Ideally, you want as much time as possible to plan for a move whether it’s across town or an interstate move. But sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you have to move at a minute’s notice. Successfully completing a normal move is stressful enough, but moving when you’re pressed for time can drive you bonkers.

Here are a few tips to help you keep your wits about you when you have to move out right away.

Create A Plan

First thing to do is to go through your house and make a checklist of everything that needs to be done to make this move happen as smoothly as possible. This list will include what needs to be packed, what can be donated or sold, who you need to notify, what utilities need to be shut off and ordered for the new location, what special situations you have (such as pets) that can make the move more difficult. Once you have a detailed list you can then set about planning how best to tackle each item which ensures you’re not missing anything and that everything is taken care of before you vacate your current location.

Get Yourself Organized

After you’ve made your list of everything that needs to be done, it’s time to organize your stuff into what you need to take with you and what you can do without. Go through each room meticulously and put things into piles of what you definitely want to keep, what you might want to keep, and what you definitely want to get rid of. Don’t worry about being neat at this point, the idea is to get everything separated so it’s easier and quicker to decide what has to be packed and what can go. Also, since you’re pressed for time, you don’t have the luxury of being wishy-washy about those items that you might want to keep. It’s time to put the hammer down and get rid of the things you can live without. Remember, unless it’s a priceless heirloom, there’s almost nothing you throw out or donate that can’t be purchased again down the road.

Pack Quickly

Since time is of the essence, you probably don’t have days or weeks to get all the boxes and packing materials you will need, so you will have to get creative when packing. Think about removing the drawers of your dress with the clothes in them and moving them just like that. Also, hit up neighbors for boxes and go to the grocery store and ask if they have any boxes they’re throwing out that you can have.

Also, now is not the time to be picky when it comes to packing material. Sure, we all want to protect the environment, but when you have no time to be choosy about getting recyclable packing material or the perfect biodegradable box, you have to get whatever it is you can use even if that means styrofoam peanuts or bubble wrap.

And, now’s not the time to be careful with sorting items or keeping ‘like’ items together. If you’re in a rush, just get your things into boxes and ready to move, and then worry about sorting out everything once you get to your new place.

Enlist Your Friends & Co-workers

Do you have friends or co-workers who ‘owe you one?’ If so, this is the time to cash in. Get as many friends and helpers as you can to help you get packed and ready to go more quickly. Buy some pizza for the afternoon and try to have some fun while you’re working.

Get A Reliable Moving Company

A big determining factor in whether you have a good moving experience or a dreadful one will be the moving company you choose to hire. If you have the budget, hire a highly rated moving company who has a good track record and safety rating. Also, while it might cost a little more, a top-shelf moving company can help you pack, which is better for your if you’re having to move on short notice.

Pack A Bag of Essentials

When you arrive at your new house after a tough day of moving, you probably won’t feel like unpacking and setting up everything, which is why it’s helpful to have a designated bag for essentials. This bag includes items you’ll need in the first night of your new place, such as toiletries, a change of clothes, a towel, and kitchen utensils.

The key to keeping your wits about you when you have a last-minute move is to keep calm, and assign yourself the task of getting everything done and the whole experience will be over before you know it.