With the Spring season underway, many people decide its time to move to a new home. The process can be quite stressful, even when it comes to unpacking once you get there.
Here are some suggestions for getting organized when unpacking your belongings after the move:
If your new place wasn’t cleaned before the previous residents moved out, start the unpacking process by having professional cleaners come in and give the place a good scrubbing. No one wants dust and grime under their belongings in closets, on shelves, and on the floor.
After the cleaning crew is gone, I suggest that you unpack supplies and rooms in this order:
Essential items: Toilet paper, hand and body soap, shower curtain, bath towels, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, paper towels, trash bags, scissors, a change of clothes, vacuum, broom, dustpan, pillows, bed sheets, and pet food and bowls. I suggest packing these things in a clothes hamper and have it packed in the car, not the moving van.
The kitchen. Start by unpacking the food first and then dishwashing supplies, drinking glasses, silverware, plates, pans, and finally everything else.
Assemble beds and put on sheets. You will definitely want to sleep in your bed that very first night. You will probably be exhausted!
Bathrooms. They’re relatively easy to unpack. Just remember, put like things together in your vanity and your linen closet.
Coat closet. This is more of a priority in cooler weather than in warmer weather. You will want to know where your coats and accessories are when you are leaving the house.
Clothes closet and dressers. Set up your closets and dresser as you had them prior, if possible, to make it easy to find what you want because you are familiar with its placement. You can always change it around later.
Laundry room. Dirty clothes tend to pile up quickly when moving. Set up your supplies so you can begin to wash clothes when needed.
Remainder of bedroom. Aside from clothing and bed linens, there are other areas to unpack such as jewelry, nick knacks, art work, end table contents, books for the bookshelves, etc.
Home office. If you have one, just know that hooking up equipment with all of its cords and cables can be stressful, so be prepared to take your time with this step.
Dining room. After putting your office together, you’ll need this low-key room. Set up your dishes and table linens so you can have a nice place to eat after a long day. Celebrate your move by doing something special.
Family room. Setting up the television and all of its peripherals can be just as frustrating as putting together the home office. Expect it will take some time.
Porch or Deck. If you have one, take some time to set up your outdoor furniture to give yourself a breather. Enjoy a glass of lemon aide and take in some fresh air when needed.
The garage, basement, and storage spaces. Save these spaces until late in the process because it might take you weeks to get these the way you want. Just be sure to put the appropriate boxes in these spaces so that when you are ready, everything will be together.
The last thing I would do is hang artwork throughout the entire house. Nothing makes a house more of a home than hanging and placing personal effects around the home.
When you’re unpacking boxes (unpack all the boxes!) be sure to lay all pieces of packing material flat to ensure you don’t miss small items. Also, break boxes down as you go instead of waiting to do them all at once. You can sell them on Craigs List or give them to others who are moving through Free Cycle. Try not to damage them if you can.
Try to wait until you're in the process of unpacking a room to buy any organizing products. You may not need bookshelves, storage bins, etc., once you’re in a space.
Finally, a few weeks after you’re unpacked, evaluate all of your decisions and make any changes as needed or desired.
Do you have any other suggestions? I would love to hear them.
If you need assistance in staging your home, packing up, organizing the move or unpacking in your new home, contact me. I would be glad to help.
In the meantime, have a great week!