Unmoved: Ten Tips for Keeping Your Sanity When Unpacking Your Life

Tackling any of life’s most tedious tasks is made simpler with a system. Unpacking after a move is no exception. Using a systematic approach to unpacking transforms this tedious chore into an efficient and even fun start to your new life. 

So, grab your inventory list and follow these ten time-saving tips for moving in. 

1. Start With The Important Stuff 

On the first day in your new home, you will be surrounded by furniture and mounds of boxes. It can be overwhelming. Sort the boxes by room, placing each one in the room its contents belong in. This allows you more room to work and makes things easier to organize and less stressful. 

The first boxes you unpack should be the things you’ll need right away, such as bedding and kitchenware. Go ahead and make the bed. You’ll be happy you have a clean, comfy bed to crawl into at the end of a long day of unpacking. Organize your kitchen as soon as possible, so there’s always a clean glass for water or food for a quick snack break between boxes. 

Packing cardboard boxes on floor of home ready to move house

2.  Make Time For The Small Stuff 

Lining the kitchen cabinets and drawers, light cleaning, and knowing what to do with your empty boxes may seem unimportant when you’re facing a mountain of boxes, but doing the small stuff first saves time and effort later. 

Before you unpack anything, run through the house with a dust cloth and broom. Wipeout and line the cabinets and drawers in the kitchen and bathroom. The house may have been vacant for weeks, allowing scads of dust and bugs to accumulate. It’s far easier to do a quick bit of cleaning now than unpack on top of it and clean later. 

3. Recycle, Reuse, And Return 

Deciding what to do with the empty boxes ahead of time is another way to stay organized and track. Break down each box as it’s emptied and place it in a predetermined spot.

Boxes, packing paper, and bubble wrap can all be recycled, but if you have unused boxes or unpacked boxes in excellent condition, most moving supply stores will repurchase them.  Another option is to give them away to someone who needs them. 

Concerned you are cluttering up your beautiful new home space? Take away any anxiety by reading our decluttering tips for anxious organizers.

Bright color image of bedroom with colorful cushions on the bed and posters on the wall socialsquares_LISHcollab39-2.jpeg

4. Toiletries Are Essential 

All too often, the bathroom items get tossed in, and only the toilet paper is unpacked right away, making it a royal pain to get your shower at the end of the day. Instead, unpack the whole bathroom after the bedding and kitchen are set up. This includes pain relievers, bandages, shampoo, soap, towels, and washcloths or poufs. 

The only bathroom items you should save for later are the decorations.  Leave those packed until everything else is in order. 

5. Back To The Bedroom 

Next, you’ll want to check your clothing and outerwear off the to-do list. Put away all your clothes in the dresser and closet. Store your seasonal items and gather your bedside necessities such as alarm clocks and sleep masks next to the bed.

Once your bedroom is in order, move on to the kids’ rooms get their clothes put away. Allowing them to put away their own toys and other belongings helps them to feel at home faster and stay out of your way as well. 

Remember, don’t waste time with decorations right now. Any bedroom decor that requires strategic placement can wait. 

Suitcase, red shoes, fan, packing image, ready for moving or holiday, Social-Squares_Styled-Stock-Photos-for-Social-Media_

6. Recreation, Entertainment, And Leisure Time Activities 

We all know what they say about all work and no play. While your entertainment options aren’t high on the list of what to unpack first, it’s essential to try to tackle them the first day in your new home. Moving is hard work. At the end of the day, it is vital to rest and recharge. After all, you have another full day ahead tomorrow. 

Plugin the televisions and hook up your streaming devices and game consoles. Organize your books, CDs, and DVDs. If you’re a crafter, save the bulk of your crafting supplies from organizing later and just getting out what you’re working on now to occupy the downtime until everything else is in order. 

White and brown suitcase, closed, on a white, packing for moving,  bed.Social-Squares_Styled-Stock-Photos-for-Social-Media_0096-1.jpeg

7. Sprucing Up Your New Place 

Once you have each room in order, it’s time to make it look like home. Starting with the most oversized décor items such as wall art, plants, large pottery, and sculptures immediately gives you more room to move around and a stronger feeling of home. 

Save the smaller items such as knick-knacks, flower arrangements, candles, and framed photos for last. 

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8. Seasonal Storage 

Attend to all seasonal items last. Store the Christmas tree and decorations as well as objects such as Easter baskets, wreaths, Halloween costumes, and wrapping paper.

It’s helpful to leave it all packed up and store it just like that. Unpack each box when the specified holiday rolls around to save time when you’re moving in. 

9. Keep On Purging 

Most people do a major purge when packing for a move. More often than not, you’ll unpack things you find you don’t need any more in your new place. Things often get broken during a move too. Designate a spot near the back door, patio, or garage for anything you’re getting rid of. 

Junk removal services and donation pick-up make it even easier by hauling off everything for you. 

To take away any feelings of overwhelm, it’s important while unpacking to be aware of any clutter you are bringing into the home. Check out our guide to decluttering your home if you are feeling overwhelmed to stay on track.

10. Keep A Running List 

Inevitably, you will find there are things you need once you begin to get settled. You’ll be tempted to run out and pick up things like hangers, paper towels, or carpet refresher as soon as you need it, but you’ll actually be slowing down the process. Instead, keep a running list of the things you discover you need and get them all at once at the end of the day. 

Unpacking your new life doesn’t have to be challenging or stressful. In fact, it can be a wonderfully exciting time and a great way to make new family memories. Using a systematic approach like this will make your new house feel like home in no time. 

Inspiring Interior Design Ideas

Now your house will be looking more like a home; this is the perfect time to style and design the rooms and inject your personality to make it your own. Gather useful inspirational advice from Interior Design experts and blogs such as Apartment Therapy for small apartment living, Chris Loves Julia blog for advice on redecorating and renovating, and the Inspired Room blog for stunning decor ideas for your new home.