The task of packing for a move usually starts immediately after the house move has been confirmed and ends either a day before the move-out date or on Moving day itself.
And due to the extended duration and tedious repetitiveness of the job of packing a house for moving, one possible problem you may face while you’re packing up your things is… lack of motivation to pack.
It’s never easy to start packing for a move when you know that you’ll be doing the same thing over and over again for many days, often for weeks. At the same time, staring at your empty moving boxes and doing nothing is a bad idea, a really bad idea. Why? Because you’ll be wasting valuable time when you should be tackling the most time-consuming task in your moving checklist.
You just can’t get motivated to pack. That’s understandable. But you need to understand that you’ll have to find a way out of that demotivation mood fast to still have a chance of having a fairly problem-free move.
Here are 10 tips and tricks that will help you get motivated to pack for moving.
1. Create a packing checklist, then follow it closely
One of the major reasons why you may feel rather demotivated to start packing for a move is that you just don’t know where to start packing your house. What’s more, you may not be sure when to initiate the packing process – should you start working on that task right away? Or will it be a mistake if you start packing up your things too early?
You keep staring at all the household items that you plan to take with you and do nothing simply because you don’t have a clear plan of what you should do next, and when. Days pass in packing inactivity, and you start to feel the rising panic inside you, for you now realize you’ve wasted precious time and probably won’t be able to finish packing until Moving day.
You just have to do something, fast, to motivate yourself to begin packing for Moving day. But what?
The solution is simpler than you think: create a packing checklist. Also known as a packing timeline, that to-do packing list will guide you from Day 1 to the move-out day. That packing checklist will keep informing you what room you should pack next and what items you should pack next so that minimum time is lost in the process.
Often, a good packing guide is all it takes to get you motivated to pack your items the way a professional packer would.
2. Start packing your home in the right order
It’s important to understand that the home packing process follows a logical progression for maximum efficiency, so you should make an effort to stick to a proven-to-work packing order.
Slow packing progress can be rather demotivating and subsequent failure to finish packing on time may also force you to hire professional packers, which in turn will make your move more expensive than you planned. So, what should you do to increase the overall efficiency of packing so that you don’t get overwhelmed by it all?
The very first thing you should do is get down to packing as early as you possibly can. That should give you a good head-start and should eliminate stressful demotivating scenarios where you run out of time. In reality, once you know that you have enough time to pack up your things without being pressured too much by the deadline, you’ll get extra motivation to finish packing on schedule.
And speaking of the right packing order, you should always start packing from the rooms that you think will be the toughest ones to sort out and pack into boxes. In most cases, those hard-to-pack places in your home are the storage areas – garage, basement, attic, etc., followed by any spare rooms you may have, the kitchen and then the living room.
So, how to get motivated to start packing? Start packing early from the rooms that are really difficult to sort and pack. This way you should be able to stay motivated knowing that you’ve got the hardest move-related task under control.
3. Break the packing process into mini tasks
It can be really demotivating to start packing if you happen to view the packing process as one never-ending project that will take many days to complete. In reality, it is just that but your mind might have trouble processing correctly the whole idea… unless you use one clever trick to motivate yourself to pack your stuff.
And that trick is to break the entire process into smaller packing tasks.
To pack in stages is a proven tactic to get motivated to pack because you’ll be able to see the immediate results of your work. Packing up your entire home won’t finish for many days, but you can still get a few mini packing jobs within a single day. And when you do, the mere idea of checking those tasks as completed will give you the incentive to keep working hard the next day, if not harder.
Here’s an example of how the pack-in-stages trick works: you break the entire packing project into several stages that coincide with the rooms you have in your home: Stage 1: Garage, Stage 2: Basement, Stage 3: Kitchen, and so on.
Then, within those separate stages, you designate mini tasks to boost your packing motivation. For instance, within the Living Room stage, one of your mini packing jobs should be to pack your books. And then, once you’ve packed up your books, you’ll be able to track your good progress and stay motivated when packing for a move.
4. Pack only the things that make sense to be packed
One easy trick to motivate yourself to start packing for a move is the idea that you won’t be packing all of the household items you own. You realize that by cutting down the number of things you’ll need to pack, you’ll spend less time boxing up your things. Also, you won’t need to spend hours and hours in disassembling your large and heavy furniture pieces and wrapping each dismantled furniture part for safe transport.
Of course, packing and moving fewer items will be beneficial to you from a financial point of view too – 1) you’ll spend less money on packing supplies, and 2) you’ll pay less for the transport of your household items because the moving price will be calculated based on the shipment weight (for cross-country moves).
Stay motivated to pack knowing that you’re only moving things you do love and plan to use in the foreseeable future. Before you start packing, get rid of any items that are broken, useless, unwanted or long-forgotten. Think about the storage space in your new home, especially when you’re downsizing – how to get motivated to pack when you know you just won’t have enough room for all the things you’re taking with you?
Keep or regain your packing motivation by packing only the things that make sense to be packed and move to your new home.
5. Motivate yourself through mini rewards
One of the reasons why it’s so difficult to stay motivated when packing for a move is that the entire home packing process takes forever to complete and it’s a super-boring task either – very repetitive and definitely not fun to do.
What’s more, you get nothing in return when you complete a specific packing task either. Obviously, packing up all your books and marking the job as complete in your packing checklist will not really boost your packing motivation, will it?
It’s important to bear in mind that packing will tire you out not only physically, but mentally as well. And that’s exactly why you’ll need to find a good way to trick your mind to stay focused on that task at hand. And what better way to do it than to know there will be some kind of a reward after you complete a mini packing task – something to look forward to during exceedingly tedious periods of boxing item after item.
Stay motivated when packing for a move by coming up with a reward system of some kind – a smart way to pat yourself on the back for finishing a major packing project.
Don’t you deserve to spend an entire afternoon with your friends after packing up your storage areas? Of course you do. Packing up your entire kitchen does give you the right to go watch a movie with a close friend. And yes, you’ll have to think of something extra special when you finish up the entire task of packing for a move – maybe buy yourself that watch you’ve been eyeing for some time?
Use the power of rewards to encourage yourself to keep packing when you can’t see the end of that boring chore in sight.
6. Conserve your packing energy and stay healthy
It can be extremely hard to motivate yourself to pack if you happen to feel tired and you lack the energy to keep working on your packing tasks. Let’s face it – packing for a move is an exhausting project that will require plenty of effort to be completed successfully. And that’s exactly why it can easily turn into an impossible task if you’re not feeling well for some reason or another.
Staying healthy will should give you the extra energy boost you need to finish packing in style. Here are a few ideas about how to save your packing energy and maintain a healthy regime throughout the house move:
Get enough sleep
A good night’s sleep is vital for your physical and mental health during a house move. You may get tempted to stay really late packing in order to get more work done but you shouldn’t do it.
Why? Because that “tactic” will only prove to be counterproductive when you feel sluggish and fatigued the next morning, thus laying the foundation for a genuinely unproductive workday for you.
It won’t be easy to continue to eat healthily when packing for a move simply because you won’t have enough time to do so. After all, ordering a pizza is so much easier and faster than preparing a healthy home-made meal.
Still, you can make it work by stocking up on healthy foods in advance, keeping healthy bulk meals that will last for a few days, and keeping high-energy snack food close by – nuts, protein bars, and so on.
Getting motivated to pack when moving house is never easy… but feeling healthy, energized, and in good overall shape will definitely help you tackle the most feared task in anyone’s moving checklist.
7. Ask your friends to give you a hand
Another reason to lose motivation to pack is when you realize that the amount of work is too much for you to handle on your own. In such cases, you’ve got two viable options:
1) hire professional packers to help you out (can be even more demotivating knowing that the extra service will cost you more money), or
2) ask your best friends to help you pack – you may not be too thrilled to ask your pals that favor, but it seems like you’re running out of time… and good options.
Without a doubt, one great way to pack for a move without getting overwhelmed is to get invaluable friendly assistance when you need it the most. Seriously, have you thought of organizing a packing party and inviting your friends to join the fun?
If yes, there are a few things to remember to keep everything running smoothly:
- Reach out to your friends as early as you can so that you minimize the chance of messing up their previous plans.
- Be a straight shooter with the people you love and care about – tell them exactly what they’ll be up against to avoid awkward situations later on.
- Try not to judge your friends too harshly. If they say YES, that’s great. If they say NO, then they must have a good reason to refuse to give you a hand during that difficult period.
- Show appreciation toward your friends and be ready for their arrival – in other words, don’t waste their time by being underprepared for their help.
After all, what’s a better way to get motivated to pack for a move than having your best friends over at your place?
8. Keep packing distractions at bay
If you can’t get motivated to pack, one possible reason for your current state of moderate demotivation may be that you’re just not seeing the progress you were hoping to see when you first started boxing up your things. In fact, how fast and how effectively you’ll be able to complete your mini packing tasks will depend largely on how often you get distracted from whatever it is that you’re currently doing.
In most cases, harmful distractions are likely to slow you down while packing even if you’re proud of your multitasking skills. It’s one thing to be listening to nice music in the background and something entirely different to be watching your favorite TV series while packing breakable kitchen items such as plates and glasses.
The good news is that packing for a move does not require you to be 100% focused on that task in hand – rarely will you need to concentrate fully to pack something up for safe transport.
The bad news is that ringing phones, loud TV noises, nosy neighbors, and young kids or pets running around will all keep interrupting your work, thus potentially forcing you to fall behind on your packing schedule. And when that happens, then you’ll have a rough time regaining your packing motivation knowing that you’ll have to invest even more effort to catch up with the schedule.
9. Add some fun to the packing process
You need packing motivation? Then why don’t you make packing fun, to begin with?
Packing for a move is viewed as a tedious task so it’s normal that you won’t usually be looking forward to it. But if you manage to make the entire packing process more interesting and even more fun, then you won’t really feel demotivated during the longs hours of packing things into cardboard boxes.
Here are a few ideas you can use to bring some kind of fun to the tedious task of packing an entire home for moving:
- INVITE your friends over to mix business with pleasure. Promise your pals that it won’t be just work, work, and more work, and then keep your promise.
- PREPARE tasty snacks and various types of drinks to keep everyone content and to maintain high energy levels until the packing job is done.
- PLAY good music in the background to kill the boredom and encourage your friends to sing along.
- THINK of fun games to entertain your helpers during deserved breaks from packing.
If you happen to be packing on your own, without any friends around, then you can still stimulate yourself to keep packing by having your mind occupied with another activity that is much more fun.
For example, you can have your earphones on and listen to your favorite songs while boxing up your books. Or, you can even listen to an audio book while packing the various fragile items in your kitchen.
10. Consider the savings you’ll make
Whenever you feel like you’re losing your motivation to pack when moving to a new home, just think of your strongest incentive to consider packing by yourself in the first place. That’s right – you started packing on your own because you didn’t like the idea that you’d have to pay professionals to do the things that you yourself can manage.
It’s a fact that when you’re packing by yourself, you’re actually saving plenty of money – the same money you’d have paid professional packers for the same job. Thus said, there are times when you will definitely need professional assistance – when you’ve decided to move specialty items such as a piano, a pool table, a hot tub, a grandfather clock, a heavy metal safe, and so on.
More often, you may need packers’ help when you want large and heavy furniture pieces to be disassembled, packed and moved safely to the new address – especially when those furniture items are antique.
When you’re moving long distance, your cross-country moving company will charge you a fixed rate for the accessorial service of packing. In most cases, the quoted price will include the cost of the required packing supplies.
When you’re moving locally, your local mover will charge you for packing based on the hours it takes the moving crew to pack up your home. You’ll be given an estimate but the actual price will most likely be higher than that initial calculation.
So, the next time you feel rather demotivated to start packing or to continue packing with the initial energy and enthusiasm, just think of the many dollar bills you’re saving, and then get back to work.