Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Purge, Pack, PANIC

Barring unforeseen circumstances we have found a new home. YAY! It only took five months of looking, and two failed offers before this one was accepted. Very much like a visit to Brimstone and Lucifer Dental Surgery.

But I won't address the difficulties of that process here, the one ahead of us is daunting enough. We have to be in Calgary to sign papers one month from today. (Gulp) Hence the "purge, pack, panic title of this post. So, how does one organize a move when you have limited energy stores?

You set up a system

Knowing this move was coming I bought a stack of 2" square post-it notes in four neon colours, orange, hot pink, lime green and eye-watering yellow. Each room in our new home is designated with a colour and a letter code:

Living Room (LR) is Orange
Kitchen/Dining room (KIT) is Pink
Bedroom (BED) is Green
Bathroom/laundry/linens (BATH) is yellow

As I pack each box it gets a colour sticker with the room code written on it, a number and a priority letter code "A", "B" or "C".

  • "A" boxes contain items we need on a daily basis, and which must be unpacked immediately.
  • "B" boxes are items needed less frequently, but at least weekly.
  • "C" boxes can wait until everything we need to manage comfortably has been unpacked and put away. "C" items are pictures, fancy china, books, and tchotchkes, which despite a rather dismissive definition in wikipedia, in Canada anyway suggests items imbued with an aura of sentimentality or personal significance.

I record what goes into each box as I pack it, then code it - colour, room, number and priority. So a box with a pink label may have the code LR #3 C. If I find I need a specific item as we unpack all I need do is search the list with my "find" function and I'll know what box to look for.

The brightly coloured post-it notes enable a quick sort as boxes come in the door. I remember too many nightmare moves where the helpers don't have a clue where a box is to go, so the very box you need for the first night gets buried under a pile in the middle of the kitchen floor, or the pile in the bedroom - or... did it come in at all?

All you have to do is stick the right colour post-it on the doorway to the room and say, "Match the colour of the sticker on the box to the sticker on the door." If the label says "A" put it to the side.

I start packing "C" items obviously, so today the paintings came off the walls, the curio cabinet was emptied, the pretty cups and tea set, some reference books, and other small items were packed.

I'll cull and purge as I go. I'm not taking anything that is borked in any way unless getting rid of it would cause deep emotional turmoil. Things I do not absolutely love are outta here, to be passed to someone who will love and use them. I even organized. For some unexplainable reason we have two large photo albums, each only half full. I pulled the pictures from one and put them in the other, and will pass the other perfectly good album to the thrift shop.

That's my "sit-down" time used up. Back to packing! How do you prepare for and organize a move?


Anonymous said...

Sacred Beef!
Zoot Zoot!!!

I must say no time like yesterday to be prepared.

Pep talk over what are you doing reading this comment--
chop chop work to be done.

Anonymous said...

Terrific!!!! Glad you've found a new home :-) Are you going to pass along the pertinent info so I will know where to find you???? eMail me, please with an addy. I wish I could come help you pack. That's such a thankless job. Take it easy, don't overdo and totally whack out your body.

Big hugs and lots of love,