They say about 20 percent of people are procrastinators. I don’t believe that. I think the other 80 percent turned in the surveys too late. If you haven’t figured it out already, I’m a procrastinator, especially when moving. I guess that means I’m a “pack-rastinator.” I am (or at least I was) that moving customer who, the night before the move, still has about 20 boxes left to pack, and an entire home to clean.
At least I used to be. After more moves than I can count on two hands, I’ve picked up some pretty good tips on how to stay on track before the move.
Set Your Mind Straight
You already know that procrastination is a useless trait. Whether you need to do the dishes, walk the dog, or pack your entire home, the chores aren’t going to do themselves. Sure, you might be that person who never started studying until the night before the test, or who makes three dozen cupcakes the night before your child’s class bake sale. That trait has served you well so far. Why not during your move?
Let’s just say that packing for a move is a lot more time consuming than most of what you’re procrastinating. Unless you live in a tiny apartment, or you have lots of help, you won’t get it done in one night, or two, or even three. That doesn’t mean it has to be a life-consuming ordeal, though.
Set Daily Goals
The first thing you need to do is figure out how much packing you have. Nearly everyone underestimates how much stuff they have, and how many boxes it will take to contain that stuff. If you are having in-home moving estimates, ask your estimator to help. They should be able to tell you the numbers and the sizes of boxes you need.
If you aren’t having an onsite estimate, here’s a general rule of thumb:
- One small box = One book shelf
- One medium box = One drawer of clothing
- One large box = About the size of one comforter or two pillows
- One dish box = Eight place settings or every day dishes or six place settings of fine china
- One wardrobe box = About two feet of closet space
Of course, those descriptions don’t cover all your possessions, but it gives you a spacial idea. Also, note that the heavier an item is, the smaller the box. No box should weigh more than 50 pounds.
After you have that number, divide it by the number of days you have left, and aim for one more than that as your daily packing goal. In other words, if you have 10 days before the move, and you need to pack 50 boxes: 50/10 = 5 per day. Life, though, sometimes gets in the way, so aim for six a day. Yes, that’s a lot, so pay attention to the next section, or recruit some help.
Have all the Boxes Delivered
It might seem logical to pick up boxes as you need them, but that’s bad in two ways. It is a huge waste of your precious time, and it doesn’t encourage you to pack. You’re a lot more apt to get off your you-know-what and pack if you have a stack of boxes and packing supplies sitting in front of you. Your moving company can deliver all the boxes to you, usually for free. If you have room, have them leave them in the main living area, so you’re always tripping over them. Once you pack a box, you can hide it away in the garage or basement.
Crank up the Entertainment
Put on some upbeat tunes or your newest Netflix binge on. It will make packing seem much less like drudgery.
The easiest things to pack are books and clothing. The hardest things to pack are breakables. Don’t feel like you need to pack all the breakables right away. Packing a few boxes of clothes you won’t be wearing before the move can give you a great sense of accomplishment without overwhelming you. Aim for about one or two boxes of breakables every night.
Have the Movers do it for You
If you don’t finish, or you simply don’t want to pack, it’s okay. Your movers can do it for you. Just give them heads up if you have more than a handful of boxes to pack. Be realistic, though. It will make the move take longer and cost more.
Featured image CC0 Public Domain, via Max Pixel