Moving homes is a strenuous task, and most people hate the process of packing up their home just to unpack it all again in a new property. Unfortunately, the job, no matter how cumbersome, must be completed so you can settle down and get comfortable in your new residence. We’re here to make the process simpler and easier with the top tips for unpacking after a move.
We’ll not only cover the dos and don’ts but also guide you on which boxes to open up first so you can begin a new life in your new surroundings in a more efficient manner.
Tips for Unpacking After a Move
Unpacking and organising your new home is a challenge but the following tips can help you settle down after a move, without getting overwhelmed by the mountain of boxes in your immediate surroundings:
- Unload the boxes into a central space
- Unpack your essentials box first
- Clean the house
- Determine the purpose for each room
- Move large furniture first
- Start sorting the boxes by rooms
- Work according to a schedule
- Unpack with a system in place
Let’s discuss each of these unpacking tips in detail now.
Unload the Boxes into a Central Space
First things first; when the truck reaches your new flat or house, get all the boxes unloaded and place them in one place. This could be your lounge, your drawing room, or your yard. Do not try to organise while the movers are unloading the truck. Simply focus on making sure you have all the boxes unloaded onto the property. It’s always a good idea to have a count in mind so you can tally it up and determine whether all 10 or 15 boxes have made it to the new place or not. It’s easy to misplace a box during a move if you’re not careful.
Unpack Your Essentials Box First
If you’ve followed our tips to packing for a move, you’ll know that every move begins with sorting out the essentials—the belongings that you will need immediately after moving to a new home. These items are then packed into a separate box and labelled accordingly. This box is usually the last one to be placed into the truck. It’s also the first one that you’ll be unpacking.
An essentials box will generally contain your toiletries, dry snacks for a quick bite on moving day, a spare change of clothes for every family member, all your important documents, as well as a basic toolkit, including a flashlight. Once you’ve organised these bare essentials that you cannot do without on an immediate basis, it’s time to move on to the next unpacking tip.
Clean the House
If you’ve been able to give the house a thorough cleaning before moving in, that’s great. But if you forgot to perform this task in the stress of the move, do it now. Clean all the areas except for the space where your boxes are placed. You’ll be cleaning and setting up that room last, once all the other boxes have been emptied out. While you clean, focus on wiping shelves, countertops, and other surfaces where you need to place your belongings.
Determine the Purpose for Each Room
You probably already have an idea of the purpose of some of the rooms even before the move, but on moving day, it’s time to make a decision. Which of the two spare bedrooms will you be giving to the kids? Will you be converting the other one into a study or play area for the kids or into a guest bedroom? Decide the purpose of all the rooms before you begin to unpack the boxes.
Move Large Furniture First
Once you know which room is supposed to serve what purpose, it’s time to move the large furniture pieces into place. Beds, dressers, cupboards, couches, tables, kitchen appliances, and other heavy and bulky items should be sorted into their rooms and organised first. This will help you when you’re unpacking the boxes later, allowing you to place your belongings directly on the respective shelves and cupboards.
Start Sorting the Boxes by Rooms
When you’re organising your new home, labelled boxes will be a blessing. Mark each box with a room while packing, and the unpacking process will become that much simpler. Even if you forgot to label your boxes, open and check the contents in each and place them in respective rooms. For instance, your clothes will be unpacked in the master bedroom, while you’ll be unpacking your children’s toys in their room. Similarly, continue to sort the boxes by room, until the only boxes in your living area are the ones you need to unpack for the central living space.
Work According to a Schedule
Moving day is usually exhausting for most people, and there’s only so much you can do in a day. So, once you’ve sorted out the boxes, determine how long it might take you to set up each room and work with a tentative timeline in mind. Generally, it should take you about 30 minutes to empty out each box, and about a week to ten days max, to wrap up the unpacking process completely, even with long breaks for rest and relaxation.
Unpack with a System in Place
One of the essential tips for unpacking after a move is to always unpack with a system in mind. Rooms that are used more frequently will be unpacked first, and the rest can wait for a later date if the moving day has been a tiring ordeal for you. The bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen are the priority for most homeowners since life does not return to normalcy until these three primary areas are as comfortable as can be. We’ll be covering an unpacking order below that you can use if you’re in need of a systematic process for unpacking your belongings.
Unpacking Order—Which Room to Unpack First?
We’ve given you some of the best tips for unpacking after a move. Now, let’s figure out which part of the house you need to organise first. Assuming that you’ve already gotten your box of essentials out of the way, it’s time to focus on the boxes you sorted into individual rooms. Here’s a general order that you should follow:
- Living Room
- Storage Areas
- Additional Décor
Let’s elaborate on how you should organise your new home while you unpack, one room at a time.
If you labelled the boxes properly, you should be able to locate each item easily. It’s always best to start filling the cupboards and cabinets first. This includes placing your dinner plates, cups, glasses, as well as pots and pans in their stands/racks and then setting up whatever you own from the 8 must-have kitchen appliances on your countertops.
However, if you are in a hurry to unpack your home, focus on arranging only your pots and pans and the essential dinnerware you’ll need for immediate meals. Don’t forget to turn on the refrigerator and stock it with bare essentials so you can whip up a quick meal for the family.
If you’re tired after the stress of the big day, you’ll need a comfortable place to catch some z’s. Organise the bed frames, unpack the bedsheets, and make the bed. If you packed bedsheets into your box of essentials, you might not even need to worry about unpacking linen from your boxes. Once the bed is made, you can focus on organising the wardrobe, shelves, and the dressing table.
Bathrooms are pretty much functional as long as the water is turned on and, all the plumbing fixtures are in place. However, you can place all your toiletries here if you haven’t already, along with hanging a towel on the rack for immediate use.
Once all the other boxes are sorted, it’s easier to unpack your living room. Clean the space and move your furnishings into place first. Once that’s done, connect your TV, arrange the shelves and décor, and hang the curtains. Add a rug if you have one to make your central space cosier.
All your tools, storage items, part of your dry pantry, and your extra toiletries come under this category. They’re not the most essential items, and you can delay unpacking these boxes for a day or two if needed. Storing your belongings becomes easier if you have dedicated space for it. Otherwise, build or assign one cupboard in a less-frequented part of the house that can act as your storage room for spare food and utility items.
You might not have been eager to leave boxes outdoors, especially if the weather is a bit cloudy, but now is the right time to take them out, unpack them, and organise them. Your patio furniture, your barbeque grill, your green plants, and your gardening equipment can now find a home in your new yard.
Now we’ve shared some quick tips for unpacking after a move as well as the ideal order for organising your new home room by room. Use the tips above to streamline your unpacking process. Do share your moving experiences with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find some more moving tips on Zameen Blog too, including how to move homes with a baby in tow.