[ by Carter Schimpff, Simple Moving Labor ]

It’s three days before your move, and amid all the chaos, you realize that you haven’t started packing up the house. Some moving companies will help you pack, but if you prefer to do it yourself, you need to be aware of some common mistakes almost everyone makes when packing for a move.

“Consider that your new home represents a clean, uncluttered slate,” said Joshua Becker, an organization blogger at Becoming Minimalist. “Unpack slowly, and allow your new space to breathe and for some energy to flow before you fill it.”

If you find yourself overwhelmed by the task of packing, watch out for these three mistakes that you might not even know you’re making.

1. Throwing Everything in Boxes
Moving is a great time to clear out the clutter. Instead of just dumping everything into boxes as you pack, carefully consider what you want to take to your new place.

“Moving from one home to another is a great time to remove the unnecessary possessions that have collected in our lives,” Becker said. “It is one of the rare opportunities where we are required to physically handle each of our possessions. As a result, it becomes an invaluable opportunity to minimize physical clutter.”

A new house or apartment is a fresh start. Do you really want to bring clothes you haven’t worn in years? Or kitchen appliances you’ve stashed in your garage and haven’t ever used? Don’t clutter your new home with things you don’t want or need; consider donating those items to an organization like Goodwill.

2. Starting Too Early
If you pack up your pots and pans two weeks before actually moving, you won’t be able to cook anything and you’ll be living off fast food or digging through your carefully packed boxes for all the stuff you need to make a meal.

Some things can be packed up early, such as winter coats if you’re moving in the summer, but leave the essentials until the end. If you have to start packing early to ensure that you’ll be ready when the movers arrive, start with the things you don’t use every day. As it gets closer to moving day, then start packing the essentials.

3. Buying Unneeded Supplies
Moving can be expensive enough without having to buy boxes and packing materials. If you’re trying to save money, use some of your items to help pad and cushion breakables. You can wrap dishes in T-shirts and pants to keep them from getting scratched and broken, and you can use your child’s stuffed animals to keep vases and lamps from wobbling in boxes. By using your softer items for padding, you can avoid buying bubble wrap and packing peanuts.

Final Advice
Don’t forget to create a packing schedule and a moving checklist. They’ll probably be the most effective tools for making sure that nothing gets left behind and that everything arrives safely.