Moving House the Minimalist Way: Packing

No matter how little you own, moving house can be stressful. Let’s make the process simple! I like to pack rooms in this order so our family experiences the least amount of upset in our daily routines during the process:

  1. Garage
  2. Basement
  3. Guestroom
  4. Sitting Room
  5. Family/Living Room
  6. Dining Room
  7. Office
  8. Family Bedrooms
  9. Playroom
  10. Bathrooms
  11. Kitchen

A few more suggestions to keep your move simple:

  • Pack 1 box of items you’ll need your first night in the new place (toilet paper, breakfast bars, paper/pen, phone charger, and scissors, to name a few).  Take this box with you in the car so it’s first in the new home.
  • When packing out of season clothing and shoes, ask yourself if they will fit or be in good condition when the season rolls around in your new location.  Keep a trash bag at your side to add donations to as you go.
  • When packing up, label moving boxes with the name of the room the movers can place them in when they unload your belongings at your next home.
  • Save a cleaning bucket full of supplies to use in the home you’re leaving after the truck is packed.
  • Purchase dish pack boxes (as well as tape, bubble wrap, and more) from your local do-it-yourself moving store.  They have foam envelopes for each plate and crystal item and the boxes can be broken down to be re-used through at least 2 additional moves.
  • Make packing a party!  We’ve invited friends from our small group to help us tackle our move by having a 2 hour window for them to drop by and load the moving truck, pick up a slice of pizza, and hang out.  If you get some friends to help, toys, clothing, and a kitchen could easily be boxed up and ready to go in a few short hours.  Be sure to give each of them a card with your new address and contact information so you don’t lose contact with them.
  • If you’re packing your items yourself, consider buying a few (don’t go overboard here) of the tough plastic storage bins with lids.  These make packing soft things (bedding, towels, stuffed animals, and more) a cinch.  They can easily be stacked in your attic at the next home.  If you find a good seasonal sale on these bins, you’ll only pay about $1 more per set than you would for cardboard moving boxes and tape.
  • Not moving?  No problem!  If you ever feel in a rut at home, challenge yourself to clean and organize every room as though you were listing the home for sale.  There’s no need at all to leave, but you will find when you’re done that you *want* to stay because your home’s now a retreat!  So many times people say that it wasn’t until they readied their home for sale that they really saw how lovely it can be.  Start enjoying it now.  This allows your family to reap the benefits of being present and satisfied where you are, and if God does lead you elsewhere you won’t have mountains of to-do lists related to preparing your home for sale or rent.

For more help, check out these posts:

Moving House the Minimalist Way: Preparation

Moving House the Minimalist Way: Perspective


4 Responses to “Moving House the Minimalist Way: Packing”

  1. Megan Keith June 14, 2012 at 3:32 am #

    Wow! I LOVED the final point for those of us not moving at the moment! We are not moving anytime soon, and our little home is very small, even for just the 2 of us! I have been feeling like our home is too cluttered and over full of just stuff. I have been wanting to do a massive clean out of our home, but just the thought of all that work puts me off! After reading this, though, I have a new burst of inspiration to sort through everything and get rid of (donate/sell/throw away)the things we no longer use! Thanks Dana! :)

    • Dana Byers June 14, 2012 at 8:22 am #

      Funny you should say that, Megan, as I took this approach about 5 months ago and we really enjoyed the results of feeling our home was a better retreat than it had been. Then…not much later…God led us to this move we’re making!

  2. linda February 23, 2013 at 4:21 am #

    I agree that we should think before putting some stuff in the box but along with that one needs to maintain a sheet to check which stuff is in which box so that you can save your time once you moved in new place.

    • Dana Byers February 23, 2013 at 8:02 am #

      Good idea, Linda! Thanks for sharing it with all of us.

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