How to Unpack – Tips to make it easy to move into your new home

How to Unpack

Excited to move into your new home or apartment? We bet you are! Well, except for the unpacking part…  With a little fore thought and strategy, we can help you take the stress out of unpacking so you can enjoy your new residence as quickly as possible. Read on to learn more!

1. Organize BEFORE you move

Most people think about getting their belongings packed away more than what its going to be like at the destination. We wrote earlier about helpful tips on how to plan your move.  and also on specific techniques and tips to help you pack.  One of the best things you can do is to approach your move by first making an inventory of all of your belongings. This not only helps you estimate the time, effort and cost that it will take to move your home, but also gives you clarity and insight as to what all you have in your possession. It will be helpful as you are packing AND when you get to your destination unpacking!

  • sitting woman labeling boxApproach taking inventory of your home or apartment ONE ROOM AT A TIME. This makes the whole process easier, because it is simplified into smaller tasks, has an order you can check off a list, and allows you to have a better understanding of what and how much is in each room.
  • Pro TIP: Take pictures before you break down rooms for packing. This is extremely helpful for TV/entertainment systems with a lot of dives, wiring and connections! Same goes for computer and office setups where technology is involved.
  • You can elect to box up and label everything at this time. Labeling and writing on your boxes ensures that you or your movers will know where everything goes once you are at the new destination.
  • Put stickers on larger items, furniture and appliances indicating the rooms they came from.
  • Make sure to have a separate box of essentials that you can have access to and wont have to fish through hundreds of boxes to find.  These might include, snacks, a roll of toilet paper, a flashlight, a change of clothes, bottled water, prescription drugs etc. or anything you deem as essential.
  • Keep your important personal documents together as well and keep them on your person. These would include financial account information, Birth Certificates, Passports, Social Security card, IDs etc.


2. Strategy at the destination

Its easy to become overwhelmed when the movers say goodbye and you are knee-deep in boxes but fear not! Take a deep breath and evaluate the situation before randomly going through boxes in different rooms.

  • Remember your “Essentials Box”? Locate that and get things stowed away before tackling any rooms.
  • Just like the packing at the old place, work systematically room by room one at a time. The bathroom is often a good place to start, followed by the bedrooms. Moving can often mean a long day and having a place to sleep and not having to find your toothbrush makes things a whole lot easier!
  • The kitchen can be another place to start, but we recommend just doing the essentials the first day.  Simple utensils, place settings and small appliances. The kitchen usually has a lot of small items and it can be tiring after a long day of moving. Get the basics done and tackle the rest when you are fresh after a cup of coffee tomorrow morning!
  • Hook up any major appliances such as refrigerators or oven ranges.
  • Evaluate each room. before pulling everything out boxes. Is there adequate space compared to the former room?  Or will you need to make adjustments?  Are there any improvements that need to be done that would be easier now, rather than when everything is and put away and in the way? Examples would be, kitchen cabinet liners, or installing closet organizers.
  • PRO TIP: Don’t let needless decision making slow your roll! If you find yourself putting things away and waffling over a particular item (that Disneyworld snow globe your aunt gave you in 2010) you didn’t have the heart to throw away during the pack, put it in a box for questionable items. More on this later.


3. The Home Stretch

Thanks to your orderly system, you should have been able to work systematically to unpack the most essential rooms and you place is starting to look a little more like home now!

  • If you didn’t complete the entire kitchen yesterday, go ahead and knock it out and put it to bed. Same goes for bedrooms or any of the other priority rooms
  • Assemble any furniture pieces that need it, and/or arrange to your liking.  Any large, or heavy pieces that require assembling should be thought about before placing. You can use your ever increasing supply of moving boxes as placeholders to see how the space is used in the room.
  • Save the basement, garage and other utility areas for last. They will likely need some extra cleaning beforehand or you may need to add additional organization such as shelving or a storage box system to make everything more efficient.


4. What about all this stuff left over?

As you moved through your house or apartment room by room, you undoubtedly have more than a few stray items that just don’t seem to have a place in your new home.  You can set them aside for now, but after a week or two, it’s time to reflect:

  • Do I really need this item?
  • Did I miss this item in my day-to-day routine?
  • Did this item work in my old place, but not really in this on?

If you find that the answer to these questions is largely “NO” then perhaps its time to either donate the item, sell it or put it out to the pasture.  The one thing that you don’t want to do is find yourself storing boxes full of questionable items in the basement or garage of your new house! Now is the time for a clean start!

We hope you enjoyed these tips and find them useful.  If you are planning a move and would like more information, please download our free moving guide below!

Did you find these tips useful? Take a look at our full guide. It’s FREE and downloadable!

Guide to moving smart - All State Movers inc.