One thing people dread most when moving homes is the packing process. However, with a few tips and tricks, packing and moving can be enjoyable too. From the psychological point of view, methods such as the clock method, Russian nesting doll method and the "Pass" method can easily systematise the packing process and increase efficiency, making the move stress-free. Follow these three steps to pack your moving boxes and move home like a pro.

Step 1: Pack Moving Boxes With the Russian Nesting Doll Method

According to psychology, the reasons behind procrastination and low efficiency in decluttering, or even the tendency to "hoard", can be related to one of these three things: the ease to execute, ability to achieve undisturbed focus and classification. Therefore, before you start packing those moving boxes, it is crucial to plan ahead rather than diving in headfirst.

Begin by roughly planning the new home space, such as the kitchen, bedroom and living room. Then, under each of these spaces, subdivide each storage area within the space (such as the kitchen cabinet, wardrobe, self-storage unit, etc.). This progressive planning approach will give you a clearer idea of the number of moving boxes, tools and packing time you may need and ensure that you are able to focus on packing for a specific area one after another without being disturbed.

[Advanced Tip] Prepare smaller boxes or organiser pouches that can be used to pack small, loose items like hair clips, coins and pens. Then, just like the Russian nesting dolls, pack these boxes or pouches using the same categorical system where you put things that are meant to be in the same area in your new home into the same moving box. This minimises the chance of losing small items and makes unpacking a breeze as you have already done the initial sorting out step. Since items that belong to the same area have already been packed together, you can focus on unpacking one area at a time.

[Advanced Tip] Even a small home can easily fill up 20 to 60 moving boxes. Imagine the trouble of having to rummage through all the unlabelled boxes just to find that one shirt or book — that is why by labelling the moving boxes, you would be doing yourself a huge favour. Before packing things into the boxes, write or label where it belongs or what it contains on the sides where you’ll be able to see the label clearly even when the boxes are stacked up.

Step 2: Add a “Pass” Category to Boost Efficiency

Those who have a hard time decluttering may find themselves tearing their hair out trying to decide what’s staying and what’s going when moving and packing. Instead of getting stuck and wasting precious time over a few items, say “Pass” and skip them. Put items you cannot decide on into a “Pending” box and come back to them later. This alleviates the pressure of deciding right there and then off your shoulders, allowing you to focus your energy on packing the rest first.

[Advanced Tip] If there are too many “Pending” items scattered all over the house, use the “clock method” instead. Divide your home into 12 sections like a clock face. Start sorting and packing from the 12 o’clock area, then only move to 1 o’clock after the previous section has been cleared, and so on. By focusing one section at a time and working around the house systematically, you can speed up the packing process.

[Advanced Tip] In addition to the "Pending" box, you can also have three other boxes: “Donate”, “Recycle”, and “Discard”. This method helps you sort through a large number of items and categorise unwanted items more efficiently.

Step 3: Allow Yourself to Keep Some Memorabilia

Many people dread decluttering their homes because of the “trouble” and physical work involved. From a psychological perspective, the process of decluttering often leads to a dilemma of "holding on" or "letting go" (let’s face it, most of us aren’t Marie Kondo), which forces us to subconsciously develop a flight response and procrastinate. So, the next time you declutter, you might as well cut yourself some slack. Keep in mind that decluttering doesn’t equate to getting rid of the old. Allowing yourself to keep a reasonable amount of your precious collections or memorabilia can help you feel the joy of the whole decluttering process.

Psychologists believe that the tendency for humans to hoard isn’t all bad. To a certain extent, it represents our emotional connection with the things that matter to us. For example, as babies grow older, they often look for objects to replace the mother's companionship and comfort, such as plush dolls or toys, thereby cultivating a habit of collecting "collectibles".

Of course, with the limited living space in Hong Kong, especially when moving into a smaller space, it may feel difficult to keep all your favourite collectables. If there is no way to let go, consider renting a mini-storage to put your keepsake safely away when moving homes. Enjoy the best of both worlds.

The Store House’s self-storage facilities across Hong Kong Island and the New Territories offer affordable storage solutions that are accessible 24/7. All our storage units and warehouses are secured with round-the-clock CCTV surveillance to safeguard your items. For more information, please feel free to contact us.

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