Thursday, August 19, 2010

Travel digest and moving: stage four

I'm preparing for both a move and an extended trip. I've found my organizational systems challenged as I manage both tasks in addition to the work of my business, including client work, and the work of day to day life. The trash still has to be taken out and the dishes done, even as the moving boxes pile up and the emails fly back and forth about travel plans.

Having some tried and true packing methods has really saved me, as I haven't had to worry about the trip, and packing for the move has been time-consuming, but not difficult.

Here are some of my packing for the move rules:

  • Don't pack anything you don't want in the new place. This includes furniture. We have a sizable stack of stuff that will Goodwilled or Freecycled before the movers come.
  • Pack the stuff you absolutely use every day last, even if it means like objects get split up. I need my frying pans, and all the kitchen stuff will have to get sorted out again at the new place anyway.
  • Repurpose clothes, towels, bedding and dishcloths as packing material where possible.
  • LABEL. I like to quickly list as many specific items that are inside a box as possible. At least write a few things, like "mixing bowls" or "cutlery," rather than simply "kitchen." When you are in your new home looking desperately for the coffee maker, you'll be glad you did.
Here are some of my past posts on packing. I'm doing the carry-on/quasi-minimalist packing thing this time again and loving it.
Lelah Baker-Rabe is a Los Angeles-based professional organizer. To discuss your organizing needs, call her at 818.269.6671 or email


  1. My worst moving experience was finding out right before moving day that the seller actually co-owned the property with his ex, who was living overseas. We had to live out of boxes for two to three months until they tracked her down and got all the necessary paperwork completed. I wouldn't wish that on anyone!

  2. I am about to make a cross country move and trip with kids. I'm confident on my 10 years experience and my (almost) always positive attitude, but reading blogs of other organizers and pros makes me even more confident that I can do it AND have fun! I'm looking forward to pack like a pro and to travel having fun with my family!

  3. Janet, that sounds like a nightmare! Living out of boxes is no fun under any circumstances.

    Helena, a cross country move is a big undertaking. I did it as a child and again as an adult and it can be fun. Your organizing skills will make it so much easier. Thanks for commenting!