Moving Guide: Unpacking Tips
Your move is now two-thirds of the way done. The last part is unpacking and getting settled into your new home. This can be the phase that takes the longest, but can also be the most fun. Unpacking gives you a chance to get the house organized – you know, the way you'd like to keep it all year, but it never works out that way.
When you start going through the sea of boxes, there should be a method to your madness. The following are a few simple steps to make the unpacking process easier. And remember, you don't have to unpack everything right away!
1. Unpack one room at a time
Kitchen: Begin here so that you can have a snack to fuel your fire. Items that you won't need right away can be set aside to unpack at a later time when you can better gauge the right setup. This is also a good time to line your cabinets and drawers.
Bathroom: This room should be next. Get your toiletries out and make sure that the toilet, faucets, etc. are all operational. A few things you should definitely have are a shower curtain, toilet paper and soap.
Bedrooms: If they aren't set up the first night, don't sweat it. Have a family camp out instead! It is helpful to have major pieces of furniture placed before unpacking (check out our Room Designer tool). Then putting things away will be a cinch! The person whose room it will be should make the area feel comfortable and personal to them. Setting up an organized closet is another great thing to do when moving in.
Living Room: Unpacking this room should be a combined effort of everyone in the household. There will be a lot of items to be placed and electronics to hook up. This is a good time to consider the practicality in your home's wiring. For example, the entertainment center will have to be in close proximity with the cable outlet.
Garage: Having an organized garage is a daunting task for most. But if you start by setting up shelves and hooks for placement of tools, yard supplies, etc., you might curb the tendency for making piles.
More Tips for Setting Up: If you're setting up a computer or stereo equipment, you may want to consider purchasing a surge protector for the safety of these items and yourself. Don't forget to collapse boxes for storage or recycling.
2. Play interior designer
When preparing to shift furniture around in the living room and bedrooms, it's a good idea to make a sketch of the room with squares representing where you would like certain items placed. Erasing an armoire, rather than lifting it, could save you a trip to the chiropractor.
Placing furniture so the room feels open and functional is an integral part of getting settled into your new home. Your house probably won't look like what you'd envisioned for a few more months, but taking those few important steps now will help prepare you in the plans to come.
3. Add style
- Consider painting rooms a different color, or stenciling around an archway.
- Brighten up a room with self-adhesive wallpaper borders.
- Refinish old cabinets or add new knobs.
- Hang pictures properly by measuring right the first time.
- Add potted plants for extra color or to fill empty corners.