Packing. Whether it is for a trip out on the town, a vacation a few hours away, or to move into a new home, it is something that most people dread. The only thing that is worse is unpacking. UGH!
When I left for NYC after the house had sold, I said to Matt, "Why don't you and the kids start packing while I am gone." Here is the picture I received as I was on a carriage ride in Central Park.
TWO BOXES?!?! Yes, two boxes. That's what they had packed since I had left home. All I could think was- I need to get back so I can teach these people how to move a little bit faster! I am going to help you, too! Here are Chamie's tips for packing and cleaning the clutter.
1. Pack suitcases. Before you pack up your house, pack a suitcase for each family member that has enough clothes to make it until the move is completed. By doing this, you can begin packing and not have to worry about what to leave in the room for later.
2. Pack one room at a time. Once the suitcases are packed, you can focus on one room at a time. Leave the beds for the final day and pack everything else in the room. Don't forget to label the boxes!
3. Make piles. We used four. Box for moving, plastic container for consignment, black garbage bag for trash, and white garbage bag for donations. Sort as you pack and it makes the unpacking so much easier. You will have more energy at the beginning of the move so do the hard part then.
4. Don't save anything for later. Once the room is complete, take the bags to the donation center, take the bags to the trash, stack the boxes, and move all the consignment items to one location. Don't move onto the second room until the first one is completed. We started with the kitchen because it is the hardest. Hard first, easy last. (Also, I figured if I packed the kitchen I wouldn't have to cook for a week!!!)
5. Send your kids (and your husband) to grandma's- especially when you pack their room. Friends, my kids and my husband are hoarders. I practically threw away everything they had. And you know what- they STILL DON"T KNOW!!! Sad. True. (Well, except there was a rock of my husband's that I threw away. We dug through fifteen trash bags to find that rock. WHO KEEPS A ROCK, LEAVES IT ON A COUNTER, AND EXPECTS ME TO LEAVE IT THERE WHILE PACKING?!?!?! We found it. Sigh. He wants me to add it is from a mountain he climbed.)
6. Don't be scared of the trash pile. Did you even know you had it? No. Then you don't need it. Have you used it in the past year? No. Then you don't need it. Does it bring you joy? Ha! Just kidding, but if you have read that tidy book you know what I am talking about. We have too much stuff! If you can live without it, then why are you keeping it?!?! That being said, I may have a lot of explaining to do when my mom, grandmother, or mother-in-law ask me where something is next time they visit. My response, "We have Jesus, our family, and all the values you have instilled in us. What more do we need?"
7. Let it go and let it be. Getting rid of items with sentimental value is hard, but if it they are not serving any purpose, then move on! Matt and I saved up money while we were engaged to buy an armoire for our first house. We sold it when we moved and you know what- we don't even miss it! Going through the attic was by far the hardest part of packing the house. My mother had saved everything- including valentines cards from my 3 year old class. I read them, reminisced, and then threw all of those items away. You see, I didn't even know I had all of that stuff and while the flood of memories was nice, it was even nicer to rid my life of all the things that were just taking up space.
Packing the attic was so awful. Trash, trash, trash, keep.
Thanks, mom! The kindergarten report cards were the best!!!
Believe it or not, the trash people actually took it all and didn't even charge extra!
In the end, we probably got rid of about one-third to one-half of our stuff. We will have to downsize again before we move next time. Just thinking about packing it all up again makes me nauseous. But we can do it!!! We met with the draftsman today!!! The plans are coming along!
Have a great Thanksgiving and remember, be thankful not so much for what you have, but who you have to share it with.
I am Chamie, wife to Matt; mom to Callan (14), Cooper (11), and