How to stay sane when packing to move


This is the most horrible part of our upcoming move to Tampa. I am working until next Friday–my husband already gave his notice. (My company is relocating us to Tampa)

I work hard on the weekend with him to pack…and it’s truly horrible. I can’t think of anything more horrible. Maybe the pain of child labor…(maybe):stuck_out_tongue: It’s unreal how much garbage we have!!!

Can someone give me some helpful hints to make these next few weeks of packing a bit more bearable? (Thank you):slight_smile:


Rent a big dumpster and get rid of as much as you can. It’s so much easier than packing, and will make your new home that much more enjoyable. Less is more!


Amen! We did that, and it’s amazing the amount of junk we still have, even after getting rid of a whole storage shed full of junk! We’re still sorting, almost a year after we moved.
I am liking the Franciscan ideal of poverty more and more…


I agree about pitching ALOT of stuff. Especially anything that is still in the box from your previous move. What you do pack - label really well so you’re not unpacking to hunt to stuff. Pack a little at a time - listen to music or watch mindless TV - it will make the time go by quicker.

You will LOVE Tampa - I lived in Carrollwood, Town & Country and Brandon. :thumbsup:


get rid of everything you don’t absolutely need in your new home. be ruthless.

if your company is relocating you and has a relocation plan take advantage of professional movers who will pack and move you, but get rid of all the stuff you don’t need first.

How many sets of dishes do you really need? Do you need kids toys and clothes they have outgrown? Move only the furniture you need and can’t replace. If it is broken don’t move it. If you don’t use it currently don’t move it. If it is in a box you have not opened since your last move, don’t move it.


I second the dumpster. If it is something that you can obtain in Tampa that will not be a hardship to you financially, DUMP IT. Give it away. Have a garage sale.This includes second-hand furniture, dishes (which are a pain to pack), the plastic guzzle cups from Seven 11, all the stuff on your refrigerator held by magnets, food (give it to the local food pantry- cans are heavy to move!), all the stuff your hubby or you never got around to fixing, second-hand tools that do not relate to work, books that hold no meaning, old magazines, berry baskets, cans of spray paint, cans of house paint, toilet paper rolls, and that computer that still runs at 33 MHz with the big 500 MB hard drive.

I would take the beds if they are in good shape, anything that belongs to any youngsters or pets in the house no matter how ratty, anything of material or sentimental value (wedding china, photos), the computer you really use, and first-hand furniture still in good-to-excellent shape.

BE ORGANIZED. Label, label, label, right on the box. Do not overload boxes. Use plenty of packing material (newspaper, peanuts, bubble wrap). Use big, fat Sharpie markers!!!

If you have a place to live, you might consider mailing your books and other materials considered media to yourselves via media rate. Mail the other stuff first-class or priority. I’m here to tell you, it saves oodles of time packing, hauling and unpacking the stuff.


Instead of coming at it from the point of view of “What do I need to throw out or sell,” take the attitude of “What do I want to keep?” and throw the majority of it out, or else sell it, or give it away to the poor.

Don’t keep more stuff than will fit in one moving truck.

Rules of thumb:

If it’s not of sentimental value, throw it away if you have not used it in more than a year, or if you have more than one.

If it is of sentimental value, but you never use it or look at it, think of a relative who might enjoy owning it for a while, and give it to them.

Throw out everything that does not fit, everything that is too dirty to clean, and everything that is broken.


As a career military person from a military family, I can relate to the distain of packing :wink: . I echo the ‘find a dumpster’ sentiments and found that packing a little at a time with frequent breaks helps (if that’s an option). Also, when we get sick of packing, we (the family) research and talk about all the great things we’ll want to do when we get to the new place.

My better 9/10ths and I currently live in the Tampa area with our teenage son. We moved here in the past year and can say this is a fun place to live (when I’m not out of the country or working that is!). If you need any information on the area, please let me know and we’ll see what we can do.

God Bless,


If you find a way to make it less painful - let me know about it too! :frowning:

Even with the small amount of stuff I have I still find it a real pain. Luckily my last move was two years ago, so I’ve nearly recovered :slight_smile:


We moved about a year and a half ago. We lived in our townhouse for over 17 years. We got rid of LOTS of stuff before the move.

The dumpster is your friend. —KCT


Hey–I heard about Town & Country…is that anywhere near Lutz/Wesley Chapel/Land O’Lakes?


For all of u who recommend the dumpster idea…if I give you my dh’s cell phone number…will you try to convince him we need it???:mad: Honestly…I don’t know which is worse…packing, and throwing out stuff…or the arguing over it all. :rolleyes: My husband is ultra structured…everything is on a schedule…

Where I just throw stuff into a box as I go along…and tonight, I want to relax…we can do it tomorrow. He started singing the theme song from ‘Annie’ and wouldn’t stop when I tried talking to him. Honestly…my kids tell us that we act like babies.:blush: Sad isn’t it?

Anyways…back to the dumpster…they are pretty decently priced too…I will work on it…thanks for the help everyone.:slight_smile:


Clearly labeling what is in the box saves major time unpacking. And being specific is best. For example not just clothes but whose clothes, and what type of clothes (summer, winter -pj’s, undergarments etc.) I am not ultra organized by nature but digging through 10 boxes to find your underwear is not cool.


Rent a dumpster…

Unless it’s seriously sentimental…

If it hasn’t seen the light of day in 3 years… pitch it!


I agree…it’s ridiculous though, that I have wonderful old photos of my mom and dad when they were dating…buried in boxes deep in the garage…it’s like…:eek: come on! How did these get back here…as tempting as it is to just pitch it all…I might be pitching history. That’s what makes this whole process truly horrible…having to sit down, camp out and just keep sorting.:frowning: Thanks for the idea, Jay.


Having moved several times in the last few years I hate to break the bad news to you BUT Packing is the easy part. its the unpacking that gets me down…


In keeping with the mentality of leaving behind what you can, try running through any stockpiled alcoholic beverages while packing so you don’t have to move them either. Doing so helps numb the pain and makes the decision to pitch while sorting a lot easier…


Not true (for women at least). Unpacking is the fun part. It’s like everything is brand new all over again when you unpack it from those boxes, and it’s always so nice to make a new house your own with the things that are special to you and your family.


Photo albums count as “sentimental stuff.” If you don’t want to keep them, give them to someone else in the family who would enjoy having them. That way, you’re not throwing out history. :slight_smile:

Or, just go ahead and keep them. :slight_smile:

But throw away all the real junk, and give away everything that’s still good to the poor. Keep only what you absolutely need - enough furniture for the living room to seat the family, enough books and bookshelves to provide a variety (without replacing the public library), one set of everyday dishes, one set of special occasion dishes, one set of cookware and kitchen gadgets, enough clothes to get by until laundry day (throw out or give away everything that is worn out or doesn’t fit), one dining room table, one hutch, one kitchen table, one bed, dresser, desk, and night table for each family member - you get the idea. :slight_smile:


well…made a dent in our bedroom.:o nearly done. now…all the closets need to be done…the rest of the garage, and the kitchen.


don’t u just envy me??:shrug:

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