You’ve de-cluttered your life, packed up everything you own, and survived the local or long distance trip to your new home. Congratulations! You’re 75% done with the moving process. Although it’s the last step, unpacking is the most enjoyable part of moving because it transforms a new, empty space into your own. However, it can also be a daunting task if you don’t know where to begin. Here are a few tips for an efficient, no-stress move-in.
1. Start with a deep cleaning
Most previous homeowners will clean the home before their departure as a courtesy to its new residents. However, it is possible that the previous homeowners moved out several weeks prior to your move-in date, during which dust and dirt could have accumulated. With an empty space, it’s a great time for deep cleaning – especially because it will be the last time some corners see the light of day before being covered by furniture. Moving into a fresh, clean home sets you on the right foot. Many professional moving companies, like Black Tie Moving, offer cleaning services that you can add to your moving package.
2. Pack an “Open First” box
Although this tip technically falls under tasks to complete while packing, it will definitely help with the unpacking process. By devoting a special box to the necessities that you will need right away, they will be much more easily accessible and less stressful than opening box after box looking for them. Include items like your toothbrush, shampoo and body wash, hair styling tools/products, pajamas, and freshly washed linens (see tip #5). This will make you feel more comfortable and therefore more relaxed in your new home, even throughout the hectic unpacking process.
3. Organize boxes by room
As you unload boxes from the moving truck into your new home, don’t just leave them at the front door or in your living room. Immediately place each box in the designated room of its contents. Well-labeled boxes are key here. Imagine how frustrating it would be to be trying to set up your kitchen and have to look all over your new home for your plates, only to find them in a box in the bathroom later. Staying organized by room will allow you to unpack in the most efficient way possible.
4. Work from big to small
After your “Open First” box, your bigger, bulkier items should be unpacked and situated. By deciding how you would like the furniture to be positioned in each room, you are laying the foundation for where the rest of the smaller items will be placed. For example, you can’t really unpack books and DVDs without having a bookcase or entertainment center set up where you can place them. Artwork and décor can also be one of the first items to be unpacked, as these items personalize your new home and make it look and feel more like your own.
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5. Make your bed
For many, making your bed may seem like a task that you would place near the end of your unpacking to-do list. However, it’s actually one of the most important. Whether it was local or long distance moving, chances are you have endured at least 1 to 2 very long days. Ending the first night in your new home in your own bed dressed in fresh, clean linens will give you a feeling of relief and security during a time with so many changes. For families, this is especially true for children.
6. Debox as you progress
While you won’t find the word “debox” in the dictionary, it’s our word for an extremely rewarding practice that will keep you motivated and excited to complete the unpacking process. Each time you completely empty and organize the contents of each box, break it down and place it somewhere outside of your home to recycle. There is something so satisfying about the act of breaking down a box after the all of the work that has been put into packing and then unpacking it. It’s a little way to celebrate being one less box into making your new house a home.
7. Don’t set up the TV until you Are all done
Many people work better with some form of entertainment in the background. However, this could also potentially distract from the task at hand. By setting up your television service, you are inviting yourself to lounge on the couch and procrastinate unpacking. After a long few days, it will be very tempting. Instead, turn up your favorite music and stay moving.
8. Invite friends and family
Moving into your new home is a fun, exciting time that calls for a celebration. Invite those closest to you to come check out the new place! Many of them would be more than willing to help you unpack. Open a bottle of wine and some snacks and make a party out of it.
9. Keep unpacking essentials handy
You don’t want to have to run to the store to grab an item that you need to hang that photo of your cat. Some items to keep on hand include:
- tool kit with a hammer, screwdriver, and nails
- utility knife to open boxes
- trash bags
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