Posted by: Kate | August 11, 2009

Two Boxes a Day

The “move” part of our move is almost completed. We have about one minivan-load of stuff still at the house – the kids’ bikes, random stuff that we hadn’t boxed up before the movers came, my great-grandmother’s Truly Hideous China – so we’re planning to load that up tomorrow, as we’ll be in town for several appointments. Then there should be one more trip to thoroughly clean every room; no small feat, because the house, being on a slab, has very poor air circulation and, when left empty, gets musty very quickly. But once that’s done, it’ll be done, and then we just sit and wait patiently for someone to come along and buy it. Piece of cake, right?

So the work, now, lies in the unpacking of the four million boxes lying around the apartment. I’ve spent a big chunk of the past few days just carting boxes, unopened, from room to room, on the theory that it will be easier to unpack them if they’re in the general vicinity of their destination. This is in-between typing work and cleaning and laundry – astonishing how much longer a load of laundry takes with just those measly 25 stairs in between me and the washing machine. So, it’s slow, but it’s happening.

And I had another stroke of parenting brilliance, which I recognize is a simple extension of a lot of housekeeping advice – rather than trying to do it all at once, set aside a short period of time each day to do a specified amount. In our case, instead of designating 20 minutes an afternoon to dishes or cleaning the floors, we’ve announced a two-box-a-day rule. Each person will completely empty two boxes. They can choose which boxes, in any room, at any time of the day.

So far, it’s worked quite well. Willem far overshot his share last night, when he unpacked all of the food and a good portion of the rest of the kitchen paraphernalia, but I’ll forgive that. Both kids have pitched in, as well; Emily focused immediately on her toys and clothes, and Jacob has an odd affinity for the kitchen gadgets.

So, it’s slowly becoming more and more like a really messy apartment, and less and less like a war zone. With a little luck, we’ll be settled in and unpacked before it’s time to move again…


  1. Great idea!

  2. See I couldn’t stand that. I’d have to be all unpacked and ready to roll in one day. Clutter drives me crazy. Good luck. Sorry, no Madhouse from me again this week. Hopefully things will calm down a bit next week and I can get blogging properly again.

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