Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Why Packing (to Move) is Awful

I am very much a student by nature, and I choose to research most topics before diving into projects. I have read many different how-to's on the best methods of packing. While I did enjoy and employ many methods of purging excess objects, I found most how-to's lacked a tactic on actually packing up your home. A lot of them just stated to pack up your house and label the boxes. Easy peasy? Not quite.

I believe the void of packing instructions is due to people owning and choosing to keep a wide variety of objects. Packing is done on a person by person basis (or unique room by unique room).

Now the best thing about moving is that it's a great opportunity to downsize and take stock of what holds value to you.

Here is what I do when I pack to move. First, I pack my closet. I spend a good week going through every item of clothing I own. I hold the pieces; I try on the pieces; I ask other's opinions of the pieces. I tend to purge between 25-50% of my clothing that week. The select group gets the honor of living in my closet/dresser rent free and the opportunity to clothe me. I pack up the majority of my clothing, but leave out enough to be worn over the next two months. (Yes, I said months. I like to plan ahead.) Next I pack my shoes. I make note of which shoes I wear most often, which shoes still fit with my insoles, which shoes are beaten to a pulp. I then go through my jewelry. I take all the clothing, shoes and jewelry that didn't make the cut to a resale store. What they don't take is donated. I DO NOT go through my donate pile again. I DO NOT have a "Maybe" pile. If I even consider donating it, it should be donated.

Next, I go through the trinkets in my closet (I haven't unpacked much, because Jared and I thought we'd be moving sooner.) I spend time objectively going through my artwork and deciding what will be on display in the new apartment. Any trinkets or artwork I do not plan on displaying are boxed to be stored.

Jared and I go through our kitchen together once already. We take out all of the pots and pans and deliberat on what we will keep. This is a huge mess that we have to go through yet again. We simply have far too much bakeware.

I pack up the trinkets in the living room.

I go through and dispose of 80% of my toiletries.

Now I am a good month and a half into the packing process. My closet is mostly empty. (I need to give my mother back her photo albums.) Our dresser is empty. Our endtable is empty. Our bookcase is empty. The agony is the scattered items on every available horizontal surface. It's like the floor, kitchen table, dining room table and coffee table have become our maybe piles. It's aggravating to work so diligently at packing up when all you've done is pack up things that were neatly stored away and caused all the miscellaneous items to pile up. The house is pretty trashed. I've been sorting all the keeps into a back room which makes our house look like it's been robbed... only the robbers weren't interested in flat screens or laptops.

I'm considering just taking a big cardboard box and filling it with everything I find in these "maybe" piles.

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