Tips for Unpacking Your New Home

Move with a plan and ace unpacking with speed and efficiency.

Moving into a new home can be simultaneously exciting and maddening, with the latter coming into play when you cannot find the things you need to stay on the task of unpacking and settling in - turning the new place into a home.

It is important to remember this is a marathon, not a sprint - the bigger your new place, the longer it will take to unpack and get it organized. You'll drive yourself crazy trying to get it all done in one day.

Label Your Stuff

The best way to lighten the stress when you are unpacking is to pack smart in the first place. Clearly label your boxes, packages, bags, luggage and containers so they end up where they should be at the new place. Why move them twice? Especially the heavy boxes and pieces of furniture - label twice, move once.

Pack a Go-Bag

Whether you are shipping or trucking for your move, you’ll want to have a go-bag of necessities (or two) you’ll need immediately. Keep it with you at all times to minimize the chance of it getting lost. Electronics, chargers, relevant paperwork, a change of clothes or two are all priority items for the go-bag. Think of it as the Everything-else-is-packed-somewhere-and-this-is-what-I-need-now bag.

Bonus tip - whether you are a fixit genius or have ten thumbs, you will need some tools to assemble furniture or other items at the new place -things like a hammer and nails, a screwdriver kit, glue and picture hangers. Make sure they are packed, labeled and easy to get to when you get started.

Prioritize Unpacking

Some rooms should be readied quicker than others. It makes the most sense to start with the bathroom. Whether you have a group of people helping, a couple of friends or just you on your own, at some point soon someone’s going to need to use the restroom, and you’ll want to have toilet paper, towels and soap out and ready to go.

While chances are good you are ordering out for a meal or two right as the unpacking begins, you’ll likely need the essentials of the kitchen up and running, like the refrigerator, a dish drainer, dish soap and towels, even cleaning stuff and paper towels. You’ll likely want coffee cups, plates and utensils at the ready, even if they’re just paper. If you can get some cooking in earlier versus ordering out for a few days straight, you’ll save some money as well. Consider unpacking a few pots and pans and the microwave (unless it comes with the new place).

Next up are the bedrooms. Wait until you are exhausted to assemble the bed and mattress together and you’ll probably be frustrated to the max. Not to mention finding sheets, blankets and pillows to make the bed. If it is the dead of winter or the height of summer, don’t assume your HVAC will be functioning perfectly; have your fans or portable heaters available in case you need them. You worked hard all day - get to bed the right way and start up again the next morning.

Get Closets Situated

Seems obvious enough but not a lot of people pack their hangers in the same boxes and bags as their clothes. If the hanger box hasn’t been marked clearly and it disappears for a couple days while you’re unpacking your clothes, it will be that much more difficult to de-wrinkle them in your closets as quickly as possible. And if you need to shower and put on some fresh clothes – you better know where your underwear is! – Still the Best Kept Secret in Shipping

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