How to Pack up a 3000 SF House in Just 3 Days

It’s moving time again.  The packers come in 4 weeks and 2 days.

I am not personally going to pack up the house.  The Army Wife Union called and told me I had to either do an OCONUS (overseas) move or a move without my husband in order to maintain my Tough Chick status, and since we didn’t win the military lottery, a solo move it is.  Maybe next time, I’ll do a DTY and pack it all myself, but this time I’ll keep the stress to a moderate level. If I did do the packing, though, I could do it in 3 days, since the movers will send 3 people to pack and they will be done in 8 hours.

There’s a trick to that, though, of course.  Right now, my house is not ready for packing, and it would probably take twice as long to get the job done.  And it would be a disaster at the other end.  And we would move things we don’t want to move.

In order to have a smooth, easy pack-up and move, hours and hours of prep work must be done.  Since I am going through the process a bit earlier than most, I thought blogging about it might be of immediate help to others moving in June or July.  It is so much easier to pack a neat and tidy house.  It is even easier to pack that house when things have been consolidated.  Ziplock loves me almost as much as the movers do.  Any items that will fit inside a zipping bag will be in a zipping bag: forks and spoons, pens and pencils, the detritus that composes at least one or two drawers or bins in every one of my children’s rooms.  Decorative items that had been placed artistically on shelves will be separated from books and collected in one spot.  All toiletries throughout the whole house will be grouped together, as will all the linens, and all the curtains, and all the cleaning products.

Yesterday, 5 Saturdays before the packers come, I started with the garage.  I do not have a shed or a basement, but all these storage areas are where you should begin.  I know well the temptation to declutter and pack up the stuff you trip over on a daily basis, and if you have extra time (more than 4 weeks) perhaps doing some of that would be a good idea.  I did my usual thorough cleaning the week before Easter, which will help me tremendously in the next month.  But the problem with doing some areas too soon, especially if you have children, is that you will just have to do them again.  A tidy linen closet lasts about a week around here.  An organized food storage cabinet (Tupperware) gets 2 days, if I’m lucky.

In my garage, I cleared one section for things that I need to get rid of.  If it were just things to give to Goodwill, then I might put them straight in the van.  But I have things for specific people, and I need an out of-the-way spot to put them until I can arrange to deliver them.  In another section of the garage, I cleared a space for things that are not to be packed and moved.  This includes tools to disassemble beds and make home repairs, some spackle and painting supplies, a pop-up dog crate, a replacement bin for one in the fridge that the kids broke 2 years ago and I won’t install until the day we leave, and sleeping bags for the night after the truck leaves.  I’m sure more things will be added as I think of them.

I spent about 4 hours on the garage yesterday, and I’m 90% done.  I’m a little surprised, but I did spend at least 4 hours out there last month going through all the clothes buckets, swapping out Florida winter supplies (jeans and long-sleeve tees) for summer clothing, and getting rid of bags and bags of things we no longer want or need.  All I really have left to do is the camping supplies: consolidating family gear and setting aside things the boys still need for 2 more camp outs and summer camp.  I think the boys and I will be able to do that after school one afternoon this week.

I will also get a head start on my next areas: the laundry room, the office with the craft closet, and the toy room.  Both the crafts and the toys may require a stern lecture and a secure lock to keep them in order.  We will have to decide what we can live without for a few weeks.  The other big headache with the office is that I want to consolidate all my husband’s “pro gear” in one area.  Pro gear, anything related to my husband’s military career, is boxed separately and that weight doesn’t count against our allowable maximum.  I think he’s down to one box of equipment in the garage, and now most of the weight is in books.  Some are in the office, and some are in the living room.

After that, I’ll move on to the areas of the home we use frequently, and that gets tough.  Hopefully I’ll have time to blog as I make progress.

7 thoughts on “How to Pack up a 3000 SF House in Just 3 Days

  1. You’ve been doing this a while so I’m assuming you know that at least a certain amount of your homeschooling stuff counts as pro gear for you, right? Thought I would mention it just in case.

    I think the thing I love best about our current duty station is that ALL of Gary’s pro gear is stored in a cage at work. He even keeps his mess dress there. I rarely see him in uniform because he washes everything at work. It’s freed up so much space here.

  2. Well I knew this move was coming. I’m sorry I never did get a chance to meet you personally. I was in Tampa area quite a few times but my purpose didn’t allow visit time.
    May God bless you both wherever you go, as you continue to serve and protect us.
    I do have FB but no web site.

    • sorry, Ann. It doesn’t help that I haven’t blogged in a year. Heading back up to Northern VA, so if you ever take a trip to DC, let me know!

      • Wow we lived in McLean for 24 years before coming to Fl. One of our son lives in Broadlands but I’m ashamed to admit we haven’t been to VA in 3 years and now with a wedding here in May he and his wife will come here.
        It seems like you just moved here , but I guess my own life for the past two years has been busy — I realized I’d stopped following your blog after the Key West rip. Prayers for a safe journey to the next Post.

  3. It’s good to hear from you Michelle! I never did get back to you after your email back to me. Too much to think about, too much to do. My husband’s job fell through so we never did move. But if we ever do I will definitely be following this advice. I have been praying for your move and all that that entails.

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