What You Can Learn From Packing Before You Move

Our closing date on our home is 8 days away.  The movers come in 15 days.  And moving is bringing out the best and semi-worst of Jeremy and I.  We packed up tons of boxes and stuff when we staged our home.  We were fortunate to have my parents' formal dining room to store it all in for a few weeks while our home sold quickly.  Today we finished bringing everything back to our home and it was quite overwhelming to be reminded how much 'stuff' we have.  And I am ready to pretty well give it all away as we are downsizing to a smaller home in a better location closer to where we both work.  It won't all fit and it's going to be a beast to sift through.

My first reaction is to donate, sell it or throw it away after quickly assessing the purpose of the item.  Jeremy's first reaction is to thoughtfully go through each piece, each line and letter of every single paper and examine what to do with it before making a choice. Neither reaction is better - though I like my way better because I agree with myself in how I do things.  His way saves us time when we do need that particular document that was saved despite my thinking it was insignificant.  If I had thrown it away, it would have been a pain to retrieve.  My way also saves time in that things are packed sooner and we have less accumulated.

There are a few solutions to our different ways of doing things that might be helpful if you find that you are semi, somewhat or severely frustrated when packing and sifting through house items.  These are the things that work for us:

1)  Don't pack together.
I refuse to pack and sort through unimportant items and rooms at the same time as Jeremy.  I end up frustrated with his slowness (thoroughness he would say) and he ends up frustrated that he can't meet my demands of moving through things faster and throwing away.  Today he tackled the home office while I tackled books and other items in the home.  He was able to do his thing while I did mine. Work still got done.  There are always important documents that must be worked through together.  But if you're just wanting him to decide what to do with the files he organized, let him do it and leave him alone.

2) Work at your strengths.
If Jeremy is better at sorting kitchen items, he takes care of those.  If I'm better at sorting large items, I do those.  We work better if we work with the things we know better instead of trying to do the things that aren't our strengths.

3) Try to get along.
This one may sound silly, but moving is stressful and the easiest target for frustration is your spouse. Find ways to get along and talk despite the stress.

4) Read articles about moving and stress
Tonight I got on the computer to google about how to stay calm when packing.  I saw this article in the Huffington Post and thought it sounded interesting.  What I didn't expect was to read an article that pinpointed exactly the problem I project onto Jeremy: that my work productivity and speed is the same as his.  I go go go go and keep going.  My pace wears him out (though I wish he'd have even just a dash of this pace to help pull weight).  His pace The link went on to share the name of a book that I think I'll need to prioritize time to read:  You -- according to Them.

5) See the big picture.
This move is a positive step forward for our family.  The outcome will be incredibly positive and the time will be worth it all.  Be thankful we can move this summer and not in the middle of a school year.  Be thankful that this is but a short time period of stress that will result in less stress soon enough.  Be thankful our home sold so quickly and we were able to find the right home choice soon after.


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