Tag Archives: packing

Destressing Your Move: Phase 2 – Start Packing

packing boxes Nina Garman from Pixabay

The first phase of moving was “planning ahead.” Now – at least 4 weeks from move day – it’s time to get into action. Packing and letting people (and companies) know your plans constitutes the bulk of this phase.

Picture this – the moving truck is pulling away from your new home. You’re worn out from the weeks leading up to the move.  You open up a random box and are faced with all kinds of mixed-up items that now have to be sorted and then figure out where they live. That takes lots of energy and time you probably won’t have – Ugh! Now multiply that feeling by the tens of boxes you have in every room! Yikes!

Make a Packing Timeline – Spend the time and energy before the move taking care to weed your possessions and decide where things will eventually live. That way, you can pack and label the boxes accordingly. 

There’s an analogy that a move is like a ball rolling downhill – the closer you get to move day the faster time will be flying by. And before you know it, you’re just throwing things into boxes (if you’re lucky) in order to be ready in time. Plan out a schedule for completing the major packing in each room and allow for a full extra week to catch up on all the things you didn’t plan for.

Get Supplies – If you do any of the packing yourself, you’ll have to gather supplies.  Since the boxes are bulky and can take over your house, dedicate space to store them so they won’t get in the way.

  • Places such as Home Depot and U-Haul offer online box ordering with easy “kits” for different size moves that you can customize.
  • Buy rolls or boxes of packing paper; don’t rely on finding enough newspaper for padding delicate items. Large bubble wrap is often more useful than the small bubble wrap for medium to large items. And don’t buy cheap packing tape – it isn’t worth the hassle when it constantly breaks on your tape gun.
  • Have a dedicated small box or basket and fixed location where you always keep your critical packing supplies: markers, post-its, packing tape, tape gun, utility knife.

Begin with the End in Mind

  • Whether you’ve decided to pack yourself or hire packing help, it’s essential to segregate items you’re taking with you into “like” groups to make packing and unpacking.  This is why it is helpful to start with an organized home. If you have pared down what you own so that you only have items you need to bring with you, there’s minimal decision-making come packing time.
  • Make sure you label your boxes with the destination in your new home, i.e., master bedroom, downstairs bath, laundry area, for example. Consider labeling some boxes “UNPACK FIRST” for each room.
  • It can help to have an inventory sheet with the box number and contents if the unpacking will happen over time or if your boxes will be sitting in storage for a time.
  • Pace Yourself – Packing can be exhausting! Take breaks, plan your meals, be realistic about how long you can work each day. Ask for help if you’re feeling stuck or overwhelmed.

moving day kit

Let People (and Companies) Know

  • Contact your utility companies on both ends of the move and make arrangements to transfer or cancel your service on the date you hand over possession of your home
  • In addition to the utility companies, make a check-list of the people/companies who send you mail: Banks, Insurance Companies, Medical Providers. Don’t forget to include:
  • Consider sending out “We’re Moving” cards with your new address to your friends and family.
  • Ask the new homeowners to forward any mail that slips through the USPS system and comes to your old address.

The Goal Is This…

You walk into your new home, energized and ready to get to work … every room has clearly labeled boxes of the items that belong in that room, the labels let you know which boxes you want to unpack first. When you open a box, you can efficiently put things away because you know where they’re going. Bonus if you have helpers it’s easy to direct them because the boxes are all well packed, labeled, and organized!  Next post – Moving Day.

Moving Day Comfort Item

Make sure you don’t leave any special things behind!

1 Comment

Filed under Decluttering, downsizing, home organizing, Moving, Reduce/Recyle/Reuse, Strategies

Organized Packing for Travel – Your Suitcase

airplane

Traveling over the summer can bring lots of joy and lots of hassle. Who hasn’t experienced that sweat of anxiety as you rush from the parking lot or shuttle drop-off into the terminal with heavy bags dragging behind you, draped coats slipping, and various things with straps hanging off of you at all angles?

You want to have a good time and don’t want to lug around a lot of heavy stuff. The goal of organized travel is to make the stuff you bring efficient & light so you can focus on the experience of your vacation. According to Rick Steves, guide book author and travel TV host, “On your trip you’ll meet two kinds of travelers: those who pack light and those who wish they had.”

Picking the right suitcase for you

Your luggage is going to be the heaviest thing you bring with you.  Choose one that suits your needs.  If your kind of travel calls for HERMËS bags, you can save yourself some time by skipping this post. You probably already have a valet to handle all the details.

For those of us who have to schlep our own bags, get one that is suitable for the location.  Wheeled bags may not be ideal in all cases, dragging a bag on the cobblestone streets of Italy isn’t too much fun.  But, most of the time, you’ll probably be dragging your luggage through an airport and have transportation to your hotel… so get a bag that you can manage.

if you’re planning on hiking or using a train to get to your destinations, here’s an ideal kind of bag; it has shoulder strap, tote handles and backpack straps.

luggage

In the suitcase

Within the suitcase, organization is all about saving space and reducing weight. That means both planning strategically to bring less and/or packing in a way that maximizes the space.

Travel-friendly clothes are wrinkle-free, can be worn to different types of events and are made of material that dries quickly so you can rinse out and re-use if needed.

Shoes. If possible, avoid multiple shoes for every occasion. If planned activities demand a variety (probably not a good idea to wear running shoes to the cocktail party) limit yourself to 1 sport, 1 dress, 1 casual. Wear your bulkiest shoes while in transit.

Numerous packing products such are available to keep items sorted within the suitcase and help keep items unwrinkled. Travel Smith and The Container Store are both good sources for packing organizers. Rick Steves’ site also has helpful packing lists.

This Eagle Creek set is handy

Next week…tips for the carry-on and what NOT to pack. Have a favorite travel product you love? Share it here!

1 Comment

Filed under General Organizing, Holidays, Travel

Organized Camping

Campfire

Spend more time enjoying your campfire, less time dealing with stuff!

Both of us have just returned from our final summer camping trips. We each had a blast being in nature, seeing a sky full of stars and breathing in fresh air. We’d like to share what we’ve learned about packing to make it easy for you to get away at your next opportunity.

Things to do in advance

Reservations: California State Park system opens up reservations 7 months in advance…plan ahead to get your ideal spot. That means if you’re thinking of camping in June next summer, go online to Reserve America to reserve your sites on the first of December.

Packing:

  • Create a checklist that you can use year after year
  • Toiletries-  it’s helpful even if redundant to have some of these pre-packed so you’re ready to go without too much effort
  • Pre-pack tubs or bins of kitchen supplies, general utility items, and fun activities (games/toys). Keep the bins packed year-round so they’re ready to go

    Any bin will do. One that is pliable can take some bumping around.

    Any bin will do. One that is pliable can take some bumping around.

While you’re there

  • Setting up camp – just like you would organize at home, set up zones so everyone knows where to find their needed items. Designate areas for important things like your flashlight, warm hat, sunscreen, maps
  • Set up a kitchen area where you can concentrate your cooking tools, trash, clothesline
  • Create a dedicated container for important items like keys, glasses, passes, etc.

    Here's a handy pouch for containing important travel items

    Here’s a handy pouch for containing important travel items

When you get home

Even though you’re tired, take the extra effort to:

  • Clean things out, wipe things down
  • Restock your bins
  • Put things back in order so you’re ready to go next time

Preparation paves the way for a relaxing and fun outing you can look forward to and make happen efficiently. The silver lining of pre-preparing for camping is you’ll also have some preparations in place in case of an emergency!

Contact us if you’d like us to send you our camping checklists!

1 Comment

Filed under Decluttering, General Organizing, Travel

Moving Essentials

Preparing makes all the difference

Preparing makes all the difference

Moving can be stressful and overwhelming; there’s no real way around it. By the time move day arrives and you actually land in your new home the last thing you’ll want to do is start digging through boxes in order to find your pajamas and coffee maker.

Here are 5 groups of items to gather and pack separately and label as “OPEN FIRST” to make the transition easier:

  • PERSONAL ITEMS Pack a suitcase of essentials as if you’ll be on a trip for a week or two. Don’t forget things like slippers, medications, and toiletries. Keep this suitcase with you.
  • LINENS  Though you’ll feel like you’re on a trip, you aren’t in a hotel and there are no linens provided. Pack a few bath towels, washcloths, and bed sheets.
  • KITCHEN Imagine yourself the morning after the move – it’s nice to start the day with your usual routines.  Pack your coffee maker and/or teakettle, a few place settings, dishtowel, dish soap & sponge. Think ahead about easy healthy snacks and meals so you don’t deplete your already drained energy by surviving on pizza and pastries for a week.
  • OFFICE/LIFE MANAGEMENT  Don’t add to your stress by losing track of current bills, mail, and important documents because they are buried in a box somewhere. Pack those separately from other files and office supplies. Do include some essential office supplies such as postage, envelopes, pens, checkbook, charging cables, computer, and passwords.
  • TOOLS  Create a move kit of essential tools to help both on the packing and unpacking side: box cutter, measuring tape, screw driver, hammer, pliers, post-its and marker pens, packing tape, flashlight or headlamp, felt pads & furniture sliders.

What did you find essential to get through your last move? Share it here!

Leave a comment

Filed under Decluttering, General Organizing, Perspective, Strategies