I have found over the many military moves we have made (6 in the past 12 years) that it makes for a smoother move if I prepack stuff such as books, fabric, and off season clothes. My basement has been a repository for empty boxes and as of Thursday all of them were filled, labeled, and sealed.
Yesterday during ballet class Mary and I tried to get some more from the liquor store (the absolute best source of heavy-duty boxes and the perfect size for packing books) but they said that they couldn't give me any until Monday. We did score about a dozen banana boxes from Safeway, but they have an unfortunate hole in both the top and bottom. Finally this morning, I asked the deli stocker at Giant if I could scrounge some flattened cardboard so I can patch up the holes. In one week I have packed all my fabric and about 1/2 of the children's books.
Over the next few weeks I'll try to collect dozens more free boxes and hopefully can cut down the packer's time. Standard military protocol is to feed whoever comes to pack out and I figure by working slowly one box at a time, I can save myself at least the cost of one lunch for 6 burly men.