July 22, 2021 Posted in How-to
Kate Holland

A true grunge and rock music fan born in Seattle, Kate has moved across the country and started writing about her experience

How to Unpack After Moving – Best Tips and Tricks

When we relocate, we think about and focus on many things, but we usually don’t consider how to unpack after moving and whether it can be done systematically. However hard it was to pack, unpacking can be more than overwhelming. That’s why you need to beat procrastination.

A family unpacking after cross-country moving If you start unpacking with a system, you can even have some fun doing it

It’s a fact of life that Americans tend to move a lot, and another point is that it’s a stressful event. Relocations are complex, even when we hire helping hands in the form of reliable long-distance movers. And after we’ve gone through the whole ordeal of organizing and relocating, we finally cross over the doorstep of our new house with a full heart. There are many things to do after relocating that await us, and it’s more than easy to postpone unpacking after a move. But no one likes to live their life out of cardboard boxes and suitcases, and that’s why we offer you some tips on how to begin settling in.

Decluttering Your Home is A Good Philosophy to Embrace and Have Less to Deal With Later

Preparations that will help you unbox with ease start early on, even before you begin packing. Purging your house and getting rid of anything unusable and unnecessary can be beneficial in many ways and will help you move efficiently. Scour your residence, look in every room and corner, sniff around every closet, and start making piles of stuff you won’t take with you.

Off to the Garbage Bin With Broken and Unusable Stuff

Our garages, tool sheds, and attics are usually the places where we put away the “might need this later” objects. That’s why these are the best places to start with the purge. Be honest with yourself and admit you’ll never get around to fixing these things and that they are bound to be thrown away. Once you declutter here, it will be easier to pack tools and everything else you store in these rooms.

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Contact the Cross-Country Moving Company and Ask for a List of Non-Allowables

When you decide to invest in cross-country moving services, you can choose from a variety of different solutions for your move. You can transport your car using an auto shipping service or let the professionals pack everything up. Perhaps a DIY process may seem like the cheapest way to move out of state, but in the end, it will probably cost you more than hiring movers. So, a relocating company will do everything and more to make your transition swift and effortless, but there are some items they won’t transport:

  • Hazardous, toxic, and flammable materials and objects range from paints and paint thinners to household items such as deodorants and nail polish. These things pose a threat, especially when they are shipped in the back of the truck, where the temperatures may get extremely high. But you shouldn’t transport them by yourself either.
  • Perishable foods are not dangerous but could spill or mold and damage your other belongings. That’s why they are not among the kitchen items that you should pack.
  • Pets and plants can’t go on the relocation company’s truck either. While plants will probably perish along the way, the back of a vehicle isn’t a good place for your furry companion either. Make arrangements to take them with you, or hire a specialized company specialized for pet relocation.

For a more precise description of what they won’t move, contact your movers directly and ask them for the list of non-allowables. That will help you on your decluttering quest even more because you’ll know what else you should dispose of.

A cat looks at the can of paint and a brush that should be thrown away before long-distance moving Paint and paint thinners are considered flammable, so it’s essential to dispose of them

Donate Some of Your Things and Make Someone Else Happy

After you’ve got rid of useless stuff, the next step is to set aside your belongings that are still in good condition, but you don’t want to keep. These things can be donated to charities like The Salvation Army. Some accept different types of items, from furniture to well preserved and neatly packed clothes, but most will accept packed shoes, medications, canned and dried food, but also toys, and bathroom items such as towels and beddings. Contact a charity and agree on the pickup day.

You Can Sell the Stuff That’s in the Best Condition

There’s no need to pack dishes for relocation if they are mismatched, and the same goes for packing glassware. This is a perfect opportunity to get rid of it while also earning some money to contribute to your budget. If you’ve never thrown a garage sale before, keep in mind that you should designate one day for it (Saturday mornings are the best time for this) and that you should advertise it well, both in the neighborhood and on social media. You can find some tips on how to organize your garage sale in the following video.

Pack With Unpacking in Mind Before the Long-Distance Moving Company Arrives

One of the best packing tips and tricks that will help you answer “How do I unpack fast after moving?” is to label each box properly as you pack it. Knowing where each package goes will ease up the settling process in your new home in a big way. If you have enough time, you can number the boxes, make a photo inventory of the contents, or write it down in a notebook or phone.

How Do I Unpack a Move? Color Coding the Boxes Will Greatly Help You

If you are last-minute relocating and don’t have enough time to write down what you place in boxes or take photos, you can use the color-coding system. Designate a color for each room, and label the boxes accordingly. You’ll later do the same with the doors in your new place, and that way, the movers will know where each box goes. That’s an ultimate hack on how to unpack with ease.

The Cross-Country Movers Will Disassemble Your Furniture for Moving Cross Country

You’re probably wondering how to pack furniture to ease up the process of settling in later, and it’s best to let the movers relocate furniture. They will disassemble all the bulkier pieces and wrap them up to secure them. You may want to place all the hardware, such as screws and hooks, into ziplock bags and tape them to the furniture for easier reassembling later.

A pile of screws on the floor Don’t lose the screws and other hardware, so you can easily reassemble the furniture

It’s Cleaning Time, as Soon as You Walk Into Your New House

Yes, you’ve already done your move-out cleaning before you left the previous abode, and the last thing you believe you should do is some more cleaning before you settle in. Although the earlier residents have probably left the house neat and tidy, you should do a once-over before you start placing the rest of your stuff around. Grab some cleaning supplies and begin to spruce up your residence, but pay special attention to the bathroom and the kitchen.

Spraying the wooden surface It’s better to clean up a bit before you begin unpacking

You’ve Moved in, Now How to Unpack After Moving?

As it is vital to write a general timeline for all tasks related to your relocation ahead of time, it’s a good idea to give yourself a deadline. While we may procrastinate settling in and make one of the common mistakes and justify it by believing that no one can see all the unpacked stuff around the house, it may give you the needed boost if you invite some guests over. Throw a BBQ and invite your neighbors – it may be the perfect opportunity to make friends in a new state.

Where Do I Start Unpacking After Moving? It’s Best to Begin With the Essentials

One of the crucial things we should do is bring our relocating essentials with us, and it will naturally be one of the first things we get into the house. This is one of the best unpacking tips since the essentials bag is filled with stuff you’ll need right away and which will enable you to pull through the next few days without running to the store. This bag should contain basic toiletries, some kitchen utensils, chargers, a change of clothes, and some entertainment both for the kids and you.

Tips for Unpacking After a Move Include Letting Movers Reassemble Furniture

Your movers are probably very well versed and trained in handling all kinds of items, and they will set your furniture in an instant. This will make the whole process quicker, as you will have empty shelves and closets to put away most of your possessions. If you’ve packed books and brought them with you, it will be easy peasy just to take them out of each box and place them on their shelves.

Use long-distance moving services for a hassle-free move Movers will take care of the furniture

Decide Which Room You’ll Unpack First

Your movers have probably helped a lot, especially with their packing service. Now the stuff you’ve kept in storage units has arrived, and determination is required to carry on with work. If you’re wondering how to unpack after a move with a system, it may be wise to go room by room. Our priority rooms may vary. For some, it’s the bathroom, and some need the kitchen available as soon as possible.

How to Wrestle With the Kitchen

Simply thinking about all that goes into the kitchen, such as packed plates, pans, small appliances, and all the kitchen utensils no meal can go without, can be overwhelming. But, as with everything else, a system can ease this task. Our suggestion is to begin by filling up the drawers and then move on to the cabinets. If it gets too tiring for you, you can change the scenery by connecting your packed computer, as well as other packed electronics.

The Bathroom Should Be Next

The next step is to move on to the bathroom. You’ve already placed some basics from the essentials bag, and now it’s time to unbox the rest. Put away the towels and beauty products, and fill out the medicine cabinet. You can later go out and buy some decorations, as well as a shower curtain for an utterly stylish feel.

The Day Has Come to Continue With the Rest

The two most frequently used rooms are done with, and now it’s time to move on to the rest of the house. You can now work by category, and for example, you can unbox all the clothes first, and then the shoes. The decorations and artwork should come last once you’ve had everything else set up.

A man in a hoodie carrying artwork Go through the rooms or by category

How Long Should It Take to Unpack After Moving?

If you’re determined, systematic, and well organized, you should unbox everything in a jiffy. And if you include all the members of your family to take care of some part of the process, it will all be over sooner than you thought. The kids could take care of their toys and books, and the final stages of setting everything up should be done along the way. In the end, all the packing materials could be placed into the garage or given away through Craigslist for someone else to use. Your home will be neat and comfy, and you can start enjoying your fresh beginning to the fullest.


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