Downsizing and Moving: How Soon Is Too Soon to Pack?

Downsizing can be a traumatic experience for anyone. Rarely is it easy to leave behind a house you have spent decades living in. Making matters worse is all the work that goes into packing and moving. Thankfully, concierge services like ours make the processes easier. My Divine Concierge can even come in and help you pack your house.

One of the questions we frequently hear in this regard is this: how soon is too soon to start packing? In other words, there are some people who want to start packing as soon as they find out they are moving. Even if closing is still months away, they are already making plans to visit local grocery stores in search of boxes.

Can you start packing too soon? Absolutely. But determining how soon is too soon is a matter of individual circumstances. There is no way to provide a black-and-white answer suitable for every scenario.

Packing What You Don’t Use

There is a popular comic strip known as For Better or Worse, drawn by Canadian artist Lynn Johnston. Perhaps you’ve seen it. At any rate, among the many storylines Johnston has covered include one in which the main character’s brother (Phil) and his partner (Georgia) buy a house.

One of the strips in particular shows Georgia starting to pack the couple’s current house months before they are scheduled to move. Phil asks why she is packing so soon, and she replies by stating she is only packing those things they never use anyway.

The next panel shows Phil asking Georgia to bring him a screwdriver as he works on fixing the toaster. The strip’s final panel shows Georgia staring at a room full of boxes. She apparently has no idea where the screwdriver is.

Here’s the point: it’s okay to start packing things you never use. But be sure you choose those items wisely. What you use occasionally is far different from what you never use at all. And even those items you never use may suddenly be needed in the months leading up to your move.

Packing with Space in Mind

Another thing to consider is what you plan to do with the boxes once you have them packed. Where will they be stored until moving day? If space is an issue for you, this could be a bigger problem than you might imagine. The last thing you want is to spend weeks and weeks trying to work around boxes everywhere you go.

It is best if you can store boxes in an unused room. Perhaps the best candidate is one of the kid’s former bedrooms that no longer has any real use. Whatever you do, do not stack the boxes in high-traffic areas. Doing so is asking for trouble.

Packing Without Planning

Finally, consider it too soon to pack if you haven’t had time to plan the layout and distribution of your new house. For example, the smaller place you are moving to may not have enough room for all your collectibles. There is no point in investing time in packing those collectibles if you are going to have to sell them off prior to moving.

You might also find that the size or layout of your new home dictates that you keep things you otherwise would have disposed of and get rid of some things you were planning to keep. Your early packing efforts could be turned upside down by having to open boxes back up and go through things all over again.

It is possible to start packing too soon. Unfortunately, we cannot tell you when it is too soon for your situation. But we can advise. If you are planning to downsize and move in the near future, contact us at your earliest convenience. Our services can make your move smoother and easier.

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