Here are some unpacking tips we recommend to streamline the process after a long day and a long-distance move.
- You can hire professional packers and unpackers to help you if you want to bypass the process yourself.
- Hiring some on-demand help via an app like HireAHelper can also help save time.
- Did you hire a professional moving service? A lot of times, your movers offer packing and unpacking services for an additional fee.
Create a System
Do not just pick a box and open it. Have a method for going room by room and unpacking each room entirely. You should know what it is you are opening before you do. If you created an inventory list when packing, be sure to put it to good use when unpacking.
Check with the moving company you used. They might have an inventory list for you to use if you did not create one yourself.
Look at the labels on the boxes before unpacking them. If you did not label the boxes, peek into them before removing all of the contents and place the box in the correct room. You don’t want to begin throwing items into random rooms or cabinets without first knowing where they should go.
Unpack the Necessities First
The first box you unpack should be the one with the necessities in it. If there are multiple boxes of necessities, unpack all of them first before doing anything else. These boxes will either be located at the back of the moving truck, right where the door closes, or you transported them in your vehicle.
Either way, they should be the first boxes carried into your new home, opened up, and unpacked so you can eat a meal, go to the bathroom, wash your hands, or take your medication.
That’s why we recommend starting with the kitchen and dining room to avoid having to rely on take-out until you find the plates.
These boxes might also include important paperwork, basic food items, books, your laptop (especially if you’re working from home), and other important items that will help you get through the first couple of days in the new home as you continue to unpack.
Complete the Kitchen Before Any Other Room
Before you begin unpacking any other room in the new house, start unpacking with the kitchen. Your bedrooms, bathrooms, and family room aren’t even this important. The kitchen is the home’s focal point and should be treated as such when unpacking following a move.
Unpack the boxes based on category. Unpack the small appliances and hook them up so you can make toast, defrost waffles, or have a cup of coffee. Then, unpack the silverware, dishes, cups, bowls, pots, pans, and other cooking items. You can focus on organizing the kitchen once you have unpacked the rest of the house.
Move to the Bedrooms Next
Next, you can move to the bedrooms in your unpacking adventure. Hopefully, you set aside a set of linens for each bed for your first night, making it much easier to begin the unpacking process knowing you have something comfortable to sleep at the end of the first day in your new home.
Try to organize the furniture and closets as you unpack so that things you don’t end up throwing everywhere as you remove them from boxes. Doing so will make the unpacking process an easy one for family members.
The Bathrooms Are Up Next on the List
After you unpack all of the bedrooms, you can unpack the boxes labeled for the bathrooms. Every bathroom in the house will be operational upon your arrival because of the plumbing fixtures. Be sure to unload the shower curtains, toilet paper, towels, toiletries, toothbrush, and other essential items, so you have a little bit of comfort in your new home. You make this process easier by having these items in an essentials box for easier access.
Plan for Furniture Placement
You can now plan where the furniture should go in all of the rooms of the home. If you had a floorplan of the home prior to arrival and knew you were bringing furniture with you, it will be easy to place the furniture once it comes off the truck.
Assemble Large Furniture
If there are large items that you need to build, such as entertainment centers and bookshelves, do not construct them until you know where you will put them permanently. You don’t want to move these large pieces around multiple times after they have been built, especially if you decide to put them on a different floor.
Leave Utility Rooms for Last
Leave the basement, laundry room, utility room, garage, and attic to end the unpacking process. These rooms are more than likely to be used as storage and not actual living space, so there’s no rush to unpack the boxes that go in these rooms. Complete the main rooms of the home before moving onto these rooms when unpacking.
The same can be said for items that go on the patio, deck, or backyard. If you are moving during grilling season, it’s best to unpack items for the grill as soon as possible, especially if you prefer to grill dinner the first couple of nights in your new home instead of turning on the oven or stove in the kitchen.
Tips to Beat Unpacking Procrastination
It’s easy to procrastinate when the daunting task of unpacking is staring you in the face after a move to a new home. The best thing you can do is start small. If you stare mindlessly at the dozens of boxes, maybe unpack the cords for the TV and begin there instead of the kitchen.
Another tip is to turn on the radio while unpacking, not the TV. Having your favorite show on in the background will only cause you to spend time staring at the TV instead of unpacking. Music gets the blood flowing and will help you with beating procrastination.
You should also set unpacking goals. These goals can be as little or as big as you deem necessary. The goals can be time-based, box-based, or room-based. Howe, you set the go and make sure you reach them to not get too behind on unpacking.
Unpack an entire room completely before moving on to the next one if you unpack a few boxes from the kitchen and a few boxes from the bedroom or living room. this will only frustrate you. Unpack an entire room and organize it before moving to the next one. You will thank yourself in the end.
Break apart all of the boxes you have unpacked and put them in the garage or the recycling bin. Do not let them pile up in the rooms or the hallways. If you do, the pile will become too large to move around freely.
There’s no reason to unpack all of your belongings upon your arrival at the new home. For example, if it’s the middle of the summer, you don’t need to open the boxes labeled Christmas decorations. Instead, move those unpacked boxes to the basement or the garage. You can get to those at a later date.
Decorating Can Wait a Month
There’s no rush to decorate your new home either. It can wait at least a month. You need to live in it for a bit in order to get a feel for how each room should look. This includes buying furniture, painting, hanging pictures, and placing throw rugs.
Ready to unpack at your new home in a stress-free way? Follow the unpacking and moving tips outlined above, and you should be unpacked and settled in no time.
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