Putting all your belongings into their right spot takes a lot longer than throwing them all into boxes and ends up being a lot more stressful too. Unpacking can be as fast or as slow as you allow it to be. The time it takes to unpack typically depends on how many boxes you have, how many people you have helping, and how many things need to be reassembled. By planning ahead and knowing the basic unpacking process, you can eliminate the typical stress that accompanies unpacking.

Plan Ahead

Your unpacking process will greatly be dependent upon your packing process and how well boxes are labeled and organized. First, keep track of how many boxes you have. Write down how many boxes go in each room as well as what their labels are. For example, the master bedroom could have 10 boxes—five for clothes, two for shoes, one for bedding, and two for decorations—list them all out, so you know which boxes go in which room and how many of each you should have. That way, your rooms will stay organized, and you can alert your moving van of any missing boxes.

Secondly, you need a survival box—a box that will contain everything you need to survive while the rest of your belongings are in storage. Think of it as an overnight bag. Your survival items should be the last thing that gets put into the moving van/your trunk, so they will be the first thing you access to when you arrive at your new home.

Thirdly, make an unpacking calendar. Decide what you want to accomplish each day to make unpacking more manageable and less overwhelming.

Unpacking with a Plan

  • Use your checklist of boxes to make sure everything arrived.
  • Sort out the boxes by their labels and put them in the room they belong in.
  • Unpack your survival boxes.
  • Set up furniture and other big items so you’ll have more room.
  • Start unpacking the rooms.

Prioritize Rooms

An entire house is way too much to unpack in a day, which is why you need to establish some priority on which rooms you focus on first. Remember, you don’t need to set them up completely—just set up what you need to make those rooms function. Decorations can come later.

  • Bedroom– After traveling to your new home, you’re going to need rest. Otherwise, you’ll end up getting cranky and hating your decision to move. Unpack your main bedroom boxes with your sheets and pillows as well as enough outfits to get you through the first few days.
  • Bathroom– Most items in your bathroom will be from your survival box. Unpack your toiletries and put some towels on the shelves, and you’ll be ready to go until you have time to focus on wall decor and minor details.
  • Kitchen– Start by setting up the essentials such as main appliances (refrigerator, stove, microwave, etc.) and enough food to get you through the first couple days. Once you get more settled, you can take a trip to the grocery store to stock your cabinets for long term use.

Unpacking doesn’t have to be stressful if you have a plan and stick to it. If you haven’t unpacked already, make a checklist of your boxes and keep them labeled. Ask family to help you get settled and remember it will all get unpacked eventually.

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