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The Hilarity of Packing When Moving: Dueling Strategies

Updated on May 11, 2011

So, you're moving.

It's a lot of work to move. I know because I have moved 13 times - and 4 of those have been in the last 3 years. Two things I've learned about moving:

  1. There are two kinds of packers, and
  2. My husband and I are not the same kind.

You see, the #1 goal in my husband's packing agenda is to pack as quickly as possible. My #1 goal is to pack so that unpacking will be as stress free as possible. The combination of these two very different packing philosophies is the exact reason that whenever we move I find myself sitting in a room full of everything out of every drawer, every cabinet, and every closet, crying about how he won't help me as I unpack and repack a box that he packed earlier. To put it lightly, I always end up turning our house into a disaster area.

My husband feels that this is "the correct packing procedure":

  1. Pick a drawer/cabinet/or small area.
  2. Get a box to approximate size of said area.
  3. Stack large items in box.
  4. Dump left over stuff around said items.
  5. Close box.
  6. Tape if necessary.
  7. Repeat until no more boxes.
  8. Throw loose items that you forgot to pack in the backseat of the car.
  9. Throw away anything left over.
  10. Packing complete!

Now, compare that to my packing strategy:

  1. Pick a room.
  2. Remove everything from every drawer, cabinet, closest, etc. and dump on floor.
  3. Sort things into groups.
  4. Throw away trash.
  5. Put unwanted items in a "Donate to Goodwill" pile.
  6. While sorting, put items that belong in another room in the correct room.
  7. Get distracted and start emptying every drawer, cabinet, closet, etc. in the new room.
  8. When every room is now a mess, become overwhelmed and cry.
  9. Turn on the TLC show "Clean Sweep" for motivational help.
  10. Get all boxes, determined to fill them all in the next hour.
  11. Go through folders of notes, carefully looking at each page for anything I might need/want to keep.
  12. Keep nothing after all.
  13. Recycle paper.
  14. Remember all the paper already put in the trash, feel guilty, and then dig through trash pile for paper to put in recycling.
  15. While undoing previously done work, go back to Goodwill pile and debate keeping sentimental items.
  16. Get frustrated and decide to decide later.
  17. Turn on TLC again looking for more motivation.
  18. Spend the next hour being a paranoid hypochondriac about having undiagnosed OCD because "Hoarders" was on this time.
  19. Beg hubby to tell me that I am not a hoarder.
  20. Move sentimental items in and out of Goodwill pile still trying to assure myself that I am not a hoarder.
  21. Begin placing items in boxes by categorizing them and by fitting the space in a manner similar to playing Tetris (humming the tune is optional).
  22. Unpack and repack box after realizing it is too heavy.
  23. Unpack entire box again after realizing that item on bottom was borrowed.
  24. Put borrowed item in an area to go back to its correct owner.
  25. Repack box.
  26. Unpack box because it looks like it can fit more if packed differently.
  27. Repack with more items.
  28. Cheer as it closes.
  29. Realize it is very late and decide that one box is enough for today.
  30. Finally, spend more time blogging about packing than actually doing it.

How do you pack?


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    • aslanlight profile image

      aslanlight 6 years ago from England

      I still had things in boxes after 3 years of living here! I've finally sorted things out.

    • laddriggers profile image

      laddriggers 6 years ago

      I'm glad you thought it was funny. It really is the way I pack - but it's only ever funny to me after the fact. :)

    • aslanlight profile image

      aslanlight 6 years ago from England

      Hilarious hub!

      'When every room is now a mess, become overwhelmed and cry.' This is me! I'm a terrible packer; I just throw things in boxes and hope for the best, then I never know which boxes the important things I need at the other end are in.

    • Phillbert profile image

      Phillip Drayer Duncan 6 years ago from The Ozarks

      I recently moved. I ran out of boxes halfway through and had to use trash bags... however I did keep them relatively organized!