Alex was home for approximately 36 hours from Sunday afternoon to early this morning, and I informed him we were entering "Phase One" of my headache-free packing strategy. Phase One involves cleaning and decluttering. This is a necessary step in the moving process because you don't want to move things that you don't want/need/use anymore. So if something has been sitting in a box since we moved to Austin five years ago, and you are not able to identify what is in the box and/or you aren't missing anything essential from you life, whatever is in that box probably--which actually means definitely--has to go. Also included in the "must go" category are rollerblades (yes, rollerblades) you haven't worn in 11 years along with mold-covered sandals you found in the back of your closet. While you're at it, this is a great time to go through that closet and discover moths have destroyed three dresses, two of your favorite sweaters and a poncho. Thanks, moths, you just lightened my load.
Phase One also involves taking down all pictures/art from the walls. While you're at it (if you're me), you might as well go ahead and order prints that you would like to hang in the new place to update the gallery wall during this burst of energy. Before you pack up the gallery wall, swap out the old pictures for the new ones, and you'll be psyched to have something new as you inevitably unpack a box or two that leaves you thinking why did we keep this? at the new place. (The plan is not fool-proof.) During Phase One you can also order draperies for the new living room and sneak the shipping box in with your packing boxes. No one will ever be the wiser. What's one more box?
Phase One is nice. It's not chaotic. It makes you think you're ahead of the game and super-organized. Your boxes and things look neat and tidy stacked against the fireplace and you're able to convince yourself this move will be a cinch. I love Phase One.