How to Unpack Efficiently After Moving

So, the moving company has just unloaded their truck at your new place, and now you’re buried in boxes. You want to be fully settled as soon as possible, but you have no idea where to start, plus, you are already exhausted from moving. You need to tackle this task strategically, and we can help you with that.

Let’s learn how to unpack efficiently after moving!

A cat sitting in a suitcase
The movers have just finished unloading the last box, and it's time for unpacking.

Make sure the entire place is spotless

Moving days are busy. People tend to get nervous, tired and sleep deprived. If you feel that way, the people who’ve just moved out of your new home must be feeling the same. Which means they probably didn’t invest much time in cleaning before they left. So, it is your job to give your new place a good scrub, preferably before your belongings arrive. If your stuff is already there, it will be a little harder to move around and reach every corner. In conclusion, the first items to unpack should be sponges, paper towels, all-purpose cleaners, and the like. As you clean, throw away any junk that the previous owners left – you deserve to live in a clutter-free apartment after moving.

Sorting out boxes will help you unpack efficiently after moving

If you pack efficiently before moving, it will be much easier to unpack efficiently after moving. If you hire a full-service moving company and ask for some help when packing, you can rest assured that your boxes will be packed properly. By properly we mean according to usage or by room, with a label on each box.

It would be best to take each box directly to the room it belongs to, instead of making one huge pile close to the main entrance. You should also have an inventory list prepared to help you track your items. Whether it is an inventory that your movers created or one that you made yourself, it will be extremely useful. Check if every box has been delivered before you start opening them. If you notice that something is missing, focus on solving that problem first. Ideally, each box should have a label with its contents. When you’re ready to start emptying the boxes, examine the labels first or have a peek at what is inside.

Unpack in order of importance

Start with the essentials box. We hope you’ve packed one! This is a box that contains the items you’ll need as soon as you arrive. For example, cleaning supplies, essential toiletries, chargers, basic food preparation items, etc.

Cardboard ready for recycling
Think about the environment! Used packing supplies can be recycled or reused.

After you’re done unloading the moving truck, you will probably want to take a shower and go to bed. Which leads us to the first rooms to unpack efficiently after moving – bathroom and bedroom. In case it’s really late, or you have no energy left in your body, unpack only the essentials and continue the next morning. Do not procrastinate, though – that is one of the most common moving mistakes. If you do have the time and energy, we suggest unpacking a whole room at a time before moving on to the next one. Once you finish unpacking the bedroom, you can tackle the kitchen, or vice versa, if you need your kitchen first. Then comes the living room, followed by the dining area. Afterward, you can take your time with the lesser used rooms, such as the guest bedroom, garage, and basement.

Assembling furniture

You shouldn’t start unpacking smaller items until you are done with the largest ones – your furniture. Where will you put your clothes if your closets are not ready? Some pieces of furniture may need to be disassembled for easier transportation and later reassembled. A professional team of movers, such as Wolley Movers Chicago, can help you with this. Remember to measure everything and make a floor plan before the furniture even gets there to spare yourself and your movers the unnecessary trouble.

Papers with floor plans designed to help you unpack efficiently after moving
Making a plan for each room before you start will help you unpack efficiently after moving.

Unpacking room by room

Bathroom: The bathroom should not take much time to unpack. Unpack towels, personal hygiene products, the shower curtain and, lastly, bathroom decorations like plants or paintings, if you have any.

Bedroom: If you plan on catching some z’s first, we hope you have packed a set of linens in your essentials box. Make your bed and get some well-deserved rest. Then, move on to filling your closets, hanging the drapes, etc. Remember to install shelving and closet organizers first in order to unpack efficiently after moving in.

Kitchen: Start by hooking up all the major kitchen appliances while making sure nothing got damaged. Then, start filling your shelves, cabinets, and cupboards.

Utility rooms: The basement, garage, and other utility areas fall into the non-essential category, which means they can wait a little longer. The best thing about unpacking these rooms is the fact that they mainly serve as storage space for the less frequently used items. So, you don’t even have to take many items out of the boxes.

Do you really need everything you brought?

Ideally, you did some decluttering before you started packing for the move, especially if you are moving into a smaller space. Still, you can do it once again as you unpack. Think twice about each item before it gets its place in your new home. If you are not sure whether you need it, put it back in its box. If, after some time, you still haven’t decided what to do with it, you should probably get rid of it. Why would any item take up space unless you are really going to use it?

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