Is packing up your apartment NOT your idea of a fun time? You're not alone. It's probably not at the top of many lists of favorite activities. Unfortunately, when it's time to move, it's something that must get done. Rather than get overwhelmed by your entire packing list, break it down into manageable pieces to help the process progress more easily.
With a daily packing list, preparing to move can be a breeze — or at least less stressful. Here's how to get the big job of moving done bit by bit.
Moving is about making lists. You're going to have a lot. Designate a notebook for the job to keep all your packing information in one place. It's much easier to write out packing lists and moving checklists than trying to keep it straight in your head.
“The moving process can be less of a chore if you break down the tasks — scheduling, packing and cleaning — into weekly to-do lists," writes Amanda Garrity in Good Housekeeping. List-making definitely helps you maintain a disciplined approach to packing and moving. It means no last-minute stress.
In addition to your lists, it's good to have a big picture view of your move. This helps you break up the related responsibilities into daily tasks you can handle. Starting as far back as possible, evaluate:
These elements help you form a moving equation that allows you to make realistic to-do lists for each day of packing. From there, you can create a moving timeline that lets you take a slow and steady pace to the finish line — moving day.
Once you know how much time you have to pack, create a strategy that fits. Pick a method that works best for you that keeps you motivated to keep filing those boxes.
Whether your timeline is short or long, the very first day of your packing strategy should focus on gathering supplies. You can't pack without boxes, packing tape and permanent markers. These are your essentials. You may need to add bubble wrap or packing paper as you come to rooms with fragile items, like your kitchen, but start with the basics.
You'll also want to use your packing notebook to make a box inventory As you pack each box, number it and quickly write down what's in it. Having this list makes it easy to keep track of your boxes during the move and to know exactly what's missing should an issue occur.
If your packing timeline is short, and you have the time, you might want to create daily packing lists that have you do one entire room per day. If you're only packing up five rooms, you can get everything done in less than a week.
“Before you begin the packing process, it's important to prioritize and decide what rooms to pack last and unpack first," writes Marian White in moving.com. She suggests placing your kitchen and master bedroom at the top of your packing list.
If completing all your packing into a single week, a sample to-do list could look like this:
If you've got the time to take a slower approach to pack things up, assign one room per week. Set aside the final week before moving day to pack up miscellaneous odds and ends, along with the last-minute items you'll carry with you to your new place. Again, if you've got five rooms to pack, you can get through your packing list in less than two months, only having to commit a few hours each day.
Here's an example of what packing up your kitchen would look like:
Take the weekend off to rest and begin gearing up for the next week's assignment. If you need to get more packing supplies, now is the time.
Everyone's packing timeline is different, so if neither of these strategies works for you, create your own. Your only limits are time and your energy, so be sensitive to those and try not to put too much on a single day of packing.
You may even have the luxury of a looser timeline, with two days on, one day off, packing in spurts. Just keep in mind, your hard out, moving day is non-negotiable, and you don't want to end up having to pay your movers to finish your packing for you.
When you're done for the day, take a moment to reflect on your packing success. It's easy to get caught up in a move, feeling pulled down by the next thing you have to do. Instead, finish the day by thinking of two positive things you accomplished. Remind yourself that today you finished packing the linen closet, or you decluttered your office. These small successes will keep you motivated for the next day's effort.
After you've wrapped up your day and spent time feeling proud, relax. Stop thinking about moving as you wind down so any stress won't follow you to bed. Tomorrow is another day, and you've already got a perfectly made packing list to get you through it.