The worst part of moving isn’t boxing up all your worldly possessions and carrying them to a new place. It’s actually the moment after the move itself, when all of your helpers leave and you find yourself staring at a mountain of boxes that need unpacking. Although this task may seem overwhelming, there are several ways to make unpacking at your new home quite manageable.
Build Your Bed First
Whether you plan on putting your bed frame back together right away or just tossing your mattress on the floor for a few nights, get your bedding set up first. After hauling boxes and starting to unpack, you’re going to want a bed to fall into at the end of the day. The same will be true for your children, who will need to be well rested to resume their normal routines. Well-rested children are also much less likely to be cranky.
Follow The Empty Box Rule
Make it a rule that you must finish emptying every box you open while unpacking. If you run into an item and you’re unsure where to place it, find a location even if it’s temporary. Emptying every box allows you to get rid of boxes as you unpack and see the progress you are making. Conversely, opening boxes and leaving items in them simply expands the moving mess. If you encounter an item that leaves you truly stumped, ask yourself if you really need it. If you don’t, get rid of it. If you do, make an immediate effort to find a suitable storage location in your new home.
Tackle One Room at a Time
Unpacking one room at a time gives you a clear starting point. It also gives you one finished room you can retreat to when you need a break from looking at boxes. It is usually best to start with the kitchen first. The kitchen is the heart of most homes and an area where your family is likely to spend a lot of time. Unpacking the kitchen also lets you get back to regular meal preparation sooner. Takeout and pizza are hard on the wallet, so getting your kitchen in order first can save money.
No matter how you tackle the task of unpacking, make it a priority. If you don’t, you risk living in limbo and working out of boxes for months. If you can, take time off from work to get your new place in order before returning to your routine. When that isn’t an option, commit to unpacking two or three boxes every night until the task is done. The sooner you’re unpacked, the sooner you can start truly enjoying your new space.