Congratulations, you have officially moved into your new home! But, now what? You are probably exhausted from all the work leading up to the big move – from selling your first house or ending your lease agreement, to finding a new house and boxing up and moving everything over, it can seem daunting to know where to begin with unpacking.
Here are seven easy steps to help you unpack efficiently so you can start feeling settled in your new home.
1. Clean Before You Start
This tip comes from Apartment Therapy, and we couldn’t agree with it more. If you clean your home before you bring the boxes in, it will make it a lot easier to put items away.
A favorite cleaning product of ours is TSP (trisodium phosphate) mixed with water. It is sold at most home improvement stores and is safe to use on all surfaces, so you don’t have to worry about it stripping the paint or staining your floors. Just do a quick once-over on the walls, baseboards, and floors with a rag soaked in TSP, and you’ll be ready to start unboxing.
2. Move Boxes to Designated Rooms
Instead of heaping all the boxes into a big cardboard pile in your living room, try labeling the boxes and having the movers place each box in the designated room during the move-in process. This way, you won’t be going back and forth across the entire house just to unpack one box at a time or digging through a mountain of items just to find your box containing toiletries.
3. Create a Priority List
Before you start unpacking things, take a few minutes with your family to work on a priority list of what needs to be unpacked first. Essentials such as medicines, outfits for the week, and cooking supplies should come before unpacking the decorative knick-knacks or organizing the garage.
4. Start with the Kitchen
“The kitchen is the hub of most homes,” says HGTV and unpacking it first can help save you a lot of frustration and expensive takeout nights.
A good place to start in the kitchen is to plug in all appliances, move all your food into the fridge, stock the pantry, and put away pots/pans where they are within easy reach to use. Be thinking of what you use day to day – bowls and plates need to be more accessible right now than the miscellaneous items you don’t use every day like mixers and blenders.
For the rest of the house, HGTV recommends unpacking in this order:
- Living Room
- Guest Rooms
5. Make the Beds
There is nothing more frustrating than spending a full day moving and wanting to go lay down only to realize that you need to find the linen box and unpack the sheets first. If you prioritize making the beds as soon as possible, you’ll have a place to rest, and it will give you a space that starts to feel more like home while you chip away at the rest of the house.
6. Create an Unpacking Schedule
Life is busy, and a lot of us don’t have the time it takes to fully unpack a house before we have to go back to the reality of going to work and taking the kids to soccer games. And that’s okay! Don’t get overwhelmed if you can’t get it all unpacked in the first few days. Just create a schedule or set a goal as a family. Maybe each of you will unpack for ten minutes each night before bed until the boxes start to disappear. Find what works for you and your family and cut yourself some slack.
7. Donate or Discard Unused Items
Remember the old saying “a place for everything and everything in its place?” It’s true. If you can’t find a place for an item, don’t just shove it in the junk drawer or your closet to be dealt with later. Keep your new home organized and clutter-free as you unpack by asking yourself how often you use the item and if you have a place to store it.
If you use it frequently, great! Keep that item. If it’s something you were gifted from Grandma a few years ago and you feel guilty throwing it out? Donate it. If it’s something you can’t even figure out where you got or how to use it (hello, a box of miscellaneous cords), toss it out. By only keeping what you actually use, you create more value for the items you have.
Hopefully, these seven tips have helped you create a game plan to help make moving day less stressful and set you up for a clean, well-organized, and fully unpacked home.