How to Start Packing ... And Stop Procrastinating!

How to Start Packing ... And Stop Procrastinating!

, by Maeve Reidy, 4 min reading time

Let’s face it. Packing is a big task! There is nothing easy about taking everything you own and putting it safely into boxes. Packing is also deceiving … it always feels like it’s going to take a lot less time than it really does.

Having said that, if you are having trouble getting yourself to start packing, you are not alone. Many of us struggle with motivation. But since your move is happening anyway, you may as well save yourself as much stress as possible and get started sooner rather than later!


Sadly there is no Magic Bullet to get the ball rolling on packing … if there was, we’d tell you!

But there are a few things that you can do to spur yourself on:


Figure out how much time you’re really going to need.

Procrastination is all well and good, but there’s a fine line between putting something off until you feel ready, and putting something off until it’s impossible to accomplish without loads of stress and anxiety in the short time you have.

If you are finding it a struggle to start packing, take a moment to think realistically about your move and how much time you’re really going to need to get all of your packing done.

You will probably already know this(!) but the more stuff you have, the more time it is going to take to get your stuff packed up. AT THE VERY LEAST you will probably need at least 3-5 days to pack up a one-bedroom home; a week to 10 days to pack up a two-bedroom home; 2-3 weeks to pack up a three-bedroom home …

Gather your supplies

You can’t pack if you don’t have supplies to pack them into! So make gathering your moving boxes and supplies the first thing you tackle, so you have what you need for when you’re ready to start. Don’t forget the less obvious supplies like packing paper, vacuum storage bagsmarkers for labelling the boxes – and don’t forget tape … lots of tape!

Start with the smaller tasks

As with anything you’re having trouble starting, knocking a few small tasks off the list is a great way to start building momentum. Don’t think of it as “I have to get the entire kitchen packed up” (a major job!) but instead, think of breaking it down into smaller jobs: “I need to pack up the pots & pans” or “I need to pack up the dishes in that cupboard” or even smaller jobs like “I need to take the picture off the fridge” or “I have to pack up the cutlery”. The goal is to take something that seems unmanageable – packing up your entire home – and to break it down into lots of tasks that are actually quite easy to accomplish on their own.

Do a little bit at a time

Speaking of breaking down your packing to-do list into manageable tasks … stop thinking you need an entire uninterrupted day to start packing! Instead, do what you can, when you can. While watching television, get a box and pack up one shelf of your bookcase. Empty the contents of your Junk Drawer into one box, seal it, label it “Junk Drawer” and call it a day! Every single one of these tasks will have to get done eventually, so it’s just a matter of whether you chip away at it whenever you get a few free minutes … or whether you wait until you’re scrambling to get it done at the very last minute – with frazzled nerves keeping you company!

Get rid of stuff

It stands to reason – the less stuff you have, the less stuff that you have to pack! Even if you haven’t left yourself enough time to really organise all of your belongings, you always have the option to separate things as you go along by sorting unwanted items into “Bin”, “Recycle” or “Donate” piles. Instead of having to pack all those clothes that you never wear, or those study notes from school that you’ve still got after 10 years, just get rid of them!

Know when you’re out of time

The thing that makes Packing Procrastination a whole different animal to Unpacking Procrastination is that there is a definite deadline on how long it can go on. Like it or not, you have agreed to vacate your home on a certain day, and when it comes you have to be ready to go. Acknowledge that it is going to be stressful whether you give yourself a few weeks or just a few days to get everything packed up. But there does come a time when there is nothing to do but just dive in and get it done! Consider when that time is for you … and then add on another day – just to be sure!

You’re going to have to start packing eventually. Give yourself time to drag your feet, but when the time comes, be ready to hit the ground running! It’s probably not going to be a Fun Job, but it still has to get done!


Take a deep breath, grab that first box, and get started … you’ll get it all done!


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