‘Packing is a sort of cleaning, only more vicious’, an ancient Greek philosopher once keenly observed. The key to efficiently postpone packing is to start dreading it about one and a half weeks before you actually have to start doing it. Two weeks, in extreme cases.
The first step, always, is to passionately complain about it to others. It’s great small talk and if you’re lucky you’ll even get some sympathy. Which you totally deserve, anyway.
As the days pass and the inevitable draws near, you need to push it back in a darker corner of your mind. Use your usual denial skills. Trust your ability to ignore the obvious.
One day before the initial deadline start considering doing laundry. This will buy you time, no doubt. No sensible person ever packed wet clothes. Go to bed. Laundry can wait until tomorrow.
On the last day before your trip, in the very last minute, call your family. Talk to them as long as you can about the trip ahead of you.
Realize that you are hungry. Acknowledge that your fridge is empty. Go shopping. Oh, no! What will happen to all the extra food tomorrow when you travel? Have friends over to share, because there are starving children in the world.
Wash the dishes. Realize that you’re losing this game once you resort to cleaning as a diversion from packing. The end is near, you can feel it.
Open a can of beer. Open your closet and stare in despair.
Bend to your own will and take random clothes out of aforementioned closet. Feel good about your progress as a pile of stuff grows on your bed.
Whatever you do, do not think of people who make lists before they pack. Just don’t. It’s better that way.
Put some music on. Start with Pantera and somehow end up with Norah Jones (the old stuff).
Start writing a piece about how much you hate packing, but be careful for it not to show too much of yourself. Fail at that with caution.
Dwell on a memory that simply cannot wait. Muse about the past and the future and their relationship to the preset. Come to no relevant conclusion, as usual.
Remember there is one last cigarette stashed in your backpack. Rush out and look at the sky. It’s starry, while yesterday it was cloudy. It’s so very, very beautiful. You smoke half a cigarette and leave the other for later.
Carefully take the pile of clothes from the bed and throw it in a corner.
Set your alarm clock for an hour earlier than you normally would. It should be about enough time to get that mess into a suitcase.
Take a shower. Relax. Or don’t. Whatever you do avoid eye contact with the mountain of things in the corner.
Check your alarm clock again to make sure you’ll have enough time in the morning.
Smoke the last half of the cigarette.
Go to bed.
Realize it’s only 8pm.