Wow, those people really wanted to buy your house, or so you would think when the settlement date gives you practically no time to move out. This is one instance when you might need to speedily move house. You thought that when the time comes, you would have weeks to plot the logistics of your relocation, more than ample time to make the job run as smoothly as it could. Unfortunately, that's not always the case, and sometimes when you've got to go, you've got to go now. Does this mean that your move is going to be stressful, haphazard and inefficient? It really doesn't have to be.
Don't Need It? Don't Move It
Downsizing, as in getting rid of all the stuff you won't need in your new home, is a fairly traditional part of moving, but it takes some time, and you don't have this time. Go through each room of your home (including your garage and any outdoor storage areas), and make a list of the stuff that you don't need. Open every cupboard and drawer. You might ordinarily try to sell many of these things, but you won't have time to arrange a garage sale. Contact friends and family and ask if they want anything you're discarding. Stipulate that they must be collected on a certain date, by a certain time, with no exceptions. Also contact local charities to see if they can collect any of the larger items within your allowable timeframe. If they cannot but still want the items in question, consider renting or borrowing a truck and delivering them yourself. Yes, it's an effort, but it's effective for quickly discarding these unwanted items.
Some Type of Order
It might be nice to have some sort of order to your packing, and speed doesn't quite qualify as an order. Put a few packing boxes in each room and just start carefully filling them. Label each box with the room it came from to give you a decent idea of where anything might be at any given moment. Instead of wrapping delicate items in paper, wrap them in (clean) clothes before placing them inside the box. You want to work quickly and efficiently, but it doesn't have to be pretty. You will be surprised at how speedy packing can be when it needs to be. Essentials (medication, toiletries, a change of clothes, etc.) should be packed in a travel bag and kept with you.
If time is getting away from you, consider a sprint to the finish line. If it's the day before the furniture removalists arrive and there are still lots of small things to do, think about pulling an all-nighter. Yes, you'll feel groggy and perhaps even irritable the next day, but those extra eight hours or so can make all the difference, allowing you to finish the job to your satisfaction. Clearly, don't stay up all night if it's going to create a risk the following day, so make sure there's someone available (who has slept) to drive your car. The furniture removalists will do the heavy lifting, so you don't need to worry about that when you haven't had any sleep.
Sure, many people have weeks or even months to plan their move. You might only have a week, or mere days, but it's still possible to do a good job.