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Feeling Boxed In After Your Move? 6 Simple Unpacking Guidelines

January 17, 2017 | Moving Guides & Tips

As you prepare for a move, you focus on packing, setting up your new home, and transporting your belongings. But a move isn’t over once you arrive at your new home and wave goodbye to the moving team.

Unpacking can seem intimidating and tedious, especially if you’re already tired from a long trip or a difficult relocation. In this blog, we simplify the unpacking process with six steps.

1. Clean Before You Open Boxes

Once you begin opening boxes, the unpacking process immediately becomes more complex. Before you start unpacking, look for anything that needs to be cleaned. For example, you may want to vacuum before deciding where to put your couch, beds, and entertainment center.

Cleaning first ensures that your home feels fresh and that no problem areas get neglected until your next spring cleaning. Additionally, using familiar cleaning products can make the space start to smell like home.

2. Identify Your Room Priorities

Create a plan of attack before you begin. Think about the areas that you use the most. For most homeowners, these priorities include the master bedroom, the kitchen, and the bathrooms. Determine which spaces come first.

If you have children, you may want to start with kids’ rooms and the bathroom your kids will primarily use. This step provides your kids with a familiar, safe space that can help them adjust to other changes like attending a new school.

If you work from home, put your home office high on the list to ensure that you can get back to your usual work routine as quickly as possible.

Once you know your room priorities, make a brief list of the most important unpacking in each room. For example, beds and linens come first in the bedroom, while the shower curtain and your toiletries should be unpacked first in the bathroom.

3. Move From Room to Room

Instead of trying to tackle your whole home at once, go from room to room in the order of highest to lowest priority areas. Take care of all the most pressing items in one room before moving to the next area.

If you have helpers, assign rooms to individual people to speed up the process. For example, have your kids make their beds and start placing clothes in the closet while you handle the kitchen or bathrooms.

4. Rely on Your Inventory and Labels

In almost every case, unpacking cannot be completed in a single session. Resign yourself to approaching the project in several sessions instead. Whenever possible, leave non-essentials for the second session so you have enough energy to finish your highest priority rooms first.

To decide what needs to be unpacked first, pay attention to your container labels and your item inventory. Put boxes of non-essentials aside and focus on the items you’ll need to use soonest. You may want to stack boxes in a corner so that those items are still in the room that they belong in when you get to those containers.

5. Save the Small Details for Last

It can be difficult to resist putting up decorations, arranging furniture, and organizing items like books and DVDs. However, these details should wait until you’re done with most of your necessary unpacking for each individual room.

Many of these tasks feel simpler or more fun, so save them for when you’ve become too physically or mentally tired for heavy duty tasks.

For example, once you set up your bed, place your dresser, and put your most used clothes in the closet, give yourself a moment to arrange your bedside table or hang a piece of artwork. These smaller tasks can feel like a break and give you the feeling that you’re making faster progress.

6. Set Aside Some Dedicated Unpacking Time

If possible, schedule a specific amount of time for unpacking immediately following your move. If your work hours and household routine allows for multiple days, plan to spend three days to a week on getting through the majority of your unpacking tasks.

If your routine doesn’t allow for full days during the work week dedicated to unpacking, start on the weekend after your move or set aside a few hours every day specifically for unpacking.

The longer you wait to unpack, the more intimidating the prospect can feel and the more likely your home is to become chaotic. Commit to completing as much unpacking as possible right away so you don’t have to live surrounded by boxes several months down the road.

Use these strategies to empower yourself to unpack, declutter, and begin making your new house a true home.

Still need help packing up and getting to your home before you can start to implement these unpacking tactics? Trust Bekins for safe, organized full-service packing that sets you up for success once you reach your final destination and begin settling in.

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