After the strenuous and costly upheaval of relocating, it’s an exciting venture to finally be able to enjoy your new house. Unfortunately, before that becomes a reality, you still have to unpack tons of boxes or you’ll end up with a bare place far from what you call “home”.
The unpacking process can be just as stressful as packing. However, with the right methods, unpacking all your household items isn’t an impossible feat to accomplish. Let these tips from a reliable packing and unpacking service serve as your guide to stress-free unpacking after your move-in day.
1. Start off clean
In the midst of all your moving preparations, you need to ensure that your new home has had a deep clean. This way, you can unpack your boxes at ease, knowing that no dust or debris linger at your new place.
To avoid the hassle of digging through boxes to find cleaning supplies, keep the following accessible as you unload the moving truck:
- Paper towels
- All-purpose cleaners
- Vacuum cleaner
2. Allocate time to unpack
Unpacking only on evenings or weekends will only give you a short amount of time to accomplish the task. If you want to fully settle-in as fast as possible, you need to allocate enough time to unpack. Whether you need to take three days or a week off your job – then do it.
If you’re like most people who can’t take your time off, then you have to set a schedule to get the task of unpacking done. For instance, you can set a simple schedule for each family member to unpack three boxes each night. Make the task reasonable and doable so that it will be done efficiently.
By sticking to a schedule, you can monitor how much you’ve unpacked and avoid procrastinating.
3. Distribute boxes with purpose
A moving day can be quite crazy and you may feel rushed to empty the truck quickly. As tempting as it is to simply throw all your boxes in a pile close to the door, they’ll be troublesome once you sort them out later.
Rather than leaving boxes to pile-up outside, it’s better to take the time to place them into rooms which they belong to. This is where your labeling system comes in handy. Save yourself the trouble of sorting everything twice by bringing each box into the right room directly from the moving truck.
4. Unpack by room
Your golden rule should be to unpack one room at a time in order of importance. It’s better to have a single room complete rather than to have 4 rooms half-done. It may seem to be a bigger task upfront, but you’re less likely to leave boxes of unimportant items lying around after you’ve settled in.
In terms of unpacking, you may want to consider this order:
- Lesser-used spaces like the dining room, living areas, guest bedroom
- Supplemental storage areas like basement or garage
After an exhausting move, you will want to head to bed early. By unpacking your bedroom first, you’ll have your bed ready and waiting for you. You may want to save unpacking large, multi-use areas for weekends, especially if you can’t take the time off.
The Importance of an Essential Box
It’s only natural that your first night at your new home won’t be easy. At most, you may not have the energy to start unpacking your bedroom right away. This event is where your “essentials box” becomes useful.
Your essentials box contains items you’ll need right away to make your first few nights in your new home trouble free. In general, this should be the box you should unpack first which may include:
- Hygiene items like hand soap, all-purpose cleaner, trash bags, toilet paper
- Bathroom essentials
- Plastic utensils
- Snacks and drinks
- Emergency kit
- Bed linen
- Basic tools like a flashlight and portable tool kit
5. Declutter again
When unpacking, be sure that everything has its place. For each item you take out of a box, you should have an idea where you’ll be putting it in your new home. If you have items you’re unsure where to place, they should go back in the box.
After about two weeks of settling down in your new home, take some time to evaluate the items you have left in boxes. Ask yourself whether these items truly have a use in your new place. If your answer to the question is no, consider getting rid of the items or donating them.
There’s no point in keeping boxes that you know you won’t use again. Use unpacking as a chance to declutter even further to avoid storing items that will only take up space in your new home.
6. Hire a professional unpacking service
Consider hiring a professional to take the weight of the tasks off your shoulders. Similarly, if you don’t have the time to unpack and you need to get it done fast, hiring an unpacking service will be your best bet.
Unpacking services have staff who are professional organizers. They have unpacked many more households than the average person. If you can’t decide whether you should hire one, the following circumstances may influence your choice:
- You have limited time and you can’t get extra time off work.
- You’re a parent and you can’t manage to do all the unpacking and take care of the kids at the same time.
- You still have some funds left from your moving budget and you feel exhausted from your big move.
- You need to get the unpacking done at a particular time because you’re scheduled to host an event in your home.
- You’re looking to use your free time to start a home renovation plan as soon as possible.
Unpack with a plan
Thinking about how you’ll be unpacking all your items is only half the battle. But once you’ve planned everything out, unpacking won’t seem quite so bad.
Keep in mind that no matter how demanding the process is, it’s only when you finish unpacking boxes that you can finally relax in your new place.
Craig Jones is the Managing Director at Aussiemove, Australia’s largest independent moving alliance. Craig is a respected member of the removalist network in Australia, having served in senior positions, including the President of the removal industries governing body, the Australian Furniture Removals Association (AFRA). With 23 years of experience at Aussiemove, he has the skills and the highly trained team to move families safely and reliably, in Adelaide, across Australia and around the world.