The Bekins Blog
4 Strategies for a Smooth Unpacking Experience
Unpacking your belongings in your new home is the final step in the relocation process. By this stage, you may be weary and wonder how you’ll make it through the last leg of your moving journey. As you plan your relocation, keep these four tips in mind for a smoother unpacking experience.
1. Plan Ahead to Make Unpacking a Breeze
By planning ahead, you can make unpacking far easier. If you pack your own belongings, write down the contents of each box on a separate piece of paper as you fill the box. Place the paper at the top of the box under the flaps. When you open the box, you will know exactly what’s inside.
Use a permanent marker to write unpacking information on the sides and top of each box. Instructions to write on boxes may include:
- Room where contents will go
- Designated cabinet or drawer for items
- Type of outlet needed for electronics
- General category of items
- Handling status for fragile items
- Box number in sequence of related boxes
You’ll be more efficient at unpacking when you know what’s in your boxes and where each box needs to go.
When possible, pack all of your storage containers, totes, and baskets together. At the new place, set up a staging area with your containers. As you unload boxes, fill the containers with items for the bathroom, kitchen, and other areas of your new home. You won’t waste time searching for a tote when they’re all together.
2. Pack a First-Few-Days Box
Another great way to plan for unpacking is to have a first-few-days box. In the box, include a few toiletries, towels, changes of clothes, and bedding for the first several days in your new home. Other items to include in the first-few-days box are:
- Nonperishable snacks and juice
- Disposable dishware and cups
- Toilet paper and wet wipes
- Toys for kids and pets
If you plan to eat takeout for the first few days, you don’t need much in the way of kitchen items. If you plan to cook right away in the new home, include a bare-bones selections of prep tools and pans in your first-few-days box to get you started.
3. Stay Focused by Checking Out
After your belongings are unloaded from the truck, it’s tempting to ignore the boxes all around you and surf social media posts or watch home improvement shows for inspiration. The internet and TV are effective at keeping people connected and distracted at the same time.
Instead of hooking up the electronics and getting lost in media, keep the TV, laptop, and other connected devices out of your headspace for a few days. Unpacking requires focus and energy that can easily become waylaid by cooking shows, video games, and friend drama.
A body in motion tends to stay in motion, while a body behind a keyboard, gaming controller, or remote tends to keep scrolling and clicking. Release yourself from the hold of visual media while you escape into creating your personal spaces. Let yourself enjoy the process in privacy.
Checking out is hard when you spend a lot of time on social media. Resist the urge to post updates or get caught up in the presentation of your unpacking experience. Just unpack.
If you have close friends and family, let them know you’re checking out for a few days so you don’t get inundated with anxious, concerned notifications. Take pictures of your unpacking progress as you go, so you can tell the whole story later when you’ve logged back onto your favorite sites.
4. Listen While You Work
Checking out doesn’t mean you should deprive yourself of auditory stimulation. Studies show that people who listen to certain sounds while working experience increased focus and productivity.
Songs with lyrics and recordings of the spoken word are distracting to people who work with written words. However, spoken and sung words are motivating to people performing mundane tasks. Unpacking chores, which are on the mundane side of the chore spectrum, are enhanced with whatever recordings you choose to hear while you work.
If music is not your thing, create a pleasant setting for your unpacking experience by listening to your favorite podcasts, comedians, or books on tape. Find the National Public Radio station in your new town and listen to live streams of their talk shows and informative programs for more auditory stimulation.
Make putting away your flatware and hanging your dress clothes interesting and memorable by listening to one of your favorite authors or musical performances while you work. Treat yourself to great sounds while you unpack, then reward yourself with a binge session of internet posting, gaming, or TV watching when the last box is empty.
Contact Bekins Van Lines to schedule your move across town or across the country. We have more unpacking tips to offer, and we offer full unpacking services when you’re pressed for time or need expert assistance at your new place.