Universal’s Ultimate Unpacking Guide
A move can take a lot of energy, what with packing, researching and hiring a moving company, selling your old home, finding a new one and everything else in between. When it comes to moving to a new home, everyone’s different. For some people, packing up is sheer labor, but unpacking at the new home fills them with a feeling of energy and opportunity. Many other people love the anticipation that comes with packing up the household, but they hate the drudgery of unpacking.
Whichever camp you’re in, there is always a constant when it comes to unpacking. Boxes, boxes, packing peanuts, tape and – you guessed it – even more boxes. If the thought of unpacking after a move makes you even a little nervous, you’re certainly not alone. Even the most calm-headed and calculated of us can become ever-so-slightly (to put it lightly) overwhelmed by the enormity of organizing a new home.
Read on for a few tips from Universal Relocations on how your unpacking process can be eased, should you choose to Do It Yourself:
Pack an essentials bag. Prepare for the first few days or week at your new home by creating a bag for each family member with everything they would need and yet, wouldn’t want to dig through boxes to find. Have these bags in the car or on the plane with you when traveling to your new place. Although it is recommended to keep the bag on the smaller side despite it including all your necessities, it cannot hurt for you to know where to find the nearest convenience or drug store to your new place.
A general list of essentials could usually include, but is not limited to:
o Toiletries (including towels)
o Paperwork (containing key addresses and telephone numbers)
o Basic Food Preparation items
o Maybe even a few snacks!
Just like you should create a packing schedule to help you get everything packed before the move, so should you create a timeline that divvies up tasks related to unpacking. This will make the process seem much more manageable to you. Before jumping in and randomly opening boxes, know what it is you are unpacking. Make sure you have a copy of the inventory list – either the one that the moving company provided or an inventory you created to track your belongings before you moved. Ideally, packing up involved boxing up items according to usage or by room, so make sure to examine box labels or open them up and peer inside before you start emptying them out.
Unpacking can be a long a tedious process, yes. However, as with almost every other long and tedious process, it can simply be broken down into smaller, simpler tasks that can come together to eventually end up being the finished article. Making unpacking a piecemeal may sound even more tumultuous as it adds an extra step to the process, but in the grand scheme of things, it may just be the catalyst you need to ease you through the post-move syndrome that many of us are sure to go through.
No matter what it is that you feel like you need to do in your new home, make sure that you take the time to enjoy your new living habitat. Even breaks between the Unpacking Schedule are essential for easing stress levels and even get you accustomed to your new surroundings. Get to know your new neighborhood as well. Set aside time each day for not only the unpacking but also a few hours to explore. You do not have to Unpack and Organize your new home in a day.
After all, it is never the destination, but the journey that always ends up being the most enjoyable.
As with any move, it is always the furniture that almost certainly ends up being the largest of shipments. Pound for pound, it is the furniture that can be the heaviest of everything you could possibly own. Whilst planning, make sure that you also take the time to visualize and ideate the various placements that can make your interior design and plan. More often than not, these can also be a way for you to imagine the various different ways you can set up your new home.
It is often recommended not to assemble large furniture until you’ve planned where it will be placed, too. Large armories or tables in random places are not only annoying but dangerous if there is a need to constantly dodge them on your daily movement around the house. Always try to put furniture organization toward the top of the Unpacking Planning phase. Furniture, especially those that require mechanical assemblies, such as bookcases or entertainment centers, should only be put together after you know where all the furniture will be placed. It is a waste of time to assemble large items that may need to be disassembled in order to be moved or re-arranged.
If all your boxes have been clearly labeled, you should be able to locate what you need fairly easily. If you have time, it’s a good idea to line the kitchen cupboards and cabinets first. If you don’t have time to completely finish the kitchen at first, unpack only what you need. Having major food appliances like the coffee pot and toaster hooked up makes life a little easier in what can be an exhausting (and hunger-inducing) process.
Get the major appliances hooked up, and plug in the smaller appliances as this will most assuredly make your life a whole lot easier. You can return to concentrate on completely organizing the kitchen after the rest of the house is unpacked.
After the kitchen, put the beds together and unpack the linens for each bedroom. Ideally, you may have set aside a single set of linens for each bed when you packed; if so, getting your beds ready for the first night should be fairly easy. Decide on furniture placement and closet organization before you unpack boxed items. Installing shelving and closet organizing units first will make unpacking more productive and save you future work.
Also, try and make sure the linens on the beds are some of the first things to be put up once the planning is done in order for you to be able to crash after a hard day’s work.
Bathroom fixtures are basically functional already when you move in, provided the water is turned on, but you will need to unpack towels, toiletries and bathroom items – some of which should already be on your Essentials list. Again, start by unpacking the most important items within the bathroom – medications, body-care products, the shower curtain, and towels. But complete bathroom unpacking should be among the first things you do.
Nothing makes a house feel like a home more than having a comfortable, fully stocked bathroom. You’re also going to want to rinse off the dirt and sweat after a long day of moving and unpacking.
The Utility Areas
One of the last spaces to unpack is the garage, basement, and other utility rooms. It’s important to keep in mind that most items in these utility rooms aren’t going to be used on a daily basis. As with every other room in the house, try to organize the space before you start to unpack. Make sure to unpack any tools and materials you’ll need to keep your home functional. This can include utility shelving units and storage containers.
Items for the patio, deck or landscape can be unpacked last and set up at your leisure. However, if you are moving in the summer, it can be a good idea to set up the barbecue grill fairly early, so that you can cook while the kitchen is still being set up.
Tips for Efficient Unpacking:
1) Get the essentials unpacked first, then take your time with the rest of the house.
2) Plan each room before you unpack too many boxes.
3) Anticipate future needs. It may be easier to put off work like lining cabinet shelves or installing closet organizers, but it is most efficient to do it right now, as you’re moving into your new house.
4) Make the space your own. Hang pictures and place family photos around the house early in your unpacking. It will help to make the home feel familiar and comfortable and will build your family’s enthusiasm.
5) Let each member of the family unpack their own bedroom, as applicable. This allows kids to participate in the event.
6) Try to take some time to enjoy your new space once you have the main essential unpacking completed. Perhaps schedule some fun family events.
7) Over the course of the initial few weeks, set a few hours aside each day or on the weekends to ensure you’ll gradually get the job completed.
A few key points to remember during the unpacking process:
1) The assembly of large furniture needs to happen only after you’ve worked out where it will be placed. If you obtained plans for your new home prior to moving, arranging furniture should be fairly straightforward. Always try to put furniture organization toward the top of the unpacking to-do list.
2) It often helps to remember that everything will eventually be unpacked one day, as long as you keep working, stay organized and maintain a positive attitude. There is never going to be a substitute for hard work in any walk of life.
3) It’s a completely normal reaction to want to put everything in its proper place as quickly as possible but always think ahead before diving in.
4) Adjustment to your new surroundings will begin and end, regardless of anything you may be feeling the moment you’ve finished your move.
5) Try and overlook the few nerves you may have through the process in any way you can, as it is something that everybody undergoing any change does feel.
If after reading these tips, you’re still overwhelmed from your long-distance move and by the idea of unpacking, contact Universal Relocations. Our professional and experienced agents would be happy to help you unpack at your new home!