To Pack or Not to Pack?


When I was little, I would pack for a trip to see my grandmother at least a week before we were actually going.  I had this pink bag that said “Goin’ to Grandma’s” on the side, and I’d fill it up with my favorite doll and maybe one other thing…because that’s pretty much all that would fit.  And then I would drag the smallest sized suitcase in my parents’ powder blue, hard case Samsonite set (remember those?) and fill it with everything else a small child thinks they need to spend a week with Grandma.

I’m like that with packing to move too.  Once the decision has been made to move, I want to pack immediately, as if not packing creates this state of limbo that I’m stuck in for days, weeks, or sometimes months on end.  I always feel the need to move quickly on to the next chapter of my life once it’s clear what that next chapter will be.  Why wait?

This time, JP has decided we’re waiting.  First we waited to make the decision to move to Kansas City until the last possible minute – only a day before we had to give notice to our landlord.  Now we’re waiting to pack anything (other than books…he gave in on the books)…and there are less than two weeks to go.

As much as it pushes my personal envelope to wait this long to pack, I will admit that there are some benefits to holding off:

First, our home still feels like a home.  We can still cook our meals at home.  Our personal photographs are still on the walls.  Our clothes are still available for the days (like today) when Austin weather is up to 78, or those days (like the ones we’re expecting at the end of the week) when it dips down to the Austin version of freezing – 39 degrees 😉

Second, packing doesn’t interfere with our time to say goodbye.  We’ve made a lot of friends here, and taking the time to say goodbye to them all is…well…taking a lot of time.  And I’m still working.  Waiting to pack in one big day right before we move means that we’re not spending every evening packing and we can spend that extra time with our friends. 

And we don’t end up feeling like there’s one foot out the door.  We’re here now, which (oh the irony) is part of my theme for this year.  We’re not emotionally and psychologically already in Kansas City.  Instead, we’re here in Austin soaking up every last second we have in this beautiful, weird city before we move on to the next adventure.

All things considered, I still would pack a bit earlier than we’re doing this time.  But I will admit that waiting hasn’t been bad…and maybe has actually been beneficial 🙂

What’s your packing approach?  Early or late?


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