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Packing your home and remaining sane

So you’ve sold your home and are preparing to move. Whether you are moving to a bigger or smaller home you will no doubt have items that you no longer love or need. Decisions will need to be made.

I have scoured lots of web sites giving advice on how to go about this, and combined with my own personal experience have come up with these rules or suggestions for you.

Be realistic

If you love it, keep it. If you need it, keep it. Anything else can go, however if you are unsure put it to one side and think about it. Realise though that you will need to make a decision on it before moving day! BE PREPARED – Make sure you have plenty of boxes, bubble wrap, packing paper and tape. Storage4You has a great range of all the products you will need. Have a checklist: I think this one by NZ Post covers everything.

Get organised

Best case scenario you will have at least a month or two up your sleeve to pack, you will know where you are moving and what storage space you are will have. I like to tackle a room at a time and have boxes already labelled: ‘keep’, ‘go’ and ‘store’.

Start sorting

If it’s all too daunting begin with a small space like the bathroom. Empty the cabinets and drawers and only replace in them the essentials. This is a great time to get rid of those nail varnishes that have not been touched since the 80’s and the 15 bars of soap that you received for the last 15 birthdays from Great Aunt Iris ! If you have children, give them a ‘memory box’ so they can sort what they would like to keep from their rooms. This is a great opportunity to gift toys and clothes that they have grown out of.

I know that for a lot of women, myself included, we have several wardrobes; there’s the wardrobe of our fat clothes, the wardrobe of our skinny clothes (yes those skinny jeans you bought promising yourself you would lose the equivalent of a small child in order to get them up over the thighs), the Spanx to go with the skinny jeans, the LBD’s that were such a ‘bargain’ and that you would get so much wear from but in reality you have worn once, and don’t even get me started on ‘active wear’ ! How many sports bras does one person need?

This really is the time to be ruthless, apply the 80/20 rule. We wear 20 % of what we have 80% of the time, so all those t-shirts and shorts that have been sitting at the bottom of your drawers and have not seen the light of day for years, put them to good use and wrap your fragile items in them.

The 80/20 rule can be applied to all sorts of items in your home; CD’s, DVD’s, appliances, recipe books and so on, family members and pets however are exempt from this rule!

Fill a rubbish bag every day

Go through all your plastic containers and throw out all the ones that don’t have lids or are just stained and grotty. Stained pillows, the contents of the gift basket you received 3 Christmases ago that have never been used, saucepans that have burnt bottoms, the bag of odd socks that have never been partnered up. I could go on but I think you get the gist. Take this opportunity to sort your personal paperwork, this doesn’t mean throwing away the credit card bills you may have been hiding or the children’s Birth Certificates. A word of warning here though, do not throw anything with personal information e.g. bank statements medical records into the rubbish, if you have access to a paper shredder then these items should be shredded, if you decide to have a bonfire please be responsible and ensure the flames are contained and you have an extinguisher close by.

Tick off your checklist

Move it, sell it, donate it or tip it. By now you should have boxes, bags and suitcases filling up space in the garage or house. If you know you are going to need self-storage the items you are taking with you or that you wish to store could go into a unit now. The remainder should come under the headings TIP or SELL. If you have a lot of items that you want to sell a Garage Sale can be a lot of fun but for big ticket items an online auction site such as Trade Me or your local community Facebook Buy, Sell or Exchange page is a great way to be rid of “stuff” and to hopefully make a few dollars. No spending it on more “stuff” though!

Another great idea is to set up a space with all the bits you want to get rid of and invite family and friends to come around on a certain day and take what they would like. Just make sure they know about the ‘no returns’ policy. You could then invite a local charity shop such as The Salvation Army or Hospice to come through and take what they can sell in their outlets.

Book your storage if required

If you need help to work out how much storage space you will require, click on the link and the Storage Calculator will estimate your needs:

Then you can ring either ring us to book or pop in and we can show you around and explain the process: unit prices are on this website, and we can even help out with vehicles to get your goods here.

To wrap it up, don’t be afraid, start small, but start now, and keep going.


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North Shore

100 Wairau Road, Wairau Valley, Auckland, New Zealand.


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