For many people, procrastination offers multiple benefits. As the deadline draws closer, you may feel a boost in energy, focus and determination. You work harder, letting your brain and your fingers kick into high gear. And when you finish the job with a few minutes to spare, you can’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment for defying the odds.

But when you have a big move on the horizon, procrastination won’t necessarily work in your favour. If you save your packing for the last minute, you may forget important boxes, lose track of essential documents and suffer expensive delays. 

For a smooth move, you’ll need to prepare several weeks (if not months) in advance. So what can you do to kick your procrastination habit to the kerb?

1. Give Yourself Smaller Deadlines

When you procrastinate, you usually wait until the big deadline before you start to panic. Why not work with that habit by giving yourself smaller deadlines that lead up to your moving date?

If you break up your packing tasks into smaller, more manageable projects, you won’t have to worry about packing your entire house in one go. Start by dividing your house into rooms. Focus on packing the guest bedroom one week, the living room another week and the master bathroom the following week.

Then, divide those packing projects into even smaller to-do lists that you can accomplish by day. For example, pack your living room bookshelves on Monday, your display cabinets on Tuesday and your wall hangings on Wednesday.

If you still struggle with the smaller lists, feel free to divide them by hour. Perhaps fill one box by 2 p.m., remove nails from the walls at 4 p.m. and colour-code your day’s boxes before 6 p.m. 

2. Set a Limit on Distractions

As a busy adult, you already have multiple priorities that you need to address, and understandably, packing for your move may sit slightly lower on that list. You have to go to work, make dinner and care for your children. 

But in addition to your major tasks, you likely have a few other smaller to-dos that distract you from your packing goals. A few minutes of checking Facebook, answering emails or posting photos to Instagram may not seem like much, but those minutes add up over time.

According to some estimates, the average Australian spends 1 in 5 minutes a day on social media, totalling 3.6 hours. Approximately 13 million Australians do more than check Facebook or update their Twitter, spending a whopping 18 hours a day surfing the Internet. That’s valuable time you could use to pack and prepare for your move.

If you find that you spend a great deal of time looking at Reddit or browsing Wikipedia articles, set a timer on your phone specifically for online activity. When that timer sounds, dedicate an equal amount of time to sorting your seasonal items and wrapping your glass décor in tissue paper.

3. Team Up with a Friend or Family Member

Your move may still seem overwhelming, even if you eliminate distractions and give yourself smaller deadlines. With so much to do, you may feel tempted to ignore the problem completely and take a nap instead, hoping that somehow your move will resolve itself.

In these moments, you need a friend or family member who can hold you responsible for meeting your deadlines. Your spouse could encourage you to pack items under the kitchen sink while he or she tackles the garage. Your parents could give you regular check-ins or watch your kids for an hour while you pack. Your friend could text you encouraging reminders or buy you extra packing tape when your supplies run low.

The more help you have, the more successful you’ll be.

Did You Wait Until the Last Minute?

With the above tips, you can conquer procrastination and get your move on its way. However, if you wait too long to read and implement these suggestions, you might not have the time to finish packing before your final moving day.

When you’re down to the last few days or hours of moving, call in a team of removalists and packers to help you finish the job. Trained professionals can have your books, clothes, dishes and furniture boxed, wrapped and padded in record time.