're still moving all of your valuable items, so you need to take at least minimal steps to ensure you hire a quality moving company. Here's a few tips:

• Get at least three in-home moving estimates. This might be difficult to do if you're on a tight schedule. If you can't have them in your home, try to be as thorough as possible when describing what you need moved, and ask what the extra costs might be if you underestimate how much you need moved.

• Don't take the low bid. It's often a sign of a mover that's just trying to win your business now, and jack up the price later. Don't fall for it.

• Make sure the mover you speak with is the mover that will be doing your move. Some companies might take your business, but then have another moving company handle your move. You don't want that - you want to deal with the same company the entire time you plan your move.

• Make sure you're dealing with a moving company with a local presence. It makes the entire planning process that much easier.