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How to Efficiently Unpack After Moving

When it comes to moving to a new home, everyone is different. For some people, packing up is a stressful task but unpacking at the new home fills them with feelings of energy and opportunity. Many other people love the anticipation that comes with packing up the household, but they hate the drudgery of unpacking once the moving trucks have unloaded furniture and boxes at your new house. Whichever group you're in, following a basic process makes the home stretch of your move easy and stress free.

Prepare While Packing

Setting yourself up for success when unpacking begins during the packing process. Make every effort to pack your boxes by room and clearly label each box. This will allow you to have your movers place the boxes in the correct room. Please reference our blog outline the steps to prepare for your move for additional tips and tricks.

Unpack With a System

Before jumping in and randomly opening boxes, know what it is you are unpacking. Ideally, packing up involves boxing up items according to usage or by room, so make sure to examine box labels or open them up and peer inside before you start emptying them out.

Start With the Necessities

Next, unpack the essentials box (or boxes). This should be one of the first boxes off the truck or the boxes that came with you in the car. These are the essential items you need to keep your home running in the short term. If you didn't designate a box or two for the essentials, quickly search for boxes that contain whatever you need to get by for at least a couple of nights. These essentials will normally include basic toiletries, medications, books, necessary paperwork, phone and computer chargers, and some basic food preparation items.

Get the Kitchen Done First

Now, unpack the kitchen items and put them away. If you’ve properly labeled the boxes, you should be able to locate what you need fairly easily. If you have time, it's a good idea to line the kitchen cupboards and cabinets first. If you don’t have time to completely finish the kitchen, unpack only what you need, including pots and pans. Get the major appliances hooked up, and plug in any small appliances that will make your life a little easier—such as the coffee pot and toaster. You can return to concentrate on completely organizing the kitchen after the rest of the house is unpacked.

Do the Bedrooms Next

After the kitchen, put the beds together and unpack the linens for each bedroom. Ideally, you have set aside a single set of linens for each bed when you packed; if so, getting your beds ready for the first night should be fairly easy. Decide on furniture placement and closet organization before you unpack boxed items, if at all possible. Installing shelving and closet organizing units first will make unpacking more productive and save you future work.

Move on to the Bathrooms

Bathroom fixtures are pretty functional already when you move in, provided the water is turned on. You will quickly need to unpack towels, toiletries, and other bathroom items. Nothing makes a house feel like a home more than having a comfortable, fully stocked bathroom. Again, start by unpacking the most important items—medications, body care products, the shower curtain, and towels. But complete bathroom unpacking should be among the first things you do.

Assemble and Arrange the Furniture

If you were fortunate enough to have floor plan sketches of your new home before you moved, then arranging furniture should be fairly straightforward. If you need to rearrange the furniture in the bedrooms, living room, and dining room, make a systematic plan so you only have to do it once. Large pieces that need mechanical assembly, such as bookcases or entertainment centers, should be put together only after you know where all the furniture will be placed. It is a waste of time to assemble large items that may need to be disassembled and moved.

Deal With Utility Areas Last

One of the last spaces to unpack is the garage, basement, and other utility rooms. Since most garage items aren’t essential, try to organize the space before you start to unpack. Make sure to unpack any tools and materials you'll need to keep your home functional. This can include utility shelving units and storage containers.

Items for the patio, deck, or yard can be unpacked last and set up at your leisure. However, if you are moving in summer, it can be a good idea to set up the barbecue grill fairly early, so that you can cook while the kitchen is still being set up.

Tips for Efficient Unpacking

Get the essentials unpacked first, then take your time with the rest of the house.

Plan each room before you unpack too many boxes.

Anticipate future needs. Rather than putting off work—such as lining cabinet shelves or installing closet organizers—do it now, when it is most efficient.

Let each member of the family unpack their own bedroom, as applicable. This allows children to participate.

Try to take some time to enjoy your new space once you have the main essential unpacking completed. Perhaps schedule some fun family events. In the next few weeks, set a few hours aside each day or on the weekends to ensure you'll gradually get the job completed. Depending on the season you can reference our blog on Things to do in the Treasure Valley for some great ideas.

Cross Town Movers offers packing, moving and unpacking services. Please call us at (208) 378-0226 to get a free estimate.

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