Staring down a moving deadline is daunting. How late is too late to start preparing? How early is too early? Where do you even begin? Erin Bronner, founder of organizing and event planning company Erin DOES, shared a few strategies she employs with her moving clients.
Embrace the packing process as an opportunity
“If you can pack it up a few months ahead of your move, you don’t need it,” says Bronner. This is an effective strategy for decluttering with a purpose. There is no need to bring your clutter into your next home if it doesn’t have a place in your current one. Moving into a new home is like starting with a blank canvas. The less you move with, the less you have to unpack. Map out your new home in your head or on paper so you can label and pack boxes knowing where they need to end up.
Create an inventory of your current home and your future home
Make a list of anything large, like furniture, art canvases or sculptures, and TVs. This will help you determine where it goes in your new place. Make sure to include unbuilt furniture or future orders.
Put like with like
“It may sound simple, but it’s truly the easiest way to keep your packing efficient and organized,” says Bronner. Your coffeemaker might be on the opposite side of the kitchen from the coffee grinder, but pack them together and they’ll magically find a spot together in your new kitchen.
Reevaluate your knickknacks
Your new home may not have as much display space as your old one, or you may have realized the sentimental items you’ve been saving aren’t so sentimental anymore. “Pack your little items first and don’t be afraid to let things go,” Bronner advises. If you’re having a hard time parting with something you know you don’t really need, consider these two exercises:
Start an “outbox” where you put things you’re on the fence about. If you still want or need it at the end of the week, pack it. If it doesn’t have the same hold over you, donate it.
Designate a small storage container or shoebox as your memorabilia box. Allow yourself to keep as much as you can fit in there. If you want to add something to a full box, take something out and get rid of it.
Choose packing materials wisely
Don’t use bubble wrap, packing peanuts or packing materials that are hard to get rid of, if you can help it. “Not only are they bad for the environment,” says Bronner, “but you’ll have to take out whatever you take into your new place. Packing paper is an easy, recyclable option for fragile items.”
Pack little by little as the day approaches. Don’t try to do it all in one weekend. Not only is this extremely stressful, but it also guarantees you’ll be stuffing everything you see into boxes and accidentally transferring your clutter to your new home instead of clearing it out.
Give yourself a break
“A big move is already punishing enough. Don’t suffer through tasks you hate if there’s an easier way to get them done,” Bronner says. Washing and folding laundry is a task that often stymies progress. It can feel like a never-ending cycle that you’ll never be free of, but there is a simple solution: laundry service. Most laundromats offer a wash-dry-fold service priced by the pound, which is an excellent way to conquer an overflowing hamper and start off with organized drawers and closets. If packing and sealing a ton of boxes stresses you out, hiring a professional organizer or movers that specialize in smaller items may be a worthy investment.
All images copyright © The Senné Company, 2018