Ask the Experts

Moving House? Here’s How to Start Packing

“I’m moving to a new house in a few months, and I have no idea where to start. How do I pack up (and move) a houseful of stuff — with ADHD?!”

The good news — especially for someone with attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD) — is that you have started thinking about the move months in advance. This gives you time to do it right — calmly and affordably. If you can afford a professional organizer to help you, I highly recommend doing so. If not, you can get started by sitting down with your calendar to make a schedule. You will need to go through the whole house, room by room, allotting one weekend per room — two weekends for large, cluttered storage areas like basements or garages.

On those weekends, your goal isn’t to pack things in boxes but to weed objects out. Go through each room and eliminate everything that you no longer want or need — broken, dated, or unnecessary items. While you are at it, move items to the room they belong in (all dishes in the kitchen, all clothes in closets). Each room will present things that you will have to work on during the following week: listing furniture on Craigslist, dropping things off at donation sites or the dump, researching how to return your cable box. Keep a notebook to track your tasks and check things off as you go.

If you can afford it, hire packing professionals. Otherwise, enlist family and friends to help with the weeding and the packing. Schedule the packing for a week or two before the move, allotting one day for each de-cluttered room.

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