Our home is officially cluttered with boxes, recycled paper and garage sale items. Here are some tips that are helping me deal with the chaos as we pack and move:
1) Give each child a box
Our daughters love cardboard anything. Riley (age 8) chose a box to play in and created mailboxes for each side that have her name on it. She then taped them to the box while telling us not to pack anything in it. We told her that was her special box and gave Julia (age 5) her own box as well. The hours the kids spend sitting/playing/drawing/creating in that box will give you more peace than you can imagine.
2) Hire movers
They are worth every. single. penny. Get what you can afford. If you can't afford movers, find strong, helpful friends and treat them to pizza. We are doing all the packing ourselves and have movers doing all the boxes and large items to our new home. So thankful.
3) Purge, purge, purge
When you think you've rid yourself of all that you want to get rid of, rethink what you truly need and then get rid of more. I have found clothes that I haven't worn for at least five years in my closet, shoes that don't fit and never truly fit to begin with, old bulky yearbooks (will I honestly ever read what my high school friends wrote in those things?), cassette tapes, hundreds of cds, vcr tapes, and the list goes on.
We are downsizing so purging is of utmost importance as we don't want to bring what we don't need. I always thought we were great about keeping away from clutter, but after six years in our large home we've managed to accumulate an incredible amount that we don't need.
4) Work in separate spaces
Jeremy and I work very differently at tasks. We find it's much more peaceful if he tackles his area (the office/videos/electronics) and I tackle my areas (clothing/crafts/kid areas). We get along much better and more gets done.
5) Start with one closet at a time
If you feel overwhelmed, start with a closet. Then move to one space at a time.