Moving: Panic vs. Proper Packing

No matter how organized you think you are, or how good your intentions are, at some point every packing job devolves into panic packing. This point probably happens earlier for some of us. Likely most packing experiences include a combination of both proper and panic packing.

Panic vs. Proper Packing Explained

Panic packing is when any bag, box, or other becomes an attractive and suitable option for transporting your stuff. Things end up packed haphazardly and randomly. All in an effort to move things from point A to point B. It’s messy. And not always faster than proper packing, especially at the other end.

Proper packing, by contrast, is when you take your time. You thoughtfully consider the contents of each box, making sure to pack “like with like.” Or at least have some kind of system and order with the contents. Glass and fragile items are wrapped appropriately. Accurate labels are on the boxes. This sometimes takes longer to plan out, but usually results in an easier time unpacking, mostly because it’s obvious what’s in which box.

For my latest move, I had every intention of proper packing, though I knew some panic would set in. As events played out, the panic set in early in the process. The whole week was a jumbled affair of stuffing things in boxes. I started packing the kitchen at 11 pm the night before the movers came. I understood it would be messy.

As I hurriedly wrapped things, I questioned my absurd fondness for tiny ramekins. I had second thoughts about my obsession for lidded pyrex dishes. The real kind of pyrex that your grandparents had with glass lids, funky designs, and outdated colors.

I labeled each of the 12 boxes, “Kitchen.” My tired and deluded thinking led me to believe if I could get the box placed in the right room on moving day, we could find things. We did find everything eventually, but it took days. Even after emptying all the boxes, my coffee remained missing. After days of drinking instant coffee, I finally discovered it tucked into the refrigerator.

Possible Remedy to Panic Packing

Panic packing is an inevitable part of the process, but detailed labeling makes a huge difference. For some of the more jumbled, chaotic boxes, I wrote long descriptions for the labels. It helped a lot to find what I needed quickly in the aftermath.

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