Don’t get lost in a mountain of used boxes and bubble wrap. Follow these tips for unpacking your things and fixing up your new home more effectively.
If you’re reading this, it means you survived the big move. It’s a brand new day and you’re now ready to make your new house more of a home. Unpacking can overwhelm anyone, so don’t try to do a lot of things at a time. The key is to take things a step at a time so everything is set when you’re ready to divide and conquer. (Note: it would be better to have done a general cleaning of the house before moving day so you’ll only need to do some light tidying up during and after unpacking.)
The first place you want to start with is the kitchen. Why? Because the kitchen is the common area where your family gets together to eat and relax, what with all of the chaos happening in the other rooms. Start by putting the appliances in their proper place and unpacking some dishes and utensils you’ll be using right away.
(In connection to this, you should also arrange the dining table and chairs in the dining room if you don’t have a breakfast table in the kitchen.)
After this, you can now move to fixing up the bathroom because the bathroom is another place everyone feels a sense of urgency to use. Unpack the toiletries, load up the medicine cabinets and put toilet paper in the dispenser. You probably packed the shower curtain away with all the linen, so this can wait until later.
I’m guessing you have a good idea as to how the living room should generally look by now, so you can move the couch, coffee table, and other furniture in their right place. If you keep the television, DVD player and stereo in the living room, set them up in an area closest to the wall sockets so people won’t trip on the cables. You can choose to connect the electronics later, but at our house, we prefer to have a bit of music while unpacking and collapse in front of the TV later in the evening.
Assuming you didn’t sleep on the floor on the night of the move, you don’t need to assemble your beds anymore. What you can do instead is ask every family member to grab all of their personal duffel bags and luggage and bring them to their rooms. You can now also unpack linens and pillows so everyone can fix up their own beds and you can finally hang up that shower curtain.
Depending on the layout of the house or the backyard, you can figure out where the laundry area should be, but you can save this for later. You probably won’t be doing the laundry that day, or in the next few for that matter.
You’ll notice that I made no mention of unloading boxes of cooking tools in the kitchen or picture frames in the living room. This is because these are final touches that you can put off until all the heavy lifting is done. Fixing up the bedroom is also something best left to the occupant to allow them to really personalize their space.
When unpacking after a move, it’s better to have a plan of attack. That way, everyone knows what he or she is supposed to do, and everything gets done at the right pace.
(Photo from Ben W/Flickr Creative Commons)