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Where Do I Start Packing?

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The most fearsome aspect of a move is the packing--just the thought of this daunting task may make you shudder. How do you know where to start packing? Sorting through years' worth of accumulated clothing and knickknacks, methodically wrapping and packing all of your fragile china and glassware, and turning the contents of your home into organized stacks of boxes can seem like an impossible mission.

If you are experiencing crippling moving anxiety and don't know where to begin packing, read on for some simple tips to get motivated and tackle the job.

Purge the junk

It's much easier to get organized and start the packing process if there are fewer things to pack. Downsizing is not only the best way to make your packing duties simpler, but it can help save money on a lighter load to haul.
  • Sort through your cluttered closet and remove items you no longer wear, such as old and outdated styles or worn and stained articles of clothing.
  • Throw out all broken appliances and outdated technology, such as VCRs, old landline phones, and CRT computer monitors (Note: these items can and should be recycled).
  • Clean out your garage, basement and attic--these dusty storage places are probably filled with copious amounts of junk you forgot you even had.
After you have sifted through your belongings, sort everything you no longer want into organized piles.
  • Create one pile for items that are broken and unusable to be thrown away or recycled.
  • Take clothes still bearing tags or unopened DVDs and CDs to consignment shops or list them on merchant websites like eBay or Amazon.
  • Donate the remainder of your items to your favorite charity, pass them on to friends, or have a yard sale.

Get your supplies

Before you begin packing, you will need to acquire the appropriate materials. You'll need the following:
  • Boxes
  • Packing paper
  • Packing tape
  • Markers for labeling
  • Bubble wrap for breakables
Purchasing specialty packing boxes can be beneficial in ensuring your possessions arrive at their new location safely. However, these materials can also grow very costly, especially if you are moving the contents of a large home. Other options include asking friends, relatives, or coworkers that have recently moved for supplies, visiting a local grocery or liquor store to ask for free boxes, or purchasing used boxes online. You can also use newspaper in place of packing paper, and old towels, linens or quilts to protect breakables.

Start slow

Packing is a huge job, but there's no reason it has to feel that way. Set a deadline for yourself and then begin the packing process in advance so you can take your time and work slowly. This will alleviate the pressure of working furiously against the clock to finish your packing in time. Begin by packing only a few boxes a day to ease yourself into the task without feeling overwhelmed. As the days pass, you will realize that packing is not as difficult as you had feared if you don't wait until the last minute. This will motivate you towards working faster to meet your goal.

Pack least important to most important

There are many things you need to use regularly while you are still living in your home, and wrapping them with paper and taping them inside a cardboard box will make that difficult. You don't want to start by packing your cooking utensils and cutlery unless you plan on dining out for the last couple months in your home. Begin by packing things you don't use every day, such out-of-season clothing, books, DVDs and CDs, collectibles, knickknacks and decorations that have no utility or serve no purpose other than ornamental. When you grow closer to moving day, that's when you should begin packing everyday essentials like cookware, bathroom amenities and bedding.

Be sure to label

Label each and every box with the room and contents immediately after you pack it. The entire process will be much easier and less stressful if know you have packed something already. It will also make unpacking a breeze. Keeping an inventory list of items you have already packed up could be helpful as well-this way you will know if a box doesn't make it to your new location. Don't forget to label your breakables Fragile, and to draw arrows on your boxes indicating which side should be facing upwards at all times.

Now you have no more excuses to procrastinate. Get packing!

Photo by: Nenetus (

  Posted by Nicole La Capria on September 3, 2013

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