A Guide to the Dreaded Packing Saga

1 Jan 2021

Even before my time as part of the army family, I’ve picked up and moved plenty of times.  The first couple of moves left me crying sitting in a half packed living room, or a messy bathroom, or even the driveway as my TV fell out of the trunk of my Rav4.  Y’all – moving is so overwhelming!  You have this plan to get everything done and it will all be wrapped up in a nice little bow on the day you move out.  You can almost taste the victory as you start packing “early”, and then you get distracted and life happens and you end up overwhelmed and crying as you eat old Twizzlers and drink the bottle of forgotten wine that you just found.  Not saying that has happened to me….

Between colleges, marriages of friends and family, new jobs, and new adventures I have moved 9 times since 2008, and my hyper organization has finally paid off because I now have it down to a science.  If you’re like me you have a ton of lists and to-do’s before you move.  While I have always had those lists, I kept adding to them or putting them off with no real timeline – just an overwhelming list of things to do.  When we moved from Louisiana to Kansas, I had everything organized and I cannot believe how much of a difference it made!  The most stressful part of the entire move was the dog throwing up in the truck around hour 2 of our drive.  It worked so well, that I really wanted to share my packing strategies with everyone!


4 weeks before move:

  • Make a list of all utilities that need to be turned off, as well as all the utilities that you will need to have turned on at your new home
  • Call utility companies to set a discontinue date (this prevents you from getting stuck paying the internet bill for an extra month)
  • Book moving van, cubes, whatever you are using
  • Start packing clothes and shoes that aren’t in season that you know you will not be wearing
  • Pack kitchen appliances that you don’t regularly use (like that quesadilla maker your husband promised he would use ALL the time and well – hasn’t)
  • Get creative and start getting rid of those pantry items

3 weeks before move:

  • Pack ALL decorations
  • Call utility companies that you will need to have set up at the new house and set appointments or start dates for each
  • Make necessary veterinarian and doctor appointments for the following week
  • Pack extra linens and all that stuff you have stored in closets and night stands

2 weeks before move:

  • Attend doctor/vet appointments
  • Pack up office/spare room/extra rooms *if you have a playroom, keep a few of the most played with toys but pack the rest
  • Keep out a few kitchen essentials (1 pot, 1 stirring spoon, basic spices), and pack the rest *if you don’t already have paper plates/silverware get some because this will save you
  • Pack the living room (entertainment stand items, even the DVD player and game consoles)

1 week before move:

  • Do all laundry
  • Set aside clothes for this week and next week (I promise this is all you will need because you CAN wash them!), and PACK THE REST!
  • Pack up the bathrooms except for small bags of necessary toiletries
  • At the end of this week everything should be packed up!



  • You made it! YAY!
  • this is the time for loading the moving van (or whatever you are using), final cleaning, packing the car as you go, and making sure nothing was left behind during packing *do a final load of laundry the night before you are set to load up the washer/dryer

Tips as you go

  • Once you finish a room, clean it and close it off
  • LABEL EVERYTHING *my system: write the room in big letters and in a smaller corner write everything that is packed in that box  (LIVING ROOM – dvds, photo albums, xbox stuff)
  • Moving is a fantastic time to purge yourself of things you don’t use or need, it’s okay to throw things away or donate those things someone else might want!
  • If you are military, and are using the army to move you, you can pack up everything and just the leave the boxes un-taped for them to double check and tape up themselves


So there you have it!  My foolproof way to create as little stress as possible during your move.  Of course, you’ll have to tweak it to your personal preferences and needs but this is a great general guide for you!  If you have any suggestions or things that I have left out, please let me know!  Remember, this is an exciting time and a new adventure, happy moving!


Realtor® – (785)202-1204

Featured Photo by Alex Mecl on Unsplash

Photo by Handiwork NYC on Unsplash

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