I haven’t met one person who loves to move. Moving is horrendous and tops the charts as being the most stressful thing to go through. Unpacking is super laborious and takes a lot of time and energy.
These ten tips are fail-proof. Each year we unpack hundreds of homes and know the best way to unpack a home. Read on and save yourself a lot of stress and headaches.
- First off, be present when the movers arrive. Although it doesn’t feel like the best use of your time, stand and watch to see where every box and piece of furniture is being dropped off in the house. Save yourself a lot of backache and time by making sure each item is going to the right room as it comes through the front door.
- Enlist help from your spouse, your kids, or friends. Unpacking is a team effort and takes a lot of hands and energy to feel settled. We, as professional organizers, are pros at unpacking and we promise you will never regret asking for help. Hiring organizers to do your unpacking can be the smartest move you ever make. If you are under a deadline, have no time, or are being relocated by a company that pays for the move, organizers are a no-brainer. We know exactly where to place things, where things should be stored, and how to make the most of your new space.
- Don’t expect to start unpacking the day the moving truck drops off your furniture and boxes. Companies like cable tv, security service, wifi set up or phone service will most likely be your top priority. Realistically, unpacking will start the next day. My company will only arrive after the moving truck leaves. That’s one of my strict policies.
- Don’t clean the house before movers arrive. Clean afterward. They will track in dirt, dust, cardboard and packaging material that will get your home all dirty again. My only exception to this would be inside of kitchen cabinets. If you’d want to wipe those down, then do so. I don’t typically recommend buying cabinet shelf liner or drawer liner. It makes the dishes stick as you take them in and out. It also makes it harder to clean inside.
- Resist the urge to go shopping for setting up your new home before unpacking. First, unpack and write a specific shopping list so you don’t make ten trips to the store.
- Washing dishes as you unpack them will take triple the amount of time to get settled in. I recommend washing things as you pull them out to use them. If the items were clean going into the box as you packed them and if you used clean packing paper don’t worry too much.
- The biggest mistake you can make is to start unpacking many rooms at once. I know it’s tempting, but it doesn’t work. Tackle one room at a time. Prioritize and decide which rooms are most important to be unpacked first. Typically, the kitchen and bedrooms are top priority, as you will need to sleep and eat right away.
- Although moving tends to be hectic, try to keep one room as clutter-free as possible so you have a welcoming spot to take breaks and eat your meals throughout the day. I would recommend unpacking the kitchen first so this is the first space you can enjoy and relax to enjoy a meal.
- Inevitably when you unpack your new space, some of your old décor and stuff won’t fit or work in the new space. Place them in boxes or bags to donate to charities.
- As you empty boxes, break them down and get it out to your recycling area. The faster you can get boxes out of your house the more settled you will feel. Don’t leave them lying around or sitting with one or two items inside.
Don’t forget these essential tools for unpacking your home!
- 1Box cutter!! This is most important on the list.
- Sturdy and supportive shoes. Unpacking a home is tiring and for most of the day, you will be standing on your feet. Protect them.
- A step ladder. You’d be surprised how often you’ll need to climb up to put something away.
- Plyers. Most kitchen cabinet shelves, as well as closet shelves, will need to be adjusted. The pegs that hold the shelves in place are sometimes tuff to get in and out. On a side note, if you’ve lost some pegs or need additional pegs you can purchase different varieties at your local hardware store. Be sure to bring an existing peg with to buy the right one.
- A pad of paper and pen. As you unpack and decide systems and new placements for things, you’ll notice items you might need to shop for. They could be organizational products, or basics like another bathroom garbage can or floor mat.
- A tape measure. As you think of things you need, that might involve some measuring. For example shades, blinds, etc.
- Garbage bags. All that packaging paper and used tape and bubble wrap will be gathered into lots of garbage bags. Don’t skimp. Get a lot.
- Cleaning and furniture wipes. Before you put kitchen items away and books back onto bookshelves, you may want to wipe them out with Clorox wipes or Pledge wipes.