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After the Move: 10 Tips for Unpacking

Moving Day is over–you’re tired, sweaty, spent and possibly even abused but you can’t take a show until you find your soap. WHERE DID YOU PACK THAT SOAP? Don’t let unpacking be the worst part of the move, dragging on and on forever. Get your ish together and get it done. These ten things will help you get unpacked efficiently.

1. Pack an “Open First” Box

Unpacking first begins with packing–the “Open First” box will get you through the first night in your new place without having to dig through a bunch of boxes or half-unpack a few. The “Open First” box should include these things: A couple of plates and cups, toilet paper, electronic chargers, scissors, basic cleaning supplies (for wiping down surfaces before unpacking), a sheet set, a shower curtain, common toiletries for the bathroom, Advil and a pen and paper.

2. Make it Fun

Invite friends to help you unpack things as you go. Buy some wine, let them unpack the fun stuff like photos and books. They will be thankful you didn’t ask them to help you move all your stuff.

3. Clean Before You Start

If you’re lucky, the landlord (or previous owners) will have had the place cleaned before you move in. If you aren’t so lucky, you’ll want to wipe things down with a soapy rag and water. Cleaning the place before you start unpacking also gives you a chance to look for any damage that needs documentation.

4. Make Your Bed

At the end of a long day of packing, a bed with fresh linens is a nice thing to fall into. There will be plenty of time to unpack the rest of your belongings and arrange the perfect space, but getting the bed ready means you can turn in early and wake rested for the unpacking to follow.

5. Start with the Necessities

Get your things put away in the bathroom. The more creature comforts you can give yourself in your new space, the more you will feel at home.  Once you have your towels hung/folded, toothpaste and toothbrush by the sink, and a shower curtain up, you’re halfway to feeling completely unpacked. Unpacking the bathroom is easy, and after conquering a move–easy is just what you’ll need.

6. Get Your Clothes Out

Getting your clothing out of boxes, suitcases and bags will help you see just how much extra storage space you’ll need for your new place and will eliminate the clutter of boxes. While unpacking your clothes, take a second chance to really asses clothing items that can be donated.

7. Open every box

There are some boxes you will not need to unpack right away. It is important to open every box to make sure you don’t need something out of it. This will also give you a chance to consolidate boxes that need to be put into storage.

8. Wait To Set Up the Television

Set up your stereo first instead. Give yourself music to unpack to. When you unpack your TV first, you give yourself an excuse to slack off during unpacking.

9. Delegate unpacking duties

If you are unpacking with family, a spouse or a roommate, delegate which boxes each person should unpack. It’s safe to expect to reorganize some things at a later date, but re-organizing is much easier than unpacking everything yourself.

10. Take Breaks

Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to recover and re-arrange things. Unpacking your home is stressful both physically and mentally. Give your body a break from moving boxes and items around. Taking breaks also gives your mind and emotions a chance to relax, making sure that your stress level stays manageable.