Home repairs and remodeling often require you to pack out one or more of rooms. Packing out a large or cluttered room can feel overwhelming. Pack outs are particularly challenging for those who have a limited amount of space in their homes. If you pack out three boxes of stuff from the living room you need to figure out an alternate location to store the boxes.
Who Does the Pack Out?
If you are doing the remodeling yourself then you and your family (and maybe friends or neighbors that are willing to help) are responsible for doing the pack out. If you have professionals doing the remodeling or repairs ask them who is responsible for the pack out. If they are doing the pack out ask if they pack out everything or if they only pack out furniture and non-breakable objects.
If you have electronics or anything else that is delicate ask specifically about whether that is included in the pack out. Even if it is included in the general pack out consider personally packing out the delicate items and electronics. Insurance might provide monetary compensation for losses, but if it is an irreplaceable item the money may mean less to you than the heirloom.
Pack the Stuff You Rarely Use First
If you know in advance you need to do a pack out start organizing stuff early. Divide the items depending on how much you need them. When I was an undergrad I would pack out my dorm or apartment every year. I knew I would be busy with finals the week before I moved so I would start slowly packing a couple of weeks before the move. If you are only packing out one room of a house or apartment you may only need only a day or two to do the pack out, but give yourself enough time that you are not simply throwing things in boxes. If the room you are packing out has bookshelves consider packing up most of the books early. If you are packing out a kitchen and only occasionally use the blender consider packing it out early.
Make a List of “Needs”
Some people cannot do without their morning coffee? Other people need their special headphones. Take the time to look around the room or rooms that will be packed out and make a list of the things you will need during the remodeling. It is especially important to make notes of things that are kept in drawers. You might be able to go a week without your nightstand, but not without the jewelry box in the drawer. Check your list during the pack out and and make sure that important stuff does not get packed out.
Do a Clear Out
On “As Times Goes By” Jean (Judi Dench) often does a clear out when she is stressed or overwhelmed. As you are working on your pack out consider also doing a clear out and getting rid of things that are simply taking up space. If you are stressed by the remodeling going through stuff and clearing it out can be relaxing. It will also make the unpacking easier. If you are getting rid of stuff that is still useable consider donating it to a charity store.
If you are packing stuff out chances are you are going to want to later unpack the boxes. The unpacking will be much easier if you have labeled the boxes. If you are packing out multiple rooms this is especially important.
The unpacking tends to be quicker than the pack out, but at first it can feel overwhelming. If you have a lot of boxes to unpack consider doing only two or three in one sitting. If you have back, neck, or other health problems be aware of the stress packing and unpacking can be on your muscles and joints. It is better to take a little longer to unpack than to hurt your back.
Notes and Linked at
The stack of cardboard boxes comes from Morguefile.