It’s Friday evening or Saturday morning. Your moving team has come and gone, and you’re eyeing a stack of boxes the size of Mt. Everest. Here are some strategies to put your belongings back in order before your Monday morning commute.
Plan before you pack.
The more planning you do before your move, the less time it will take to unpack and settle into your new digs.
First, take photos of each room before you begin packing. Make sure to include all the furniture, window coverings and wall hangings in each room. Open the doors of closets and cupboards and snap photos of how your belongings are currently stored. Don’t forget the basement, garage and other storage areas.
Next, get floor plans of your new home, including the dimensions of each room and locations of doors and windows. For a local move, you can probably measure the rooms yourself. You might need to ask a realtor or landlord for help in planning a long-distance move. Then, use graph paper or a computer program to decide where you’ll place each piece of furniture. Share the plans with your movers, and they’ll put furniture exactly where you want it.
Next, take a little time to declutter and get rid of unwanted items before you move. Not only will this reduce the time you spend unpacking, but you can also raise cash by selling unwanted items.
Finally, pack efficiently. Clearly label each box with a list of contents and the room it will go into. Follow these packing tips to make the process easier. Keep a list of boxes and the rooms to which they are assigned, and share the list with your movers. Don’t forget to pack an essential trip kit with important papers and items you’ll need immediately upon arrival. It’s also a good idea to pack a suitcase with clothing and other essentials for the first few days.
Quickly unpack according to plan.
Begin by deciding which rooms are your priority and unpack them on the first day. For most people, the kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms are at the top of the list. If you have small children, you might want to set up a room where they can play out of the way while you’re unpacking the rest of the house.
Your first priority is to get everything out of boxes, so resist the urge to organize. Start in the kitchen by putting any perishable food items into the new refrigerator and freezer. Look back at your photographs to see how items were stored in your old place. Don’t overthink. If you take time to organize condiment bottles in alphabetical order, you’ll be sorting through boxes for weeks. Find places on counters or in cupboards for the remainder of your food, glasses, dinnerware, small appliances, cleaning supplies and other kitchen essentials. If you have pets, put their food and water where they can reach them. Flatten boxes as they are emptied and stack them in an out-of-the-way place.
After the kitchen, move on to the bathrooms. Find cupboards or counter space for toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant and other grooming items. Hang up shower curtains and a set of towels. Put remaining towels in a linen closet.
Next, tackle each bedroom. Unpack linens and make the beds. Put shoes and hanged clothing in the closet. Lightweight clothing may already be in dressers. Unpack heavier items and place in drawers or on closet shelves. Hang window coverings and place photos and other décor on the walls. Stay in each room until all the boxes are empty and flattened.
After you unpack kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms on the first day, you might be ready to call it a day. Get a good night’s sleep and tackle the rest of the home on day two.
Your sofas, chairs and other furniture should already be in place in living, dining and family rooms. Unpack china, decorative items, window coverings and wall hangings and find places for them. Set up televisions and entertainment systems. If your electronics were exposed to heat or cold during the move, let them sit at room temperature for 24 hours before you plug them in.
If you have a home office, unpack books, computers, and other equipment and put them in place. Again, make sure computers, printers and other electronics have been at room temperature for 24 hours before turning them on.
Once the living spaces are livable, you’ll want to set up laundry and utility rooms, the garage and any basement storage. Again, tackle one room at a time. Consult your photographs for an idea of where things go and stay in each room until all the boxes are empty.
By the end of the second day, you’ll have completed the major unpacking tasks. Once you’re done, get all of the flattened boxes together. You can either store them in an out-of-the-way place or place them outside for recycling.
Now it’s time to sit back, relax and get ready for the work week. Don’t forget to congratulate yourself on how much you’ve accomplished.
Planning a move? We’re here to help! Contact us today to experience the Herlihy Moving & Storage difference. As your full-service Columbus, Ohio moving company, we offer professional packing, local and long-distance moving, Mayflower Portable Storage Containers (pods) and convenient self-storage and mini-storage units. Or, we can help with your do-it-yourself move. No job is too big or too small. Call us today for a free estimate.