Friday, February 25, 2011

Packing Smart

I don't know too many people who love to pack, but if you are getting ready for a move or home renovations, as is the case in my home right now, there are some smart moves you can make to at least take advantage of a prime de-cluttering opportunity. You pretty much have to touch everything you own if you're doing a whole house packing job, so it's a great chance to review what you have and make sure you're not expending any more energy caring for items you don't use, love or need.

So what can you do to avoid packing or moving items that don't deserve real estate in your home?

1. Plan ahead as much as possible. In most cases, a move or home project is not a surprise, and while many of us are so busy with the rest of life that packing often gets left to the last minute, do yourself a favor and give yourself at least several weeks to make sure you can pack smart!

2. Scan your home for items you want to sell. This could be anything from small kitchen appliances to furniture to electronics or sporting goods. There are a variety of options for selling items - Craigslist, eBay, consignment, specialty online or local resellers, just to name a few. Pick the avenue you're most comfortable with and take action. We are currently selling a variety of items on Craigslist and have had some quick results.

3. Purge while you pack! There's no sense in packing anything you don't use, love or need. Just as you need to have packing supplies like boxes or containers at the ready, be prepared with trash/recycling containers and bags or boxes for items you want to donate. For donations, pick an organization that matches your needs - some offer on site pick up vs. local drop-off locations, some accept certain items and not others, or you may find specialty organizations or drives in your area for certain types of items, such as sporting goods or computers. A simple Google search is often enough to find what you're looking for. If you know you're going to have a lot of donations, it might be a good idea to schedule a pick up in advance - this can be an effective motivating deadline!

Even if you're not packing yourself (and I don't blame you), you can still follow the above steps to make sure you're not moving items unnecessarily. For donations, simply weed them out and get rid of them before the packing help arrives or mark them and set them aside for a donation pick up. And if all of this seems overwhelming or you have a tight timeline, enlist the help of a professional organizer to help you breeze through steps 2 and 3 - now that's smart packing!

Bottom Line: While packing for a move or home renovations may not be on the top of your favorite activities list, use it as a prime opportunity to review and purge what you own, so you're left with just what you use, love, and need on the other end - how refreshing would that be?!