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Packing Strategies

Updated: Jul 9, 2023

I often wonder if people would move either sooner or more frequently if they didn’t have to deal with the packing and unpacking process. Just the idea of stuffing all your possessions into boxes while you are still trying to live your life can be daunting, to say the least. Then, there is the overwhelming prospect of unpacking and setting everything up in your new home. It doesn’t really scream, “Fun!” If you decide to do it yourself, here are two approaches that can help make the process more digestible. If you’d rather pass the baton, you’ll be glad to know that there are those of us who love the challenge.

How Do You Eat an Elephant?

If you haven’t heard the saying or been asked this question during a job interview, the answer to how you eat an elephant is “one bite at a time.” Now, I am not an advocate of actually eating an elephant, but I am a firm believer in tackling large projects bit by bit when time or energy does not allow for an all-out, all-at-once effort.

The “bit by bit” packing strategy begins six or more weeks before your move. Progressively, you pack the least-used, least-essential items. For example, if your move is in July, start in May to pack winter holiday decor, ski gear, and other fall/winter items first. As you approach move day, you pack more and more frequently used items until you are left with your daily use items, the unpack first items, and your overnight bag items. After your move, you unpack in reverse.

The Benefits of Packing Bit by Bit

  • You can pace yourself. This allows you to sustain the required effort to complete the job instead of burning out part-way through it.

  • You don't have to put everything else on hold to pack and move.


If you are not an extended project sort of person, you might prefer to get your packing and unpacking done like you would run the 100-meter dash. Sprint! You guessed it, this approach entails packing everything together ASAP. It begins about two weeks before your move and requires a much more concentrated effort and focus. Your main objective during those two weeks is to pack as much as you can, except your day-to-day essentials. The unpacking method is similar. Basically, you make it your job for a specific period of time, then it’s done, and you can resume your normal routine.

The Benefits of the Packing Sprint

  • You are living with boxes for much less time.

  • You get settled into your home, and back up to full speed, more quickly.

  • You're less likely to leave boxes packed for a long period of time after the move.

How to Pack a Box

Now that you have some basic moving strategies, it could be helpful to check out my short video series on how to actually pack a box. Sounds simple, but you’ll want to make sure to have the right tools and techniques to get your items to your new home in one piece. To learn more and access the videos, refer to my blog post, How to Pack Boxes for a Move.

Choose Your Approach

Our goal is to not only be an exceptional service provider, but also a valuable resource for your DIY organizing and move projects. So, we hope that these strategies are helpful. But remember, you can always call the Element of Fun Organizing team when you need a little assistance. We can step in at any point in the process, or you can leave the entire move in our experienced hands. It's what we love to do!

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