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One of the most hated aspects of moving is unpacking. You’ve already packed and relocated all of your possessions from your old home to your new one. You’re worn out. You’ve had your fill of it. Now it’s time to unpack – the final task on a long list of relocation-related tasks.

Unpacking does not have to be the final, feared hurdle to overcome before you can begin to enjoy your new home. Unpacking can be one of the smoothest and most fluid phases of your move with a little preparation — and a lot of planning ahead of time.

The idea is to start thinking about unpacking as soon as you start packing — and i mean as soon as you start packing in the first place. With a few organizational ideas and methods, you can make unpacking the simplest and, dare we say, fun portion of the move.

Ready to eliminate the stress of the final stage of your relocation and spend more time enjoying your new home? These pointers are essential for a well-organized unpacking experience.

Step 1: Plan for unpacking before you move.

The unpacking process may not begin until you arrive at your new home and begin to settle in. However, you can (and should) begin making plans for unpacking before you begin packing.

One of the most effective methods to help unpacking go more smoothly is to have a clear strategy in place, which should begin before the first of your stuff is placed in a box or bag. Here’s what you should do.

Formulate a Plan (and Take Inventory)

The best moves begin with a well-thought-out strategy. You have a couple of choices here.

People frequently use numbers or colors to organize their moves. The most important thing is to pick a technique and stick to it – all boxes should be labeled with the numbers or colors that correlate to the room they go in, and while you pack, you should keep track of what’s in each box with an inventory sheet. You should also clearly label each box with the location in your new home. This can be aided by having a numbered or color-coded floor layout of the new location.

It takes longer to organize your move this way, but your future self will love you for making and following to a strategy to stay organized.

If you’re using packers and movers, you should be aware of their procedures as well. Will it make your life easier or more difficult once you’ve moved in?

Before you pack, take photos.

Taking photos all over your house before you pack is another wonderful way to keep organized during a move. The photographs can then be labeled with numbers or colors that correspond to your inventory and organizational plan.

When you’re unpacking, having images of how items were arranged and organized in your previous home can help you figure out where they’ll go in your new home — and give you ideas for how to decorate your new place to feel like home.
Now is the time to clean if you can.

I understand that this isn’t an option for everyone, particularly if you’re traveling on a tight schedule or across a big distance. However, if you’re able, go to the new location and clean it now, before bringing your possessions.

That way, once you start unpacking, all you have to do is put things back where they go, and you won’t have to clean as you go.

As you pack, declutter

Not everything in your old home will need to be packed and relocated to your new one for the average person. You probably have a lot of stuff you don’t want or need, and now is a fantastic opportunity to sell, donate, or throw it away. The more you can simplify your home while packing, the less items you’ll have to move – and the less you’ll have to unpack once you arrive.

Pack by room and area

When packing, don’t combine kitchen and bathroom items, and don’t put bed linens in the same box as books and DVDs. Make sure your boxes are organized so that they only include things from one room, and then clearly mark the box with the room’s name.

You can also take this suggestion a step further by organizing your belongings in different rooms by specialized areas. Put everything you need to make your bed, for example, in one box. Put everything from the living room entertainment center in a separate box. This way, you can simply drag the box to its proper location in the room and unpack it all at once, without having to walk around putting things away.

When it comes to packing, some products require their own unique art and science, so don’t believe you can just stuff everything in a box and call it a day.

Distractions should be kept in a separate box.

It’ll be tempting to put off unpacking when you get to your new home. Taking a break to watch TV or play a video game is one of the easiest ways to procrastinate.

That’s why having a separate box for TV cables, video game consoles, books, and board games – anything that can keep you from finishing your unpacking — is a fantastic idea. Save that box for last when you go to your new house, so you have the added drive to get everything else unpacked without stalling.

Separate your essentials from the rest of your belongings.

When you move into your new house, there are a few items you’ll want to have right away. Pack one box (or a backpack or bag) with everything you’ll need to sleep, shower, and prepare for your unpacking marathon.

Treat it as though you’re going on a trip, and pack appropriately. You’ll need the following items:

  • Several outfit changes
  • Items for the bathroom (especially a toothbrush and toothpaste)
  • Prescriptions
  • Chargers for all of your essential electronics
  • Utensils, plates, and cups
  • a roll of toilet paper

If there’s anything more you’ll need to get through comfortably for the next 24-48 hours before your house is unloaded, be sure you bring it with your basics.

Step 2: Make Unpacking During Your Move Easier

The big day has arrived! It’s time to transport everything to your new home now that it’s all packed. Here’s how to do it in such a way that unpacking will be as easy as possible.

Load the moving truck by room

A man and a woman working for a delivery company

Consider the layout of your future house (and consult your moving plan that you made way back before you started packing). When loading boxes onto the truck (or hiring a moving company), begin with belongings that will be placed in rooms toward the back of your new home. Keep objects that belong together grouped together on the truck so that it’s easy to put things back where they belong upon unloading.

Place everything in the appropriate rooms.

It’s tempting to just dump everything in the living room to get everything off the moving truck as quickly as possible (or whatever the first room inside the front door may be). Don’t. Do you recall how much time you spent labeling and color-coding each box? Now is the time to put it to work. Make sure you put all of your boxes into the rooms where they’ll be unpacked according to the labels — or make sure your movers are aware of the procedure and unload properly. Bedroom boxes should be kept in bedrooms. Kitchen boxes should be placed in the kitchen. Moving boxes to the proper rooms doesn’t take much more time, and it will make unpacking much easier.

Keep an eye on that essentials box

Keep track of where you put your essentials box because it will be the one that doesn’t belong in one certain room to be unpacked. Your bedroom is an excellent choice. Another advantage to packing your essentials in a suitcase or other travel bag is that it will be easier to identify among all the other boxes unloaded in your new home.

Step 3: It’s Time to Unload – Successful Unpacking Tips

It’s time to start the main job: unpacking, once everything is off the truck and organized into the proper rooms. To make the process as quick and simple as possible, follow these steps. Our goal is to have you unpacked completely on the first day.

It takes a lot of energy to move! It’s fine if you’re too exhausted to start unpacking right away; you packed your basics separately. Plus, if you’re well-rested the next day, unpacking will be much faster and easier. If you need to hit the ground running in the morning, order your favorite take-out food and get a good night’s sleep.

If you haven’t already, begin by cleaning.

If you were able to clean your new place before moving day, that’s fantastic! This step can be skipped.

Otherwise, now is the time to clean whatever needs to be cleaned. The idea is to be able to concentrate solely on unpacking without having to clean anything along the way, so clean any grimy cabinets or dusty shelves now.

Begin with each room’s furniture.

Before you unpack a single box in any given room, double-check that all of the necessary furniture is present and in place. It’s much easier to rearrange large furniture pieces before the bed is made or the drawers are filled, so this is the perfect time to experiment with different furniture arrangements (including major appliances, bookshelves, and other large items) and make sure everything is in the right place.

First, unpack the bathroom.

It might be difficult to know where to begin while unpacking in a new house. I recommend starting with the bathrooms because of the critical functions they perform throughout the day. You don’t want to go to the restroom only to discover that the toilet paper and hand soap haven’t been unpacked yet. And when you’re ready for a shower after a long day of unpacking, you’ll appreciate the shower curtain and bath mats that have already been set up.

Then it’s time to unpack the bedrooms.

organized bedroom

Any bedrooms that are used on a nightly basis will be the second most important locations in your home (so all of them except guest rooms, if you have any). Make sure your bedrooms are set up for relaxation so you can finish the huge process of settling into your new home.

Finally, complete the house in the following order…

The remaining spaces should be unpacked in order of significance. Here’s what i suggest:

  • Dining room/kitchen
  • living room
  • Guest rooms are located in the same building as the home office.
  • Closets
  • Areas for storage

As you go, break down the boxes.

You want each room to be entirely completed and ready to live in as you finish it. That means you shouldn’t leave a trail of boxes behind you.

Break down each box as you unpack it and place it in a designated area for recycling.

Last but not least, put your Distraction Box away.

You don’t want to be distracted by the television or another source of distraction. Do you recall the “distraction box” you brought? Leave it for last, regardless of which room it’s in, so you don’t put off unpacking due to distractions.

As you unpack, do another round of decluttering.

Unpacking is a perfect time to declutter even more so that your new home remains orderly for the long haul.

Keep a large box by the front entrance, and as you unpack, toss anything you can’t find a home for or decide you don’t want or need into the decluttering box. Then, once you’ve finished unpacking, you can discard the entire box.

Unpacking is a lot of work, as you can now tell. One of the biggest reasons that people live with moving boxes for years (and they do, I see it often) is they simply don’t have the time or energy to complete the job properly.

That’s where Just Organized By Taya can help. We can take on as much of the work as you need us to, from decluttering and packing up at your old home to helping you unpack and organize in the new one.

We can also come in after your move and help you finish all the things you have been putting off, even if you made your move weeks, or months ago. Get started by booking an appointment here.

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