If it seems like it’s been awhile since you read a new post on CoM, that’s because it has- but this time I have a really good excuse! Mike and I officially moved into our new place in Syracuse, and while I’m excited to share my new adventures with you all as they happen, it did get me thinking about packing.
Boy, was I thinking about packing this past weekend. Post-traumatic moving stress aside, being able to pack efficiently is a valuable life skill. A buzzword I’ve been seeing a lot lately, though, surrounding packing is the term “minimalist”. To me, minimalism has two meanings: one being anti-materialistic, and the other low or free of waste/excess. Either way you look at it, one way simplified way to use that in this context is “purposeful packing”, i.e. how can you cut down on extraneous stuff in order to have the best experience possible?
I thought it might be helpful to further break this concept down in a blog post, and hopefully provide some A1 packing trips for your next big move, or even just your weekend getaway.
Simplify your packing list.
In the same way as meal prep, packing requires a ton of pre-planning in order to be successful. Making a list, and sticking firmly to it, will help you avoid the distracting urge to pack. everything. that. you. possibly. can. in. case. you. need. it. (spoiler alert: you don’t).
Where are you headed? Somewhere warm or cold? If you’re moving, how many outfits minimum do you need in order to get where you’re going? Asking questions like these help force you to think of the bare minimum you need to bring with you- and leaves room in your bags for purchases you make on the go- and also allows you to get out of clothing limbo (which I have suffered during past moves).
Invest in the right bags.
The right bag is one that will encourage you to pack lean, is ideally made of sustainable materials that you feel good about, and also comes with added perks like headphone jacks, laptop storage, or others.
A more utilitarian bag lends a much needed no-frills attitude to what can be a stressful process, plus if you’re like me, you’re going to need pockets for snacks.
Stacks on stacks on stacks.
Had to, again. What I mean by this punny subhead is that instead of going crazy with cardboard boxes, or rushing out to find the most biodegradable packing materials, why not invest in some heavy-duty storage totes that you can reuse long term? Multi purpose containers are good for neatly packing away room after room, but can also get used once you’re in your new place (I like to use mine for under-the-bed storage, and also stack a few to create a makeshift chest of drawers). Additionally, using the containers you already have to safely nest loose objects will cut down on the packaging you have to use. Think laundry hampers, canvas totes, appliances, etc. – if you can stash stuff in ’em, why not?
Take objective stock of your belongings.
Downsizing is one of the most economical things you can do. Don’t be afraid to pull the trigger on items that no longer serve any functional purpose in your life. That’s not to say that you can’t keep things of sentimental value, but if you haven’t used that “As Seen on TV” gadget you bought back in college, there’s no sense in lugging it around from place to place with you- it’s just taking up physical and emotional real estate.
It was really hard for me, but I made several trips to the local Goodwill with my car filled to the brim. At the end of it all, though, I had a much easier time corralling the limited belongings I had, and I knew someone else was benefitting from quality stuff that I just didn’t have the time to appreciate.
I know packing for a vacation is a lot different than packing for a move, but I think the concepts translate. Less stuff = an easier, more enjoyable journey. Now that’s something everyone can get behind!
Keep it real,