You have moved. It may have been down the hall to a new room, across town to a larger apartment, into the suburbs for your first family home, or across the country into a whole new life, whatever it is you have to unpack. For some this may be a daunting, anxiety inducing task, or it may be an exciting step in your journey to a new future. You are full of ideas for your perfect home and cannot wait to get it picture perfect, and ready for the home tour. And I am so excited for you.
I am on house move number 5, so I know you are feeling all sorts of things. This is to help you get to the picture perfect, magazine worthy home.
Before you take the first step, take up this mantra for today: Order out of Chaos
Remember it, breath it out when you look at everything coming out of each box, embrace it when you want to crawl into one of those empty boxes and shut out the rest of the world.
Order out of Chaos.
You have done your layout of the new place, and have general ideas of what is going where. (if not, go here to get started)
As the movers bring in each piece, check your layout and work to get as many things into the right room as possible. With everything in boxes, you may not have space for everything to go into the right room, but as you began the process of unpacking you will be able to get rid of the extra paper and boxes, creating more space.
First start with the large items: beds, kitchen table, desk, living room furniture, etc. Get each piece situated and set in the prescribed room. If this means it has to be put together, put it together. Having a bookshelf without the shelves will not help when you open up the boxes of books, you need somewhere to put all that knowledge.
Next, open and unload the boxes for the rooms which will require use immediately. While we all like to think we will be getting the kitchen perfect, realize tonight will be a pizza night, and depending on the number of bedrooms you have to handle, it may also be a night for blanket forts.
Starting with the master bedroom, I make sure I have already put away everything I traveled with. The clothes are in the closet or dresser, toiletries in the bathroom, dirty clothes in the laundry room. Start trucking through the boxes. As you open and unpack, make sure nothing is broken, and immediately put it away. Do not waste time on organizing, as you wont have everything out yet to make each little organized cabinet and drawer pristine.
Pick you next most important room. If you have kids, this may be their rooms. If they are old enough to work an ipad, they are old enough to help with their part. While you may want to just tell them to go play somewhere, pushing them out of their space will make you responsible for everything, not them. Depending on how tall they are, you might have to help with putting some things away and opening the boxes, but they can put away toys and books, and clothes they can reach.
Again, this is just about getting things out of the boxes and put in the right place, not organizing your cotton balls and q-tips into the perfectly sized mason jars, or organizing the closets by color and clothing type (that will come later, promise).
After the beds are made, and the boxes from the bedrooms are broken down, move on to where you family will spend the most time. If you are having pizza and blanket forts, look to the dining area or living room next.
Going through each box, write down the information of each damaged item and take a complete set of pictures of the item from all angles in open light to show the damage. At a minimum you are going to need the item name, a description of the item, the box or crate number, and the initial value of the item.
Now, reading and reviewing how to do this will only take you about 10 minutes, but unpacking could actually be a multiple day event. If you do not get everything unpacked on day 1, that is ok. If the movers offer to unpack for you, take it. They will put away the dishes and glasses, and help with getting the items in the right homes, but will not have the patience for you to neatly stack your shoes in the shoe rack. They are like little worker bees, but they also have no idea how you want your house to function.
Use the layout, and remember: Order out of Chaos.
Your office space might look like this for a minute, but as you get everything out you will be able to move on to sorting and organizing.
Do you have any unpacking and moving tips? Any questions about moving, finding a house, getting yourself established in a new community? Let me know in the comments!
I cannot wait to hear about your unpacking adventure