How to Motivate Yourself to Pack

Efficient, organized packing is crucial for a smooth long distance move. Properly wrapping, padding, boxing and crating your belongings will ensure your items arrive in the best condition. Packing can seem daunting, as you look at the years of accumulated memories and belongings, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Interstate moves tend to come with a lot of details that need to be worked out. If you want to distract yourself from packing, there will always be another moving task for you. The short solution is to follow the Nike slogan and ‘just do it.’ That’s easier said than done. Don’t wait until the last minute to pack for your long distance move. Here are some easy tricks to motivate yourself to start packing.

Divide and Conquer: Keep, Sell, Trash

Devise a plan for what you’re going to do with items you decided not to pack. There will likely be things you find hard to place in any of those categories. Organizing and planning will make packing, selling or trashing items that much easier. Here is a step by step guide for going through your items.

  1. Create three piles for your belongings: keep, sell, and trash.
  2. If you haven’t used an item for over a year, consider selling or trashing.
  3. Leave each pile until you are complete with that room.
  4. Pack all your ‘keep’ items.
  5. Create a plan for your ‘sell’ items.
  6. Place all ‘trash items’ in a trash bag or donation box.

Organize by Room

Develop a way to label your packing material on a per-room basis. Knowing what room your items came from will not only make packing more efficient, it will also ease the stress of unpacking at your destination. Be a bit more creative than just writing the name of the room in the same black marker on each box. Here are some great ideas for organization:

  • Consider using a set of Sharpies in different colors and assign a color to each room.
  • Create a little fun and draw a specific design for each room on the boxes, such as a sun for items located in the sunroom.
  • Print out large stickers to place on boxes instead of black marker.

No matter how hard you try, boxes from different parts of the home will get mixed up during the moving process. Having this organization will ensure you won’t be left to wonder what’s in a box or where it goes. It also makes packing easy, as you can pack one room at a time.

Enjoy Hands-Free, Non-Sedentary Distractions

Packing can become repetitive after a while, leading to boredom that slows the process. Don’t let this become demotivating. You can keep things interesting by making a game out of it. Here are some great tips for enjoying your packing process just a bit more:

  • Engage in an activity that doesn’t require you to sit or use your hands.
  • Listening to music can provide a great source of entertainment.
  • Dance around your home, just make sure there is space for you to do this safely!
  • If you are packing alone, consider calling a friend over for company.
  • Use a hands free Bluetooth to speak on the phone.

Reward Yourself

People often want to give themselves a big reward for accomplishing an entire task, but you should reward yourself for the completion of subtasks as well. Look at each room as its own task, worthy of reward upon completion. This reward could be a small snack or a short walk outside. You could even pour yourself a small glass of wine if you won’t be driving any time soon.

Whatever you do, keep your reward short and don’t let yourself enjoy your small rewards until each task is complete. Plan a larger reward waiting for you when everything has been packed away in the proper box, such as a night out with a friend. With all the work that goes into packing, the best reward may be a good night’s rest.

Packing can seem like a huge task, even with hired help or friends to assist you. Motivate yourself to pack with excellent organization and reward. Before you know it, you’ll be ready for your interstate move and your new home.

Need packing assistance or want someone to handle the whole packing process for you? Call National Van Lines at 800-676-9270 and ask about our packing options.