Your Room-By-Room Unpacking Guide

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Moving new home

Moving into a new home can be simultaneously exhilarating and exhausting. You probably can’t wait to make your new place look and feel like home. On the other hand, if you’ve just spent the past several weeks packing belongings from your previous abode, you might be more physically and mentally drained than you realize. This is all the more reason to open those boxes in a smart, organized fashion. Here are some tips to help you unpack.

Before bringing items into your new space, walk through the rooms with paper towels and spray cleaner to wipe up any dust that might have settled while the place was vacant. Doing this now can help keep your personal items from getting dusty while you put them away.

Next, have the movers place the boxes — which you labeled with their room names — in their designated spaces.

This infographic was created by Moving of America, a provider of auto transport services

Unpack Bathrooms First

The bathrooms are the rooms that everyone will need throughout the day. Plus, you will probably want a long, relaxing shower or soak in the tub at the end of moving day. If you’re not certain which packed box contains the bathroom supplies, run an errand to the supermarket or convenience store for those items before you begin to unpack.

Put a roll of toilet paper on the holder and the rest of the toilet paper package in the bathroom cupboard. Open soaps for the sink, tub and shower. Have new toothbrushes for all the residents. Hang clean towels in each bathroom and put the extra towels in the bathroom closets. Break down the cardboard boxes and stow them out of the way until you can recycle them.

Unpack Bedrooms

You might not watch TV, cook dinner or work on your computer today, but you will certainly want a good night’s sleep. That’s why your bedroom should be the next priority after the bathrooms. Assemble your bed and unpack the sheets, blankets, pillows and comforter. Configure the bedroom furniture around the room. Place the rest of the bedding in the linen closet.

Unpack Kitchen Supplies

Even if you think you might be ordering take-out tonight, tomorrow you will want to eat in your new kitchen. Decide where you want to place the small appliances, such as the coffee maker, toaster and microwave (if you don’t have a built-in model) while there is still empty space on the kitchen counters. Then, take a few minutes to walk around your kitchen as if you were preparing a meal and imagine where the dishes, flatware and glassware would be. If you can’t decide, call your child or significant other into the kitchen and ask them to get a glass or bowl from the cupboard, and then watch which cupboard door they open first.

Unpack the Home Office and Family Room

If you have some time off from work, unpack the family room’s entertainment room next. However, if you need to start back to work in the next day or two, set up your home office instead.

Continue Decluttering

As you packed, you might have followed the four-part sorting method of “keep/donate/recycle/trash.” However, don’t be surprised if some of those unwanted items found their way back into boxes. Continue to declutter as you unpack.

  • Check the online wish lists of local charities. Remember, nonprofit organizations are typically short-staffed, so donate only items they need.
  • Visit your city’s municipal website for hours, locations and items accepted at your local recycling, e-recycling and household hazardous waste (HHW) facilities.
  • Post a message on your neighborhood newsgroup advertising your free moving boxes and packing paper. If there are no takers, be sure those items get transported to the recycler.

Moving from one residence to another can be exciting and draining. However, following these unpacking tips can help keep the experience positive and organized. See the accompanying resource for more information.

AUTHOR BIO: Adam Warner is Content Strategist Manager at Moving of America. Previously, Warner wrote short stories across different magazines.

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