Since this is the fourth time we've moved in two years, I've gotten pretty practiced at packing up, unpacking, organizing, and generally, not losing my mind in the process! For fun, I thought I'd share with you some of things I do that make moving a fairly streamlined process.....usually. :)
1. The first thing I do is get rid of stuff.
I have to admit, this is probably my favorite part of the entire process! There is something so freeing about de-cluttering! As I go through my house, I look for things that we never use, things that are really just clutter (i.e. a little pillow with a picture of a nest on it that is supposed to hang on the wall - cute, but I know I'll never use it), clothes that don't fit, or are out of style, etc. I have a bag ready to be filled with things that can be re-used, and sent to a second hand store.
2. I pack up things we won't need for a few months.
This includes toys (I pick a selection of toys to leave out, and pack the rest), cookbooks, kitchen things that I don't use very often, CDs, DVDs, seldom used cosmetics, etc. I can pack these things well in advance, giving me more time later to clean and pack up the last minute things.
3. I label all my boxes.
I'm sure everyone does this, but I have a specific method that works really well. I label the top of the box with all the contents, and I label the sides of the box with its destination.
4. I get free boxes.
Grocery stores and liquor stores are two great places to start! One note on this, you may want to head to the grocery stores earlier in the day rather than later. The main place I was planning to get boxes on our last move were very efficient at getting their boxes out of there once they unpacked the contents.
4. I save good boxes.
Two moves ago, some friends procured some really sturdy boxes for me that were the perfect size for moving. I have reused them in each consecutive move. If you have some really awesome boxes, and have the space, save them, you won't regret it!
5. In the last week, I plan out my menus to the letter, so I know exactly what dishes I'll need, and what I can pack.
By doing this, you'll end up with a very few items in your "last minute" boxes.
6. The "last minute, essential" boxes become the "first to unpack" boxes.
These ones usually contain a few dishes/plates/pots etc. that are absolutely necessary. They will also contain dish soap, cleaning supplies, rags; things that you will be very glad to have without looking too hard!
So those are my two bits, I hope you find them helpful, or at the very least, interesting! :)