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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lessons on How Not to Move...

Day 1 of Packing

Complete Chaos.

Two and a half years of house showings and stashing of junk equals one huge gigantic mess. I am sure in the knowledge of

a) I have way too much stuff; and

b) my kids have entirely way too many toys!

They have so many toys spread around our home and boxed up that I am sure an entire underprivileged nation would benefit from a donation from us. Okay, I'm exaggerating.

Having said that; however, when you add up two sets of grandparents, two sets of aunts and uncles and one set of parents that equals a hell of a lot of toys. Because you just know that the aunts and uncles and grandmas and grandpas are not going to shower our precious three with any gifts so boring as clothes. No way. That's left for us to buy. My brother is determined to become number one in the favourite uncle category and has insisted from day one that he was not buying my kids anything but cool toys.

So we end up with a whole lot of toys we don't know what to do with. Never mind the whole quandary of can we get rid of this toy some relative spent at least 40 bucks on? Will they notice? Isn't it wasteful?

But still it basically all comes down to how unorganized we have been over the last several years. I can blame it on the small space we live in, I can blame it on work, being too busy etc but basically it all comes down to the fact that I haven't made it a priority. There are always a million and one better things to do (like blogging) and let's..... just get one teensy weensy laying of the blame in here .... my kids always mess it up as soon as I get it organized. ;)

It took us about two hours just to sort through our storage room, also known as the "throw your crap in and close the door quickly room".

It was at that moment, as I stood in the eye of the storm, that I wished I had NOT put off to tomorrow what I should have done today. Cause let me tell you, it always comes back to bite you in the ass. Two and a half years of art supplies spread over multiple shelves and boxes, toys stuffed in bags and boxes. Hmmm were those the toys that I was going to get ride of or keep? Was I keeping that bag of clothes or not? And why is it so hard to look at the bag and tell without going through the entire thing if it's a keep or get rid of? I mean surely at some point I knew what I was doing so why not now? How on earth can I sort through stuff when I have no place to set things down. Why do you have to make a bigger mess before you can get it all sorted and tidy?

I am hoping with that part pretty much done that the rest of the packing will go smoothly. To that end I have created my own moving labels. It's the secretary in me that delights in making itemized lists.
I printed these off on a 8 1/2 x 11 fluorescent orange label sheet. They stand out really well when they are on the box. Not only will it help me direct the movers, I will hopefully have an easier time pinpointing things that we may need. The only catch is those label sheets aren't cheap at the local stationary store here so I may end up printing the rest on regular paper and just taping them on with packing tape. It's a good idea to cover the labels with tape anyways in case it rains to keep the ink from running.

Here are a couple of packing tips:

1. Start in one room and work your way through it. Not only will you feel like you are accomplishing more from seeing one room done instead of a bits from here and there, you will feel more focussed and organized mentally.

2. Use a different colour bag for your garbage than for what you're keeping. I.e. black for garbage, clear or white for say clothes and bedding. This way you always know the black is for tossing the clear or white is for keeping.

Well it's time to go start digging up those posts from Organize with Sandy from the last time we thought we were moving. This is going to be one crazy month.



  1. I love the labels! That's brilliant. In a couple months, I'll be begging for you to send me an attatchment of them.

    The last time we moved I was brutal in getting rid of stuff. I figured everything I got rid of was less stuff to pack. Of course, that's easier when it's not the kids' stuff. Why is that so hard?

  2. Packing is one of the things I hate the most. At least you have the excitement of moving into a new place to sweeten the toil. Love the label idea!

  3. I'm so not looking forward to ever moving. I hope to die in my house and let someone else convince my husband and children to get rid of stuff. They are the pack rats. I grew up having to shed stuff every two to four years since my father was in the military.


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