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Posted in Moving Tips&Tricks on February 12, 2024
Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking.

Beat the Box Blues – Effective Strategies to Overcome Packing Procrastination

Struggling with packing procrastination as your relocation day approaches? You’re not alone. Many find the task of boxing up their lives overwhelming, leading to delays and stress. Our blog post offers effective strategies to conquer this common challenge, ensuring you can tackle packaging with confidence and efficiency. Discover tips to kickstart your wrapping process and wave goodbye to procrastination.

What Are the Causes of Packing Procrastination?

Packing procrastination is a common hurdle many face during relocation to a new home, primarily driven by psychological barriers and the sheer magnitude of the task at hand. The root of this procrastination often lies in the overwhelming nature of sorting through personal belongings and deciding what to keep, discard, or donate.

Emotional attachments to items can also delay the process, as it requires time and emotional energy to sift through memories associated with your belongings. Furthermore, the uncertainty of how to start or organize the packaging process can lead to decision paralysis, where individuals delay beginning altogether.

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Psychological Barriers That Lead to Avoiding Packaging

The psychological barriers contributing to packaging procrastination include anxiety about relocating, fear of forgetting important items, and the stress of adjusting to a new environment. These emotional responses can create a mental block, making the task of organizing for relocation seem insurmountable.

Additionally, perfectionism plays a role – the desire to pack efficiently can halt progress before it even begins. Procrastination, in this case, serves as a coping mechanism to avoid dealing with uncomfortable feelings and the reality of change.

It’s Easy to Get Overwhelmed by the Magnitude of the Task

How to start packing for a move? The magnitude of packaging an entire household can easily overwhelm anyone. Each room contains memories and items with sentimental value, making the task not just physically demanding but emotionally taxing as well.

The prospect of deciding what makes it to the new apartment, coupled with the logistical aspects of packing efficiency, can make the process seem impossible. This overwhelming feeling is a significant contributor to packaging procrastination, as individuals may find it easier to delay or ignore the task rather than confront it head-on.

A stressed girl leaning on boxes for long-distance moving
Procrastination is a coping mechanism - sometimes, it's easier to ignore our problems

Set Realistic Packing Goals for Yourself

To overcome packaging procrastination, setting realistic goals is crucial. Begin by assessing the scope of what needs to be packed and allocate sufficient time to each task, considering your daily routine and energy levels. Setting achievable targets, such as filling a certain number of boxes each day or completing specific rooms by certain dates, can make the process feel more manageable. Checking tasks off your to-do list will bring a sense of relief.

It’s important to acknowledge your progress and allow flexibility in your schedule for unforeseen delays or emotional moments when sorting through sentimental items. By establishing clear, attainable goals, you can maintain motivation and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

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Create a Manageable Packaging Schedule

A well-thought-out packaging schedule is key to managing the wrapping process effectively. Start by creating a timeline that outlines when each phase of packaging should be completed, beginning with seldom-used items and ending with daily necessities.

This schedule should be realistic, considering your personal and work commitments. Allocate specific days or blocks of time to focus on different areas of your home, ensuring there’s a balance between packaging and rest. This structured approach helps maintain focus and reduces the likelihood of a last-minute packing frenzy.

Break Down the Whole Task Into Smaller Steps

Breaking down the packing process into smaller, more manageable steps can significantly reduce the sense of overwhelm. Tackle one room at a time, or even one closet or drawer per session, to gradually progress through your home. Categorize items into keep, donate, sell, or discard to simplify decision-making. Creating a relocation checklist for each room specifically can help you track progress and ensure nothing is overlooked.

Happy girl, holding tape, surrounded by boxes
One of the procrastination solutions is breaking down the process into smaller tasks

Utilize Organizational Tools and Techniques

Leveraging organizational tools and techniques can dramatically streamline the packaging process and alleviate procrastination. One relocation hack that often helps is gathering all necessary packaging materials in one place – boxes, tape, bubble wrap, and markers – before you begin with wrapping.

Another relocation tip we at Long Distance Movers often like is using different colored stickers or tape to denote boxes for various rooms, which simplifies the unpacking after relocation. Apps or digital lists can also be invaluable for keeping track of what’s been packed and what’s left to do, providing a visual progress tracker that can boost your efficiency.

Don’t Forget About Labeling and Inventory Systems

A detailed labeling and inventory system is essential for an organized relocation. Label each box with its contents and the room it belongs in, using a numbering system if necessary for tracking. This not only aids in the efficient unpacking at your new home but also ensures you can find essential items quickly.

Creating a master relocation inventory list, either on paper or digitally, allows you to keep track of all your belongings, giving you peace of mind that everything has been accounted for during the move. This methodical approach reduces the chaos of a relocation day and helps mitigate the stress of locating important items amidst the sea of boxes.

 A person writing an inventory list
Creating an inventory list will give you peace of mind and make packaging easier

Try The Popular Motivational Strategies to Keep You on Track

Adopting motivational strategies can significantly enhance your productivity and keep procrastination at bay. Setting small, achievable goals and rewarding yourself upon completion can create a positive feedback loop that boosts your motivation.

For example, after filling a certain number of boxes, treat yourself to a favorite snack or a short leisure activity. Visual progress indicators, such as a checklist or a progress bar, can also offer tangible evidence of your accomplishments, encouraging you to keep pushing forward.

Reward Systems and Breaks Often Work Wonders

Integrating reward systems and scheduled breaks into your packaging routine can make the process less daunting and more enjoyable. Decide on rewards that will motivate you, whether it’s watching an episode of a TV show, taking a walk, or enjoying a treat after reaching a milestone. We’re not all the same – you need to find something that works best for you.

Equally important are breaks, which prevent burnout and keep your energy levels up. Planning short, regular breaks throughout your packaging sessions can help maintain focus and efficiency, making the task feel more manageable.

The Role of Music and Audiobooks in the Packaging Process

Incorporating music and audiobooks into your packaging routine can transform a monotonous task into an enjoyable experience. Uplifting or energetic music can boost your mood and productivity, making time seem to pass more quickly.

Similarly, listening to audiobooks or podcasts can engage your mind, providing entertainment and education as you pack. This auditory stimulation not only keeps you entertained but also helps to maintain a steady pace, making the process feel less like a chore and more like an opportunity for personal time.

A bedroom full of boxes and other household items
Scheduled breaks can help you tackle the process more efficiently

Seek Help and Delegate Tasks

Tackling the packaging process alone can be overwhelming, so don’t hesitate to seek help and delegate tasks. Involving family members or friends can significantly lighten the load and make the process more manageable. You can even throw a packing party!

Assigning specific tasks based on each person’s strengths or preferences can optimize efficiency and ensure that everything gets done promptly. Remember, relocating is a team effort, and leveraging the support system around you can ease the stress of relocation.

Consider Involving Professional White Glove Movers

Hiring professional movers for a white glove moving service that includes packaging assistance can transform your relocation experience from stressful to seamless. What are the main benefits of relocating with skilled movers by your side? These experts offer:

  • Help with packaging – They handle everything from wrapping fragile items to large pieces of furniture.
    Safe transportation – Ensuring your items are safely transported, with insurance coverage for added peace of mind.
  • Efficiency and prompt service – Professionals have the experience to move quickly and efficiently, saving you time and energy.
  • Storage solutions – If needed, they can provide options for short-term or long-term storage.
  • Stress reduction – By handling the heavy lifting, they allow you to focus on other aspects of your move, consequently reducing your relocation stress.

Last-Minute Packing Tips for Procrastinators

For those who find themselves boxing up at the last minute, a strategic approach can help manage the chaos. Begin by prioritizing items based on necessity, starting with those you use less frequently. This allows you to quickly sort through belongings without disrupting your daily routine.

Utilize suitcases for clothing and linens for easy transport and identification. Don’t strive for perfection – the goal is to move your items safely. Use towels and clothing as padding for fragile items to save time and space. Remember, the focus is on efficiency and making progress, so tackle one area at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

About 20% of adults are chronic procrastinators

Leave Essential Items to Be Packed Last – Put Them in an Essentials Box

An essentials box is crucial for a smooth transition during the first few days after moving. This box should contain items you’ll need immediately upon arrival at your new home, such as toiletries, medications, chargers, a change of clothes, basic tools, and snacks. Pack this box last and keep it easily accessible during the move.

Mark it clearly to ensure it doesn’t get lost among the multitude of boxes. This approach ensures you have your immediate necessities at hand, reducing stress and making your first night in the new place comfortable. Preparing an essentials box is a simple yet effective way to


A woman surrounded by boxes, smiling into the camera
The last thing to pack is a box of essentials, and it's all done

If You Hate Packing, Let Our White Glove Movers Pack for You

If the thought of packaging fills you with dread, you’re not alone. At Long Distance Movers, we understand that wrapping your belongings can be the most tedious part of relocating. That’s when our expert long-distance moving services come to the scene. Our white-glove moving company has an incredible team that can provide perfect packing assistance for you, ensuring your belongings are safely and efficiently prepared for relocation.

From wrapping delicate items to boxing up your entire household, we tailor our white glove moving services to meet your specific needs. Contact us today and take the first step towards a stress-free move. Let us finish packing for your relocation so you can focus on the excitement of a new home.

What Are Some Common Reasons for Packing Procrastination?

Common reasons for packing procrastination include feeling overwhelmed by the amount of items to pack, emotional attachments to belongings, uncertainty about where to start, and underestimating the time required. The task can seem daunting, leading to avoidance and delay.

How Can I Create an Effective Packing Schedule?

Creating an effective packaging schedule involves breaking down the process into manageable tasks, setting realistic deadlines for each room or category, and starting well in advance of moving day. Prioritize packaging areas and items used less frequently and allocate specific times each day to pack, ensuring progress is steady.

When Should I Consider Professional Packing Help?

Consider professional relocation help if you’re short on time, have a lot of fragile items, feel overwhelmed by the task, or prefer to ensure your belongings are professionally packed and insured. Professional relocation services are especially beneficial for those moving out of large homes.

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