Pack quick for move

The Quickest Way to Pack for a Move


Moving is fun. Packing is not. If you don’t have the means to hire a moving company to do the packing for you, you are faced with the daunting task of putting everything you own into little boxes. Would it be nice to be able to do it quickly?

You can! Here are some tips for quick packing for a move:

Organize by Type

Empty a closet or cabinet and place everything onto an open space like the dining room table. Group like items and pack them together, like baking goods or scarves and hats. Label the box clearly as to its room and contents. That way if you need to find something quickly after your move, you can go right to that box.

Organize by Room

Collect items that go into one room only and pack them together, like living room decorations or craft room art supplies. Don’t try to combine items from various rooms into one box. Label each box with its room location and contents.

Pack Non-Necessary Items First

Pack up household décor, seasonal items and other pieces you don’t need first and get them out of the way. Retain essential items and pack them at the last minute into boxes marked “Open First” and mark the boxes for their appropriate room. Place those boxes LAST onto the truck together so that they will be the first items off the truck once you arrive at your new home. Place them in a prominent and easy-to access place so they won’t get buried by all the boxes to come afterwards.

Sort into Three Piles

When packing items for each room, have extra boxes marked for “Donate” and “Toss.” While sorting, be liberal about keeping only those items that have meaning or value, and get rid of the rest. If you haven’t worn it or used it in the past year, you probably don’t need to keep it. You’ll be glad to have much less to unpack at the end of your move, and can relish in all the extra space!

Engage Friends

Ask your friends to come over for a packing party. It’s much more fun when more hands are in the mix. Assign tasks to each person so they have a job to do, and supply them with the boxes, tape, packing materials and markers they will need. It will be one last chance to get together with them before you move away, and it will give your friends the opportunity to “shop” through your “Donate” and “Toss” boxes. What fun! Gift items to your friends for helping out, and be sure to provide refreshments.

Use a Laundry Basket

For those items you need or want to access right away, there’s no need to pack them. Load them into large laundry baskets for easy transfer and access once you arrive. This can include toiletries and toilet paper, cleaning supplies, coffee and coffeemaker, snacks, etc. The beauty of the laundry baskets is that 1) they have handles, and 2) they won’t get mixed in with the other boxes.

Call 123JUNK

We can’t help you with the move, but we can take away your Donate and Toss items. You won’t have to worry about sorting through them. That’s our job. Our trained professional crews go through each pickup and divide out the items that can be delivered to our charitable partners to be repurposed back into the community. We then take a picture of those items and provide you with a receipt for your tax deduction. Other items that can’t be salvaged are divided into recyclables (like old electronics, metals and papers), and trash. Each of those piles is delivered either to the recycling station or the area landfill.

123JUNK wants to be the resource for families and business owners in Northern Virginia, Washington DC and Maryland for all types of junk removal, donations, appliance and furniture removal, and yard waste cleanup. Our crews arrive in clean trucks, professionally dressed from head to toe, and practiced in the art of customer service. We pride ourselves on it.

When you’re moving, let 123JUNK make your move quicker and easier. Contact us today to set your pickup appointment.

Swedish death cleaning

Swedish Death Cleaning

There is a subject that nobody wants to think about: Death. But as death is inevitable, so is the cleanup process once a loved one has passed.

On the positive side, there is a new trend called Swedish Death Cleaning in which people take it upon themselves to clean out their own homes before they pass away in order to both ensure that the items they want to go to particular individuals do so, and to relieve the burden on their loved ones of cleaning up their estate after they pass.

The Swedish word is döstädning, a mash-up of the Swedish words for death () and cleaning (städning). And although cleaning out one’s estate before you die is not new, a new book is, titled The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family From a Lifetime of Clutter (Simon and Schuster).

Author and Swedish artist Margareta Magnusson states that there are benefits to death cleaning that can be enjoyed while you are still alive.  According to her publisher, “Her radical and joyous method for putting things in order helps families broach sensitive conversations, and makes the process uplifting rather than overwhelming.”

Swedish Death Cleaning Involves Others

One of the underlying principles of Swedish Death Cleaning is the involvement of others. The sharing of stories, along with the gifting of items, creates a bond among families and friendships. It can also help keep you accountable and set up a record of your future wishes for distribution. Tuck notes in with possessions that give a bit of history about the piece along with instructions for gifting the item or returning to its original owner.

Instead of trying to give items away to friends and family, offer things they have admired as presents. Items can also be sold or donated to charitable organizations where they can help others build their lives. Dispose of any items that could be potentially hurtful or embarrassing for someone to find.

It’s not about getting rid of your life’s story; it’s about keeping what’s good and expunging the rest. “It is a good thing to get rid of things you don’t need,” Magnusson says. She embraces minimalism and enjoys having her own surroundings be orderly.  

Unlike other tidying-up experts, she endorses keeping just a few sentimental items such as letters and photographs. She doesn’t recommend starting with photographs, however, when beginning the death cleaning process. Instead, begin with easier sorting processes such as your closets or kitchen cabinets. Save the photos for last.

“This surprisingly invigorating process of clearing out unnecessary belongings can be undertaken at any age or life stage, but should be done sooner rather than later, before others have to do it for you,” Magnusson states. Her recommendation is to begin dispersing possessions starting by at least age 65.

Magnusson suggests not collecting items you don’t really want. “I don’t think it’s fair,” she says, to make your family take care of all your possessions once you’re not around anymore. “A loved one wants to inherit nice things from you. Not all things from you.” Instead of buying possessions, spend your money on experiences like travel, dining out, or entertainment.

Her own reason for writing this book came from her ordeal of having to deal with the deaths of her parents and husband. It was a puzzle to figure out what to do with their possessions. She has also moved 17 times throughout her lifetime, which enables her to know best “what to keep and what to throw away.” One way she will simplify the process for her children is by keeping a “throw-away box” of items that only have meaning to her. Once she dies, her heirs can simply throw that box away without having to sort through its contents.

Cleaning out a loved one’s estate after their death is often an emotionally-painful and time-consuming effort. It can also be expensive. Senior move managers and estate liquidators can charge up to several thousand dollars for their services. And nobody wants to be stuck with the overwhelming task of a packed house while they are both grieving and trying to manage their own busy lives.

Contact 123JUNK

If you are looking to downsize, or wish to start simplifying your life, 123JUNK can help. Simply create one pile of the items you no longer need or want, call us, and we’ll do the rest. Our philosophy, like that of Margareta Magnusson’s, is to gift your cast-offs to others. We work with a number of fine charitable partners who redistribute donated items back into the communities we live and work in. Your donated items will be documented and you will be provided a receipt for tax purposes. Items that cannot be repurposed are sorted for recycling or disposal.

Giving gifts to others brings much pleasure to both the giver and the receiver. Plus, with fewer possessions, you’ll have the added benefit of living in a much more manageable and pleasurable space. Perhaps this idea of Swedish Death Cleaning isn’t such a bad one after all.

To schedule your pickup, contact 123JUNK today!