I’ve started packing. The last time I moved more than 12 miles, I only had three weeks and it was crazy. This time, two months out, where to begin?
As someone who has traveled and relocated A LOT, I will grace you all with my insights as I go which you may or may not agree with. (And if you have enlightenment to share on this subject, I’m all ears!)
Lesson 1: Getting Started
There are a million things to do, and it can be overwhelming. Especially if you start with a list. I’m a list-maker, but in this case, and with this much time, start with boxes! Make the list later; then you’ll feel better to already have a head start.
In my case, I’ve been collecting boxes for months because of my growing discontent. You may need to go get some. But what to pack?
Here’s my big insight for today’s lesson: The easiest thing to start with is books. Let’s face it – you can’t read them all in the next two months, so they might as well be boxed up. There’s a trick to this too: use SMALL boxes. Books are heavy, and there is nothing worse than a giant, heavy box. Save the big boxes for things like blankets and pillows. Best to have 42 manageable boxes than 8 boxes that require two people to carry…because let’s face it: No one wants to help you move! Plan as if it’s all on you. Because it is.
Rule of thumb (that I just came up with): A heavy box should be no bigger than your torso. Keep your center of gravity centered!
Think liquor-store boxes. These. Are. Awesome. Not only are they the right size, they are designed to hold multiple bottles of liquid – i.e. heavy stuff. These boxes are some kind of reinforced…and it seems common for the stores not to break down the boxes, leaving their strength intact.
But don’t be afraid to use shoeboxes in a pinch – especially for old-school “pocket” paperbacks. And boot boxes are a decent size for most books. There is no shame in a small box of books, but there is pain in a large one!
|I've only scratched the surface...|
I admit I’ve not sealed up any boxes. I have many, many, many books, and it’s a bit like sealing away old friends. Besides, there are still small pockets of space in these boxes that may yet prove useful!
Key Point! Don’t succumb to the seduction of actually reading as you pack. It doesn’t work. It’s either-or. I did succumb to pull out this cute, funny book I have, called “the rules: a man’s guide to life” by Esquire. I only pulled it out because I thought it might fit in one of the smaller spaces, but it didn’t, and I started flipping through it. It’s just a series of numbered “rules” like “Rule 222: Some women, particularly models, call one another ‘girls’, but you can’t.” SO TRUE! (And not just models, all of us.) Or non-sequitur rules like 176: “The best instrument is the cello.” And 31: “The best force is centrifugal.” Que? I love it! Cracks me up. I know many who agree with 480: “If there is danger involved, it is fun.” And its follow-up 481: “It is more fun if it requires you to sign a waiver.” SO TRUE! I kept a copy of the waiver I signed for bungee-jumping…and went back for seconds.
[Hopefully Esquire, and Hearst Books who published it, won’t be mad that I listed some of these rules. It’s just a book I found in a bookstore somewhere a few years ago, that cracks me up every time.]
But in the “do as I say, not as I do” department: don’t succumb to the temptation to read while you are packing! It is a path to the dark side …you know “easier, more seductive”.
Now I just have to, you know, tell my bosses, and break the news to my best friend, and then the rest of my family, sell some stuff, and figure out exactly HOW to get out of Dodge. Guess I’ll have to write that list soon.