Friday, August 10, 2012

How To Pack For A Big Move

{This creepy clown piggy bank might be my favorite estate sale purchase ever.}

Of all the really fun things I've done in my life, packing has to be #1. It's the greatest thing ever and I love it so so so much. That's why I keep on moving, obviously... TOTES JK. I would kind of hate myself a lot of that were true. What would that even say about me as a human? Have no fear, dudes. I am much more of a Phoebe than I am a Monica. But even though I pretty much think packing is the worst and ranks right up there with paper cuts and waiting in line for things other than roller coasters, it is a necessary evil. If you move as much as I do {which is to say, A LOT} then you're well versed in the art of bubble wrapping your valuables and stacking them neatly in boxes. However, we don't all start off as packing pros. When I was 18-years-old, getting ready to head off to NYU, I couldn't have been less prepared to pack my life up into boxes. I had kitchen stuff mixed in with my bathroom stuff. And don't even get me started on my folding technique. YIKES, ladies. So, on the off chance that you're not qualified to compete in the Packing Olympics like me, I'm here to save the day with some of my wisdom. 

1. Set aside time- Rome wasn't built in a day or whatever. Meaning- you're not going to get your entire life packed into boxes in a day... Unless you're crazy. And in that case, do you want to come over and have a packing party?! But seriously, the best thing you can do for yourself when you're moving is give yourself time to properly pack. Rushing only allows for sloppy packing and that's when shit gets lost or damaged. I started packing for LA nearly a month before my move date. This has given me enough time to go box by box. I started with packing away most of my vintage clothes, then picture frames and living room junk. Next, I'm doing the rest of my decorative shiz, and then most of my shoes and clothes. {I'll leave a good two week's worth of clothing and multiple shoe options out for during the move.}

2. Set the mood- So if you're getting ready to get down and dirty with your man friend, what do you do? First, wax. THEN, you pick out a playlist. Duh. That's just common sense, ladies. Packing is only slightly different. You can forget about waxing because no one is going to want to touch your sweaty ass after you're done packing a ton of boxes. But you will want to come prepared with a playlist or two for the festivities. Personally, I prefer a mix of 80s dance music with 90s grunge. It keeps things interesting & motivates me to haul ass and keep packing even when I'm exhausted. I also like to pepper in some current hits- no playlist is complete without a little Katy Perry. On this particular occasion, I was jamming to some good ole' Offspring. Can't beat it.

3. Come Prepared- Beer & boxes, my friends. The two B's of packing. First, let's talk boxes. I'm lucky in that my Dad can get me tons of boxes from his office for this particular move. When I moved from New York last August, I got my boxes through work. But I haven't always been so lucky when it comes to moving. When I moved from Brooklyn to Manhattan, I ended up buying some boxes from Staples, and also running around my neighborhood and asking grocery stores and bodegas for their left over boxes. Pathetic, but both worked out pretty well. You can also order boxes online. I've never done that before but I've heard good things. Honestly though, the cheapest option is to ask grocery stores or Target for their extra boxes. It might feel weird asking at first, but trust me- it's pretty common. You'll probably get at least 4-5 free boxes out of the deal! If you can't muster up the balls to do that, definitely try ordering online or going to Wal-Mart or Staples and buying some cheapies. Also, when it comes to picking box sizes- don't go too big or you won't be able to carry them! Even though more boxes sometimes seems like a pain, you'll be thanking me when you don't throw your back out trying to lift a behemoth of a box. Now, onto the beer. I really think no packing party is complete without a decent beer or three. That way, you don't have to feel like a total loser and you can trick yourself into thinking you're actually having fun. Ah, life.

4. THROW SHIT AWAY- Okay, well yeah throw some shit away. But also donate as much as you can. The truth is, you probably don't need half of the shit you've accumulated in your lifetime. The biggest one for me is always clothes. Go through your closet and dresser and throw away anything you haven't worn in the last year, as well as anything that doesn't fit you. {Except for maybe one pair of aspirational jeans and fat pants. We all have those days.} For me, this cut out legit half of my wardrobe. As terrifying as it is to get rid of shit, it's also strangely liberating. I also donated a TON of living room decorations that I'm not in love with anymore. Old tea candle holders, bowls and lots of random stuff that I just didn't want to put in my new place. Moving is the perfect opportunity to finally go through all of your stuff and get rid of everything you don't need. {Those pretty faux roses will most definitely be making the trip to LA!}

5. Pack Like An Adult- Even though I love all things My Little Pony and wear ribbons in my hair a lot, I sometimes have to put on my big girl pants and act like a grown up. Seriously, dudes. Don't just throw stuff in boxes, close your eyes and click your heels three times and hope it all works out. I've done that before- and trust me, you'll wind up somehow losing your favorite cardigan and your only Celine Dion vinyl. Not like that happened to me or anything... Seriously, you have to put time and organization in if you want your move to be anything other than chaotic. Organize boxes by room- kitchen stuff in one box, clothes in one or two boxes, etc. And label each box by room- this will making unpacking SO much easier. Bubble wrap anything you don't want broken. Magazine pages and newspaper pages will also do in a pinch, but are a total bitch when unpacking. I've never had anything break during a move and I think that is due, in large part, to my undying love of bubble wrap. Also, when packing clothes, roll them up instead of folding them flat whenever possible. This saves MAJOR space. Exceptions to this rule would be heavy coats & larger items.

See? Packing can be not totally horrible! You just have to give yourself enough time, and approach it like an intelligent human being who understands that a vibrator and kitchen appliances don't go in the same box. That's all! Oh, and intersperse some dancing & beer into your packing party. That helps. A lot. Happy packing, dudes!!

xo Carmen


  1. I loooove to pack! can I come over and help ;)I am a total Monica with the label gun and yelling people what to do, oh yeah!

    And lol @vibrator and kitchen apliances in the same box haha... that happens

  2. i just moved last weekend and packed the night before and day of. you're right, it was crazyville. did i mention i'm also 9 months pregnant? ha! good luck with the move!

  3. I SO WISH you had posted this two weeks ago so I could have shared it with my packrat sister and her husband. Dude. Trust me, it was awful. Like, worst move ever. *Sigh* You give good advice, though!

  4. Seriously great advice. I moved my stuff four times ove the past two years - and while I always forget how much of an extreme pain it is, there are techniques to make it a little more manageable. LOVE the 2 b's. ;)

    Melissa @ Melicious

  5. I will definitely put this all into consideration when I move at the end of the month. So darn excited! Woop xox

  6. These are all great tips! You almost read my mind, these are the steps I follow most of the time!

  7. I really like to know how to pack for big move. I seldom do moving from one place to another due to work. I think that having this very useful information on how to properly pack things up would be very useuful to me.

  8. Plan ahead,make a checklist on moving up. If busy for packing up, hire removalist to do this for you. They offer services from loading to transportation to unload and even arrange stuff for your new home. Ask about their services and even travel insurance for safety of your stuff.

    Joseph @ removals eastern suburbs sydney


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