The Art of Packing…and Unpacking

So I’ve recently moved from my apartment in Oregon to my mom’s two-bedroom apartment in Colorado. Because I was prepared for the move (as graduation would end my time in Eugene), I began packing two weeks in advance.

The little items that I knew I wouldn’t need went into cardboard boxes and plastic tubs first. Then as time began to dwindle, my clothes went into suitcases and then finally the big items were dismantled and placed in neat piles awaiting moving day.

The only furniture I took was a 9-cube storage shelf and the rest was sold so that wasn’t an issue when it came to cramming everything into my small SVU and the minivan my mom rented for the two-day drive. I have to say it was an easy packing experience. I had more things than I originally thought, but it all fit without a problem.

The problem came though when I returned home. Now since I had been at school for three years, my mother took over my bedroom and closet, which means when I moved back, space was tight. My top bunk is now unusable as there are boxes, bags and everything in-between taking up the full-size space. My poor cat isn’t even able to hide up there.

I also have plastic bins piled near the already full closet, so getting to things requires some moving. So to say it simply, my room is crowded and I’ve barely unpacked because there just isn’t anywhere to put things.

And if you know me personally, you know that I like to be organized so it’s driving me a bit crazy. Luckily, or hopefully, really, I will be able to leave my items packed so they can be easily moved to a new location. (Stay tuned for details on that)

What I’ve learned from moving multiple times to and from school and from apartment to storage unit and back again, is that you have to have a method to your madness. For me, organization is key. It may be easy to just throw everything into one box and then fill the next one and so on, but putting like objects in the same box make things that much easier when it comes to unpacking.

For instance: I had two different side tables with drawers and a bunch of random items in each drawer. What helped me was keeping electronics in one box, office supplies in another and keeping soft goods (sheets and blankets) in bags or suitcases. This makes it easier when unpacking and not having to rip through every box trying to find that one cord for the TV. Also remember to label everything. That way you know where boxes need to go and what’s in each.

Another thing I learned from moving multiple times in only a couple of years, is to invest in plastic bins that can be reused for moving and for general storage afterwards. I have large bins that I used for heavier items like books and DVDs that came in handy when storing other things after being moved in. (And yes, I still own and buy DVDs)

And the big final lesson that I’ve learned is to purge before you move. Packing time is a great opportunity to go through and clean out the old. Plus it gives you some extra space. When I pack my clothes I ask myself if I’ve worn it recently, how often I’ve worn it in the past year and if I can see myself buying it again. If I haven’t worn it recently (and it isn’t a seasonal item) then it goes in the ‘maybe’ pile. If I’ve worn it less than 7-10 times in the past year, then it goes in the donate/sell pile. And if I don’t see myself buying it again, then it belongs in the bag to Goodwill.

Though I’ve moved a lot and packed and unpacked many boxes, I don’t mind the process. It’s refreshing to go through my personal items and see what I really need to keep and what I can live without.

There’s definitely an art to the packing game but everyone can find their own rythm and find what works best for them.

Here are some other sites/sources that I found helpful in my organization and art of moving:


P.S. I don’t have a dashund, I just thought it was a cute picture.



3 thoughts on “The Art of Packing…and Unpacking

Add yours

  1. Got you beat … when my wife and I moved from L.A. to Eugene, we cataloged everything in numbered boxes. I mean a full spreadsheet with every single item in each box. A little obsessive-compulsive? Maybe. But we were able to find whatever we wanted immediately as we unpacked over a couple of months …

    But, yeah, they’re right when they say you can’t go home again … 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Website Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: