By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
We've all heard about the best ways to pack up a home, but what about the flip side? As with anything in life, unpacking from a move does have some best practices. You can streamline the unpacking portion of your moving process by planning ahead.
Unpacking mindfully can help you cut through some of the chaos and disorganization that may occur after you move into your new home. If you can't find what you're looking for, it makes it pretty difficult to feel like you're living normally.
Part of a smooth unpacking process involves preparing for it as you're packing. A few things to keep in mind as you pack include the following:
- Label boxes. This is common knowledge, but you'll never be happier about following this advice as when you're walking around your new home looking for the box with the forks in it. Is it labeled? Great!
- Pack a day bag. A small backpack or bag can hold your toothbrush, a change of clothes, and anything else you know you'll absolutely need right away in the new place.
- Give away items you don't use. The fewer items you move, the easier it will be to unpack. There are definitely some items that you won't want to give away, but if there are items that you don't need, consider giving them to someone who does.
Once the moving company has unloaded the boxes at your new digs, the order and organization you use during unpacking can also mitigate chaos. Here are some of our favorite tips:
- Set up your bed first. There's nothing better after a long day of moving and unpacking than to crawl into a comfortable bed. If you set up your bed and put on sheets first, you'll thank yourself later. This goes for every member of the house. Professional movers will most likely do this step for you.
- Start with the necessities. Items like a coffee maker, plates and cups and silverware, and your computer station are some of the first areas you'll need as you begin life in your new home. Before diving into the nitty gritty, think about what you want to have in place today and tomorrow. Start there.
- Box your boxes. Often, rooms become cluttered with empty boxes and bubble wrap halfway through the unpacking process. You can't see what you have left if it's obstructed with discarded packing materials. Keep one box intact and fill it with other empty boxes that you've broken down. That way, you can see how much you still have to unpack. Your box of boxes can be disposed of or recycled.
- Group your shopping trips. No matter how well you've planned, you will inevitably need to go to the store to buy a new trash can, more bags, light bulbs, or other new items. Instead of making a trip every time you need an item, keep a running list of needed supplies so that you can group everything into one trip. You'll save time and money, not to mention reduce your stress.
- Don't settle on furniture set up too soon. Too many people get locked into room layouts the day they move into a new place. Give yourself some leeway—not everything has to be set in stone immediately. Old furniture that you loved at your old place may seem out of place in your new home. That's okay. Give yourself some time to settle in and you will know whether you can make it work. This point also involves waiting to hang any art on the walls. It's your home! There's no need to rush.
- Decide Which Areas Are Most Important: The most common mistake that is made during the unpacking process is a refusal to handle the task piece by piece. Instead, we find ourselves trying to unpack the entire house at once. Once all of the items have arrived at the home, take the time to look around and decide which areas are most important. The rooms that you are going to be spending the most time in are the ones that should be receiving top priority.
- Set Feasible Goals: In most instances, you are not going to be able to handle all of the unpacking in one fell swoop. Don't push yourself too hard on the first day or two. There is going to be plenty to do and none of the tasks are going anywhere. Set feasible goals and stick to them. Pick the room that needs to be taken care of first and finish it before moving onto the next task.
- Establish a Reward for Meeting the Deadline: For those who are moving with a whole family, it can be challenging to get everyone on the same page. Everyone is going to have their own agendas and the process of making sure that everyone is pulling in the same direction can be quite arduous. Establishing a reward for meeting a predetermined deadline is a good way around this conundrum. By creating an incentive, you are doing your part to keep every single member of the family happy and motivated. No one will want to slack off. Creating a deadline will also keep you from the annoyances of tripping over various items that have not been put away yet after you have already moved in and gotten somewhat settled.
Since 1974, A-1 Freeman Moving Group has worked with individuals and families to move their homes safely and securely. Contact us today so that we can help you pack, move and unpack.