I have GOT to get things packed up and ready to go. Once I had a clear time frame to work inside of it seemed to bring things into focus for me. Maybe that's what it takes. Maybe you really need that kind of framework to be able to see things clearly. Obviously I do. So, I now I have made a plan, and the very first day that I implemented it, it worked amazingly well! Usually when I make plans like this I bite off too big of a chunk and realize later that no human could possibly do the amount of work I laid out for myself, but this time, now that I have the proper motivation, it has all been going according to the plan.
I decided to blog about it, because one of the biggest obstacles I faced during this whole confusing process was discerning where to start and what to start with. Now that I'm beginning to write it all down it sounds so obvious. I have probably had people tell me to do some of these things, at least in part, but just couldn't see it. Now I do, so maybe I can help sort it all out for someone else.
Certainly the number one thing to start with is obvious. Clutter. Old stacks of mail, magazines, the craft supplies that haven't been sorted through since the oldest child was a toddler, you get the idea. I didn't start these little chores because it seemed pointless until I was ready to actually start packing and getting ready to go. After all, they will continue to pile up, be used, etc... My #1 tip for getting started is DO NOT wait for some nebulous future event or day or time to start with the obvious things. You CAN do these things now. It WILL save you time later. It WILL help.
On this list would be going through your family's clothes. I got rid of SO many items of clothing it was amazing. Between us there were probably a good twenty boxes that now don't have to be packed, stored and moved. The same with books. The same with the kid's toys. The same with dishes and other kitchen items. The stuff in the back of the kitchen shelves, the appliance in the extra closet, the dusty bakeware; they aren't being used. Pack 'em! "Well, I might need it. I just know as soon as I pack it away I will need it." No, you probably won't, and if you do you can either make do (which is my suggestion. You can do without a lot more things than you think!) or go ahead and find it and unpack it.
Which leads to the next rule:
CLEARLY mark all boxes. You will be glad you did. If you need to find something again before you leave you will be able to find it. If you expect you will need it sooner than some of the other things once you are on the other end of the move, you will be able to find it. When you get ready to unpack, you will know where to place the boxes in your new home, saving HOURS of labor in an already exhausting process.
Buy many, big black markers and maybe even packing labels. One for each side of the box is smart. Trust me. Oh, yeah, buy a box taper. Get the kind you see employees using at the store or the post office. It isn't that expensive, and it will save you a lot of time. You are going to be taping-- a lot!
By the way, I heard a great tip. I forgot who I heard it from, so I can't give the credit. If you read this and it was you, my apologies. Anyway, it was this: Hang all of your hanging clothes from the back of the hanging bar toward the front. When you wear them, replace them hanging from front to back. After 3 months (or whatever time you decide is appropriate) you will see which clothes you don't wear because they will still be hung from the back. Now you can can get them out of your way! Insta-sort! Isn't it funny how simple some solutions are? I dreaded all of this so much and now that it's on top of me I can see how easy it was all along and that (of course) I wish I had started sooner.
Now for my plan.
Once the time is set, you can start the actual push to move. Here's what I have been doing. I've been setting my alarm for one hour... I pack two boxes for storing, throw something in the truck for the ARC store (a local second hand store), and one trip to the dumpster. Then if I have time left out of the hour, I sit, read, play on the computer, cook, whatever, until the alarm goes off. I reset the timer again for an hour, fill two boxes and put something in the truck for ARC, a trip to the dumpster, and use the leftover time as I choose... repeat as necessary until DONE!! The first day I worked for sixteen hours like that. No fuss no worry, I'm not sore or over tired. The next day I had a lot of other things to do, so I only did it for about four hours. This week it's so hot I'm waiting until the house is cool to work, so I've been doing two or three hours in the morning and then two or three more at night if there is time. It doesn't even seem hard or stressful. I'm SO excited! Success rocks!
The only problem I am having is in finding places for everything to stack after it is packed. I'm planning a yard sale, so keeping everything piled here and there in groups after I've gone thru it is like clutter on top of more clutter. I am NOT liking that, but this too shall pass. I will probably go get a storage unit the last month before we leave the house, and start moving the stuff that I am keeping over into it.
I figure if I finish one room, packing what I can, emptying it of all but the furniture and items of everyday use (I just found out how much stuff can 'hide' in a room), I can have it done with 3 weeks left to finish moving it into storage. Subtract another week because my husband will have to go through and pack the tools and things, and his time is much more restricted than mine, so that leaves two weeks. I think that's practical. I believe I can actually do it in that time frame. It's going well and I am sticking to it.
So there you have it. I feel silly posting this. It's so simple and not at all newsworthy, but maybe someone out there in my vast audience of ones will find a spark in it someplace. I also promised that I would do my best to document this whole process from beginning to end, so there may be quite a few goofy posts. We shall see.
This is the Success Blog of Rhenda the Representative. I will attempt chronicle the journey from life attached to the umbilical of the grid and the government to a more self-sustained life closer to God and the good earth He gave me.
"For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee."