I recently went through a packing process to move all our family’s belongings to one address to another. The expectation was that this will be a major effort and require lots of time. So I started packing well before the expected moving date.
The start of the packing process was nice and sweet: place well behaving objects that are not needed daily in cardboard boxes. Well behaving in this context means that the objects are of similar shape, make tidy piles and fill up the box efficiently.
As the process continued, the shapes gradually turned into more challenging ones but with some effort were still manageable and produced efficiently filled boxes.
Managing challenging shapes efficiently generated a feeling of the situation being under control.
Even arbitrarily shaped items found their counterparts in the boxes and packing continued in energetic mode.
Sooner or later I inevitably run into items that were too large to fit in any box.
These were limited in number, however and were still possible to manage.
The nerve-wracking part of the process was surprisingly the last 5 % of the items. This is the seemingly endless parade of tiny and medium size items hiding at the dark corners of cupboards and drawers. Things that cannot be abandoned as yet but refuse to be categorized with any of their companions making mixture boxes that you definitely would not go through and re-place at the destination.
The deeply frustrating fact of the packing experience was that the progress was by far not linear. The less time I had used for packing in total, the faster it was to fill up one box. And the more boxes I had packed, the more time it took to pack one box more. This made almost impossible to estimate the time needed to pack the remaining items.
I had an ambitious goal to pack wisely meaning that on each box I wanted to be able to write a maximum three word description on the content of the of the box. The last two or three boxes were labelled just “Miscellaneous” but overall I felt that I the task was successfully completed.
After all this, I would expect to be able to provide advice on how to manage a similar kind of process the next time. The advice can be reduced to the following:
- Resell/donate unnecessary items constantly.
- Recycle constantly those items that do not qualify for reselling/donating.
- The earlier you start the earlier you will finish. With any schedule, you are likely to find yourself in the hurry at the end.