1. Packing tape jams and sticks to itself. Usually at the worst possible moment. Do not, under any circumstances, rip said tape from roll and stick it to your forearm until you can finish the box. Your arm hair thanks you.
2. Yes, you need bubble wrap. Yes, you need to hide it from your kids.
3. Real life doesn’t pause while you’re elbow deep in boxes. Tag in friends, family, neighbors, or your local green grocer and accept you can’t do it all.
4. Embrace takeout. You’ll get back on track later.
5. Accept the fact that one or more of the following will happen while you need to be shoving stuff in boxes: cat pee in not-so-good places, dog puke in other not-so-good places, a major school project, the printer dying, plumbing surprises, an Urgent Care run, flash floods that bring muddy paws, horrible allergies/colds/viruses/headaches, and an acute urge to run far, far away. Any of them, all of them, it’s all up for grabs.
6. You do not need the closing papers for the house you bought eighteen years ago. Period.
7. Cats are vertical creatures. Be careful where you stack your boxes.
8. Know your helpers. For example, “Go through your clothes.” One hears: “You might want to get rid of that swimsuit from four years ago that probably doesn’t fit anymore.” The other: “Get rid of every stitch of clothing you haven’t touched in the last three weeks regardless of season or possible future needs.” Supervise accordingly.
9. Warn people you’re likely to drop out of sight. Unless you enjoy random visits from local law enforcement to gather proof of life, then keep a tally of who cared enough to report a missing person.
10. Keep a stash of whatever walks you back off the cliff – chocolate, chips and salsa, boxes of wine, no judgement here. Now this is important. You can run out of boxes or packing paper or bubble wrap or tape BUT FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S HOLY, don’t run out of your stash. You’re welcome.