Pick a day and time that works for everybody. A day or two before the truck is scheduled to arrive is ideal. You could even begin a week or two before your moving out day, with books, some tableware, clothing, linens—things you won’t need day-to-day until you get to your new home.
Have the packing supplies on hand when your guests arrive. Brown craft paper, clear packing tape, bubble wrap, foam peanuts, and cardboard cartons. Old newspaper can also come in handy, but beware—the ink may rub off and can smudge or stain. You can also purchase packing supplies from your local moving company. You may also find used cartons at your favorite grocery. Most stores have a bin for recycling cardboard; just ask the manager.
Before work begins, decide exactly what you want to accomplish. Establish a convenient work area, with plenty of room. A big table works well. So does a wide open floor space, such as in the living room. You might turn on some music to establish a pleasant background. As you work, mark the contents on the outside of cartons; it will make placing and unpacking things at your new home much easier.
Of course, a party isn’t a party without munchies and drinks. You might wish to finish off some food in your fridge or freezer, since you can’t take it with you (movers are not allowed to transport foods that can spoil). Or you might order in—sub sandwiches or pizza, for instance. If you start your gathering mid-morning or mid-afternoon, your guests will probably have eaten before they arrive. You can work up an appetite together and take a well-deserved break for lunch or dinner. If you want to nibble while you work, consider foods that aren’t messy, such as raw veggies, pretzels, and finger sandwiches. In any case, have fun and enjoy your time together.