The Pful Method - An Introduction
What's the easiest way to pack and later unpack everything in the shortest time? Use the simple PFUL/PLUF method (Pack First - Unpack Last)
I happen to have a background in transport engineering. One of the postulates of proper loading/discharging process consists of the decision between the FILA (First In - Last Out) and the FIFA (First In - First Out) technologies. If we apply this idea to resolving the problems of packing and unpacking when moving, instead of loading containers in an airplane or a ship, we get to the Pack First - Unpack Last (PFUL) method.
Each move to a new home is accompanied by stress. The closer the moment of the actual move gets, the higher the stress level of everyone directly involved. The packing of literally everything you own is one of the biggest troublemakers in the whole process.
An Introduction to the method
The simplest way save you trouble is to pack the least needed and occasionally used items first (PF - Pack First), then gradually get to the more important and every-day belongings. Once everything is packed and transported to the new location, it's time for unpacking. So you start with the boxes you packed last, those with the most needed items, and eventually unpack the boxes you packed first (UL - Unpack Last). PFUL. Sounds reasonable, doesn't it?
Guidelines for the use of the method in practice
How does it actually work? You follow these steps:
1. Pack the content of the basement, cellar, attic or pantry, things such as the silverware and other kitchen appliances you only use occasionally, all the books, CDs and DVDs. You can do that a week before you move, if you have a place to store the boxes in the meantime - a basement or a garage for example.
2. Start packing one room at a time. Begin with the bedrooms and the living room, and end with the kitchen and the bathroom. NOTA BENE: In each room, leave the items you are going to need to the last minute before you go - pack them last.
3. Pack your essential possessions - money, jewelry, documents, and those you are going to need the moment you come in the new home - hand tools for assembling the furniture, some of your pet's or your children's things, the contents of the bathroom, some bed linens to use the first nights, some dishes, glasses, the coffee machine, the toaster, the microwave and all other kitchen appliances you are going to need on the first day.
After successfully reaching the destination, unpack the items from 3. first, then those of 2. and finally the things of 1. Now you can throw that newly-moved-in-party you were looking forward to the whole time, if you have the energy for it.
Some remarks about the right way to unpack
One of the most important things to know about unpacking - it takes time. It actually takes more time than packing. Wonder why? Because now you need to find the right place for everything. Don't settle with temporary decisions. Think it over and over until you are sure what you want to do. Don't unpack a box if you don't know where the stuff from inside should go. The things are neater in boxes than just lying all around.
Remember, the PFUL method is only useful, if you keep yourself organized and motivated during the entire process of your relocation. Time management is important, but not as much as positive thinking. Find some time to laugh, maybe to take some photos of you and your place during the packing and unpacking. Those photographs are meant to make that party I mentioned earlier merrier.