"The best way to conquer packing paper after a PCS (with video)" by Heather of Happyfitnavywife.com | Love this tip!

The Best Way To Conquer Packing Paper After A PCS

We had been married for three weeks. After a lovely wedding, the Navy packed us up in San Diego and we headed to Rhode Island. Our household goods arrived in our new rental home, and we set to work unpacking boxes. And more boxes. It seemed eternal. But what I had absolutely NO IDEA about was how much the crumpled up packing paper would literally take over my life in those weeks!

That stuff caused a huge mess. We were able to corral it into a spare room and the garage, but forget about trying to walk anywhere in those places. Parking in the garage was a distant dream. Just getting to the next box to unpack seemed impossible.

Since I was a rookie spouse, I didn’t know that I had a lot of unpacking options when getting our household goods:

  • Have the movers unpack everything and take boxes with them.
  • Do everything myself and get rid of materials on my own.
  • Unpack on my own and have the moving company return to get the boxes (by contract they are required to if you ask).
  • Have movers unpack some items and leave others for me to do.

As of now, I have tried most of these options (and made a lot of PCS mistakes!). I prefer to have the movers unpack as much as possible and take as much of the packing materials with them as they can. I know that some people don’t like others touching their stuff, but for me it is the easiest and quickest way to get the house on its way to being functional.

But of course, I didn’t have all that figured out during my first Navy move. So I was stuck with huge wardrobe boxes and infinite piles of wadded up packing paper.

The funny thing is, that wadded up paper is even hard to recycle– one time we put a bunch in our large recycle bin. It got so wedged into the bin that it didn’t come out when the recycling truck picked it up and turned it upside down! Talk about aggravating! So we had to wait another two weeks to get rid of it.

Anywho. Now I have packers unpack, but they can only do so much on unloading day. After all, they are also bringing in furniture, putting together beds, and taking multiple breaks of course (am I right?). So with all that, I’m still left with endless piles of wadded up paper.

Thankfully, I found a solution to the crazy mess. It’s a trick I learned from a veteran military spouse friend named Katherine (who in addition to raising two kiddos, also runs her own health coaching business. You can find her at Happy Strong & Healthy).

Check out this little video I made which explains what to do. It will save your sanity!

 (click play)

The Best Way To Conquer Packing Paper After A PCS:

1- Open box, unpack

2- Flatten paper using an outward motion with your knees

3- Stack paper in a flat pile (this greatly reduces the area taken up by each piece of paper. Then it’s super easy to set aside)

4- Place stack of paper in one place in the corner or garage. Then you only have one pile of extra paper, rather than allowing it to take over your home and garage!)


packing paper


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