How to Motivate Yourself to Pack For a Move (8 Ways)

How To Motivate Yourself to Pack For a Move

Although more than 27 million Americans chose to move in 2021, many people dread the entire packing process, even if the end result will be good for them on the professional and personal levels.

And the biggest obstacle that these people face isn’t related to finding a good moving company or a new place to live.

In most cases, people struggle with figuring out how to get motivated to pack for moving. Going through your entire home can be daunting – emotionally and physically draining – so they tend to procrastinateOpens in a new tab. until the move out date creeps uncomfortably close.

Then, suddenly, they’re required to start packing everything quickly, and this can be extremely frustrating.

Planning ahead is the key to packing motivation, and in this article, I’ll explain the best tips that can help you get motivated to pack for moving.

Table of Contents

How to Get Motivated To Pack: 8 Best Tricks

Procrastination can cost you a lot when you’re planning to move. You might not be able to pack all your stuff properly or get rid of things you don’t actually need to pack.

Ultimately, it’s also going to add a ton of stress to the entire process which is already stressful enough to begin with.

So, if you’re struggling with getting motivated to pack, try the following tips, and you’ll soon have your entire home in cardboard boxes ready to go.

1. Create a Packing Checklist

To Do List

One of the main reasons why people don’t start packing is that they feel that it’s an overwhelming process. After living in the same place for years, or even months, it’s hard to know where to even begin packing.

To solve this problem, you need to make a checklist of every room in your house and what you need to pack, donate, or sell.

Then, create a packing timeline. Your packing timeline will list out each packing task and when you want to have it accomplished by. Personally, I like to break the house up by room. I give myself a few days (or more if schedule allows) to go through each room.

The packing checklist combined with the packing timeline will keep you informed of your progress so you’ll always know what to do next and how long you have to get it done.

2. Start Packing Early

As your moving date approaches, more tasks and chores can suddenly show up (and trust me, they will) affecting the progress of your packing process.

For example, you might need to schedule a garage sale to get rid of some of the items that are no longer needed to secure money to cover moving costs, or you might need to do some repair work at your new place.

Also, some things just end up taking more time than you anticipate.

This is why starting to pack as early as possible is the best decision you can possibly make. You’ll be more motivated, stress free, and you can take your time deciding whether you want to keep or discard stuff.

3. Break Packing Into Smaller Packing Tasks

Believe it or not, there will be hundreds of items in every room, and most of them you’ve probably forgotten about. (the amount of times I’ve said, “probably a couple boxes left and I’m done” gives me nightmares)

So, it’s essential to set realistic goals and adjust them according to your progress to ensure that you finish packing before your moving day. Realistic goals that you can continue to successfully complete will also help you keep your packing motivation.

Break every room into sections, and list the items that you need to go through. Going through your closet can take a few days, while packing the contents of your dresser’s drawers won’t take much time. Going through the details minimizes the risk of forgetting, misplacing, or losing something.

4. Throw a Packing Party

Many people struggle to get motivated to pack because they feel that there’s so much to do. In this case, you can either hire professionals to help with packing or ask friends for help.

Getting help from a few good friends is an excellent option because they’ll help you go through items that hold a sentimental value. Prepare tasty snacks and take a few minutes to listen to those old CDs you find buried in your closet.

However, if you’ve already sorted your stuff out and you’re tight on time, you should hire some professionals to get the job done. Heck, if you have the money you can even find a professional moving company who will do the entire packing process and move everything for you!

5. Start Packing From the Most Challenging Room

Packing a Kitchen to Move
For many of us the kitchen, with all of it’s fragile contents, is the most challenging room to pack.

Do you know the room in your house that has most of your valuable treasures and the stuff that you’ve collected over the years? This is exactly where you need to start packing.

For most homes, the is generally the garage, basement or attic.

A lot of people start packing the less crowded rooms, so they can feel better about their progress. But as the moving day approaches, you might find out that there’s such little time left and so much that you still need to pack, which can be quite stressful.

It’s best to start with the storage areas in the garage, basement, attic, bedroom, and the kids’ bedroom, followed by the kitchen, living room, bathroom, and dining room.

This way, you know that the most challenging parts of the project are already finished, and you can stay motivated for the whole packing process.

It’s best to start working on the difficult spots when your motivation is high before the deadline approaches.

6. Let Go Of What You Don’t Need

A lot of people get demotivated while packing because they feel that they can’t pack everything they own. Remember that you’re moving to start a new chapter in your life, so some stuff needs to stay behind.

Although some of your furniture and other belongings hold an immense sentimental value, they might not be useful once you move out.

So, you need to think carefully about everything you move and discard anything that’s old, broken, or no longer needed. Some items might be long-forgotten in your attic or garage for years, so it makes no sense to pack them, even if they were expensive when you first bought them.

Because our needs change over the years, you’ll be surprised by the number of items that you don’t actually need when you move out. All the stuff that you no longer need can actually be useful to someone else, so it won’t go to waste.

This way, you’ll be saving time while packing and spending less money on packing supplies. At the same time, the movers you hire will charge you less for loading and unloading fewer items.

7. Get Physically Ready

Man turning off alarm clock
Moving is stressful. Make sure you’re taking care of your body, including getting plenty of sleep.

You don’t just need to be in the right mind, but also in the right shape when you’re packing. If you’re not sleeping well, eating healthy, or staying hydrated, you’ll lack the energy needed to go through all your stuff and stay motivated to pack them properly.

Even if you’re feeling stressed (in fact, even more so), you need to make sure that you’re getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep will affect your focus, so you might forget or misplace some of your most important items.

Staying up late to pack isn’t a good decision because you’ll probably wake up late with no energy to continue what you’ve been doing the night before. Stick to a packing schedule that you’re able to keep long term.

Ordering fast food is a quick option, but it can make you sleepy and sluggishOpens in a new tab.. At the same time, cooking food at home will help you save a few dollars that you might desperately need while and after you’re moving. So, it’s best to stack some healthy food options before you start packing.

8. Give Yourself a Reward

It’s easy to motivate yourself to pack when there’s a reward that you’re looking forward to.

So, in addition to being done with the packing and the moving, you can keep yourself motivated to pack by planning a fun day at the spa or booking a getaway with your friends to celebrate your success.

If you’re tight on cash and time, there are still smaller rewards that you can give yourself. A nice dinner or watching a movie with friends will also work.

Final Thoughts

It’s pretty normal to struggle to get motivated to pack, but there are several tricks that you can try to keep going.

The biggest keys are to start as early as possible, stay organized, and set realistic goals. You should also consider the pros and cons of packing everything you own and ask for help if necessary.


I've been a college coach for going on 20 years now and that career has led Jen and I on quite the journey. We've lived in 7 different states and have moved a dozen different times. We've learned A LOT over the course of all those moves and we want to pass on our knowledge to help others going through the moving process.

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