Most people would prefer to have plenty of time to plan before engaging in a move, but for many reasons that is not always possible. When it is not, it is good to have an idea of how to move quickly and efficiently. From foreclosures or evictions to sudden job transfers or losses, the need to move can arise suddenly, and deadlines can be short.
Split Up if Possible
Having half the family go ahead while another member or two stays behind to take care of the house you are leaving is an efficient option. Sometimes packing and moving is easier when there are fewer people in the way, especially if you have small children. If this is the case in your family, consider having one parent load the small children with the bare essentials and have them spend a week or so in a hotel room near the new home, if you can't live there yet, or in the home, if possible. This will give the other parent, and perhaps an older child or two, time to pack and load boxes without the hindrance of daily living getting in the way.
If you are taking your time to pack, then you have time to arrange things in a way that makes the most use of space in your boxes, or in a way that makes organizational sense for when you are unpacking. But if you are moving in a hurry, you may not have that luxury. Instead, start at one wall in your chosen room, label the box “kitchen, stove wall” or “bedroom, dresser wall” and start loading things into the box from that side of the room. When you are looking for things later, all you have to do is remember where it was stored before the move, and look for the appropriately labeled box. This is also faster even though it's slightly less space efficient.
Consider Using Professional Movers
If you have the money and need to hurry, consider hiring professional movers to pack your things and move them into your new home. This is a great option for people whose companies are paying their relocation costs, since it can save a lot of stress. Be sure to supervise the movers to make sure they are using a level of care that you are comfortable with. If at all possible, choose a moving company based on their positive reputation or on good referrals. They are experts at doing a good job and doing it quickly.