An acquaintance of mine has been living in boxes for the past 20 years or so. Mind you, not all her belongings are still packed from the original move that prompted this approach and the remaining full boxes have been put to creative use, serving as a pedestal for a plant in one corner or a side table for a rather huge collection of books (all read only partially). Incidentally, this individual lives in a studio apartment and required no less than 25 boxes to move the books alone!
What sort of mover are you? Do you plan ahead for a smooth, eventless moving day or do you panic 48 hours before the deed? Have you ever moved at all? Do you know what to expect? How much time you will need? Most importantly, how many boxes?
Even if you decide to handle this yourself, perhaps to save some precious dollars to use on decorating your new home, it is a good idea to contact a moving company and request an estimate. You are in no way obligated to secure their services once they have seen your home, but they have the eye to be able to give you a rather accurate idea of your needs in terms of packaging, space and time. Ask a local company, one in your own town. They have probably packed and moved hundreds of homes like yours in your neighborhood and know what to take into account in terms of strategy, traffic and timing.
Once you have an estimate, decide what parts of the project you might be able to take on yourself. Most importantly, do you want to? Moving is at the top of the list of most stressful events in a person’s life. As a matter of fact, it outranks losing a loved one. Sometimes, the extra expense of having professionals handle this for you is a small fee to pay for your emotional and physical well-being.
However, if you have friends, family or even children who are willing to chip in, you can turn the packing part of your moving experience into an occasion to come together and share a wonderful slice of life. And if you ask for help, be ready to step aside and allow help. We have so much difficulty with this, so much pride.
Make it a joyous time and provide a task for everyone. For example, young ones will likely jump in if you present the task in a manner that is attractive to them. Ask them to place their toys in boxes and draw pictures on the box to show what’s inside, or decorate the box in any way they want once it is filled.
Make it a party. Invite friends to bring a dish or order out. Plan some breaks during which you might select an item and tell a humorous story it brings to mind. Have a sleep-over, yes, even if you consider yourself an adult. Rise early and share a hearty breakfast before diving back in. Inviting friends to help can procure good incentive to plan ahead. Get organized so that their task is clear when they show up.
Of course, moving is about more than just packing, but this is the one part of the process most people dread the most or struggle with the most once they begin. Interestingly, Packing is perhaps the one aspect of moving that is most conducive to creating a great experience, because it is an opportunity to invite collaborators and to leave behind a bit of the pride that prevents us from accepting support form others. This may be the first thing we should pack away and leave on the curb!
For moving and packing ideas: