Think Inside the Box

Moving is a stressful job, but when you’ve been living in the same home for many years it can seem almost overwhelming. With so much to pack, even getting started can be daunting.

Organize Anything has compiled some simple tips to help you make packing an easier task.

  1. Sort it. When moving to a smaller place it is impossible to take all your things.  The first step is to make decisions on what you will need and want in your new home and let the other things go to charity, to relatives, or in the garbage.  It is a lot of work, so you may need a hand sorting through everything.  Once you have decided what you will be taking with you, you are ready to pack.
  2. Pack it. Keep the boxes light.  Don’t try to cram everything in as few boxes as possible.  This will make everything harder to move.  Even if you are getting movers, you may need to move boxes around when you are unpacking.  Try to keep the boxes less than 50 pounds.  Stuff socks, towels, pillowcases, etc into free holes in boxes. You will require less packing paper and fewer boxes! Don’t over-pack boxes. This risks damaging your items.  Mark which end goes up to avoid any damaged goods.  If you plan on putting items in garbage bags, make sure they are heavy duty so they don’t rip.  Avoid confusion with actual garbage by using clear bags.  Use your luggage to carry other household items.  Keep as much as possible in the proper place (i.e.: clothes in dresser drawers, silverware in tray) so you have less to unpack.
  3. Track it. Write down what’s in every box.  Label the box by number and in a notebook write down everything that you put in the box.  Be specific.  Say coffee mugs instead of kitchen stuff.  Label all boxes; small or large.  If you have to take down and reassemble furniture, put all the nuts and bolts into a bag and tape the bag to the piece of furniture.
  4. Color-code it. Color-coordinate your boxes.  Use colored stickers, tape or sheets of construction paper and be sure to write down in a notebook what each color means.  You can have a different color for each room, or have one color for your new home and another for things that are going into storage or elsewhere.  You can color code boxes containing breakable items with a bright color so movers know to take extra care with these.
  5. Move it. Moving day can be long and tiresome.  Make sure you stick to your routine as best you can, including proper sleep, meals, and medications.  Plan ahead to make sure you are able to eat and take your medications at the proper times. Keep important items and records with you, this includes your list with what’s in each box.  If you can’t afford to lose it, keep them separate from your moving boxes.
  6. Unpack it. Look at all the boxes!  To make this task manageable take it one box at a time.  Look at your list of boxes and pick the ones you’d like to open starting with the ones that contain the most important things to get you into a daily routine- frequently used kitchen and bathroom items are a good place to start.  This is a great time to have a friend or family member come visit.  They can help you set up things to your liking and keep you company as you unpack things.  Don’t worry, you can have them over again once you are all settled in.  As you are finding a new place for your belongings you may realize some things you need to buy.  Start making a list and take a break from unpacking to go to the store.  Take it a few boxes at a time and make sure you take time to eat, take medication and sleep at your regular times.

A move is a lot of work, especially for one person, so be sure to get help with each step along the way.  Friends, family members, cleaners, movers, and professional organizers can help make your move effortless and stress-free!

What’s your best or worst experience moving? What did you learn from it? Let us know in the comments section below!

If you’re going to be moving this spring and you’re overwhelmed with where to start, let us help! Organize Anything provides step-by-step support with your move of any size. Check out our website for more information.

If you found the information in this article useful and you’d like to share it, please feel free; just remember to credit Organize Anything.

For more great tips and information on our services visit us at and be sure to follow us on Twitter @organizenow. You can also find Organize Anything on Facebook at


About Organize Anything

Colette is a Gold Leaf member of the Professional Organizers in Canada (POC). Through the Canadian Redesign Association (CRDA) she has received the designation of Certified Interior Redesigner. She is also a member of the U.S. professional organizing associations National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) where she has the Golden Circle distinction and is a member of Intsitute of Challenging Disorganization (ICD) where she is the first in Canada to receive her Certified Professional Organizer –CD (Chronic Disorganization) ®, ADD and CD specialist Certificates. Among her many distinctions she has also earned Level I certificates of study in Chronic disorganization (CD), Basic Mental Health Conditions, Learning Styles and Modalities, Basic ADD Issues, Physical Conditions, Client Administration and Understanding the Needs of Elderly.

Posted on March 17, 2015, in Home and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. When I move, I use a binder where I keep my master packing list (pages with box numbers and space for the contents to be listed beside the appropriate number), any invoices, contracts, delivery paperwork, etc. so it’s all in the same place.

    In addition, for my last move, I repurposed a red tote bag into which I put all the picture hooks, hardware from disassembled furniture, hammer, screw driver, picture level etc. so it was all together when needed.

    These two organizing items ensured my sanity as well as simplified the process.

  2. I love binders as well. So great to keep everything in one place. Great tip about the bag- good to use a colour that is easy to spot.

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