So, you’re moving? How exciting! However, the process can be overwhelming and a downright burden if you get into it unprepared. Temporary solutions often turn out longer than we think and you certainly don’t want your unpacked boxes lying around for weeks, months… years. So, to avoid confusion and mess in your new home, the preparation should start before packing a single plate – while you’re still at your old home. These eight steps might help:
1. Be organised
To efficiently unpack – pack strategically. This means labeling. Label everything! This way you will avoid mining through boxes to find that one thing you need, and it will be easier to put boxes in designated rooms of your new home. You can label the boxes according to its content (dishes, linens, towels, clothes), or according to the room (kitchen, bedroom, living room). Also, before you start unpacking, make a detailed plan regarding where you’d like to position large furniture.
2. Say goodbye to things you no longer need
Once you bring in a piece of furniture that you particularly hate and wish to replace, it’ll take years before you finally get a chance to get rid of it! So, don’t bring stuff you no longer use or need to your new home! This goes for clothes as well – if you haven’t worn that old shirt for months, it is probably time to let it go. Don’t get too attached to objects, and leave your hoarding tendency behind; it’ll make things much easier. Sometimes it is hard to throw something away because it can still be used. In that case, hold a garage sale or donate it to charity.
3. Take some time off from work
Unpacking takes time, so take a day off from work and dedicate it to the cause. If you are unable to do so, leave major tasks for the weekend. For instance, you can unpack the essentials during the week after work, and leave the living room and bedroom for your day(s) off.
4. Motivate your family and friends to help
Unpacking alone is not ideal, so it’s time to put those negotiation skills to good use and enlist your family and friends to help. Incentives, such as supplying dinner or organising a fun activity for the kids after a successful day of unpacking, may be necessary! This way, they get dinner and you get an unpacked house, it’s a win-win!
5. Unpack one room at a time
Tackling one room at a time has shown to be the most efficient unpacking strategy. Once you arrive at your new home, place the boxes in their designated rooms; for example, a box with dishes is put in the kitchen, while clothes belong to the bedroom. However, this step can only be done if you’ve properly labeled the boxes!
6. Unpack the essentials first
If you want your unpacking to go smoothly, pack all the essentials in several boxes and label them accordingly. These items should include pajamas, clothing for a couple of days, toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc. The list may vary depending on your family’s needs and preferences.
7. Do the kitchen first
The kitchen is the area that requires the most time. Cleaning, arranging appliances, washing all the dishes and filling the cabinets is time-consuming. Therefore, the best option is to do the kitchen first and get it over with. The exception is, of course, if you cannot take a day off from work, in which case, leave this part for the weekend.
8. Save the best for last
When you first arrive at your new place, only set up the essentials in the bedroom (clothing and a mattress). That way, when you are done with the kitchen and other major rooms, you can move onto making your bedroom amazing. When all the major stuff is in its place, like beds, nightstands, and closets, you can start organising your clothes and decorative items. As mentioned, kids can unpack their stuff and arrange them as they wish.
Moving, especially unpacking, can be a stressful time for the entire family. To make the transition easier, make sure to organise everything beforehand. Once boxes are in your new home, it is most likely too late to think about unpacking strategies. Therefore, think ahead and label every box.
Some of the steps listed above are integrated into the famous “KonMari method”. Marie Kondo, the author of this method, is best known for her organising skills, which gives us confidence that following the above nine steps will definitely make our lives much easier.