From Chapter 14 | Packing/Unpacking | How To Make Big Moves: Relocate Without Losing Your Mind

I think I would rather …well, there are a thousand things I would rather do than pack. I feel your pain. I will start by saying that if you put a lot of effort into selling/donating your stuff, then this stage of the big move will be miles more manageable. Continue to make de-cluttering your M.O. Recycle or giveaway what you don’t need. There will be stuff to garbage so just be sure to shred any sensitive documents, like old bank statements for example.

– Boxes. Either have your shipping company deliver them or make arrangements to get boxes from a local retailer.
– Newspaper
– Bubble wrap
Packing Gun and Tape
– Large Plastic Bags
– For garbage and to use to line boxes
– Large and small Ziploc bags
– Handy for packing everything from toiletries to toys. Ziploc also makes large flexible totes that are great for bedding.
– Post-It Notes
– Tabs (to label electrical cords) – Either use the ones that come on packages of bread or colour code with those sticky ones made by Post-it®
– Marker & Pens


You are going to take this room-by-room; starting with the items you don’t need
in the weeks prior to departure. Dedicate a day to each room to plan out, on a
calendar, how many days it’s going to take you. Keeping in mind, some rooms
may require two or three days to pack up. Budget your time accordingly.
1. Set up your boxes or plastic bins – placing them all on the gr ound floor if
you’re working with an upstairs and a basement. Better to bring the books to
the box than the other way around. Think ahead. Save your back.
2. Designate boxes for donations.
3. Give each box a number and clearly write it on all sides for easy reference.
Trust me this will avoid frustration later on!
4. Line each box or bin with a large plastic bag – garbage or drycleaner – to
provide an extra layer of protection.
5. Stick post-it notes on the outside of each box and write what is going in as
you fill them.
6. When you are all packed, use the post-its to make one Master List. The
Master does not have to be super specific; general descriptions will do just
fine. We did not do this on our first go-around (Toronto to Pragu e) and were
scrambling to make our contents list while at the shipping offic e. Fail.
7. The last step is to then pop the post-its on top of the stuff in each box before
closing and taping them up.

WATCH the video
LISTEN to the packing playlist
GET the guidebook