10 Packing Tips (From Someone Who Waited Too Long)

by Amanda Stewart

We leave for our California-bound road trip on June 13th. That is only 5 days away. I have packed a few boxes and all of my clothes. Otherwise, I still have a long way to go.

Getting ready for a big move? Planning to relocate after graduate school? Moving across the country or across town? Summer is a time for transition. Here are a few tips from a last-minute-frantic midwesterner.

  1. You don’t need a reason to organize. Take my advice. Don’t wait until the job offer comes, the contract is signed, and you have “free time” the weekend before, to start packing. If you’re like me, you’ve accumulated quite a bit in the last ___ years of your life. Any day is a good day to start cleaning out your closet, getting rid of things you don’t wear, and cleaning up the mess around you.
  2. Donate, donate, donate. Find a Goodwill. Find an organization in your community. Start a “to-donate” pile now.
  3. And may sell. I found that my local community had a “for sale” group. You could also order a clean-out kit from ThredUp (It has polka dots! You fill the bag they send you and leave it on your door step, they paypal you moo-lah. Easy as pie.)
  4. Does it spark joy? If you haven’t read the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, try it. I had to read it twice before I started to really buy into some of her methods. I will always have more coffee mugs and jewelry than is KonMari acceptable.
  5. Communicate. If there is a partner or friend that is a part of your moving process, be sure to communicate with one another: who is packing what, who wants to pack certain items a certain way, what shouldn’t be packed until the very end, etc.
  6. Take a few extra days off of work. I have been fortunate enough to have a whole week in between when my job ended and when my husband and I are leaving town. Even a whole week doesn’t feel long enough but, if you are able, try to work a few extra days into your packing schedule.
  7. Start collecting boxes early. Paying for boxes is the worst. Start collection and asking around early. At work, at the store, friends in the area who have just moved in, etc.
  8. Don’t pack a giant box full of books. It gets too heavy to move pretty quickly. Enough said.
  9. Take breaks. I’m all too good at this step, but I do believe that taking breaks is important too in the process of packing up. Go for a quick walk, do some sun salutations, whatever makes you feel regrouped.
  10. Less is more. Be mindful about what you’re keeping and what you’re saying goodbye to. Sometimes, less is more. You can make more room for whatever is most important to you.

Tweet me your moving tips @mandijstewart and follow along on our journey with #mancotofresno

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