Friday

After Move: 10 Tips on Unpacking

Recently moved or planning to move?  Consider making the move easier by planning in advance.  Know where your boxes and furniture are going in the new place.  What are some features of your new environment that will help with organization? 

Take note of what you need to keep during this move versus what is no longer necessary.  Most of all, enlist help.  Don't try to do everything on your own.  Some people are able to adjust rather quickly to their new environments after a move, because they act fast on unpacking and have some idea on where to put things.  They are also willing to replace or do away with those annoying things that just don't serve a purpose any longer.

When you unpack, think about the following:

1.  Be sure all boxes are in designated rooms or pick one large room to store boxes.  This makes it easier to spot your important things without having to look everywhere to find them.

2.  Open boxes based on immediate need, rather than what you like/miss.  Later, unpack boxes that aren't so important.  For instance, if you plan to cook, you would open kitchen boxes first.  By night, you will want to prepare for bed, so be sure linens, toiletries, towels and clothing are handy.

3.  Organize items based on convenience.  Take notice of the area.  Ask yourself, "What is it that I will use most often, less often, and what might I not need for a long time or if at all?"  Start sorting, shelving, and purging.

4.  Set up garbage bags for items you no longer need (check those expiration dates on your perishables).  Set aside some boxes for donated goods and label "DONATION."

5.  Return items to your roommates that accidently or purposely got placed in your boxes.  This eliminates future disputes.

6.  Once your needed items are unpacked, consider helping others out with unpacking and organizing their spaces.

7.  Don't give or throw away anything without permission.

8.  Be sure you clean off all shelves, cabinets, countertops, and other places before unpacking goods.  You never know what those spaces were used for.  Think about having a few air fresheners around.

9.  If necessary, before you unpack, use insect products to rid the place of any potential problems in the future.  Better safe than sorry later.

10.  Arrange furniture for comfort and not necessarily for style.  Sometimes people waste good wall space placing furniture where a useful item would be better suited.

Unpacking doesn't have to be overwhelming, but it can be challenging when people don't label things, mix up items with other roommates, don't properly pack, and have so many lose items thrown in boxes.  Save time by checking boxes for what is important while getting others to help with sorting. Best wishes!

NOTE: You can list in advance items you might need to help with organization.  This way you can simply transfer items for instance, from box to bin.  So if you know you are opening a cosmetic box, be sure you have a designated spot to take all items and place them neatly in bathroom cabinet or stored away in compartments inside a closet.  Things to look out for in department or hardware stores to help with storage:  plastic bins, decorative boxes, baskets, closet organizers and hangers, room dividers, wall shelves, dressers, and other similar items.  These work great for all sorts of things including clothing collectibles and paper.  Think of nontraditional items to organize things.  For example, instead of purchasing a filing cabinet for paper, consider decorative boxes.  Rather than, purchasing a foot rest for one function, consider one that has space for storing away items.  The ideas for displaying and storing goods are endless, let your mind wander!

Nicholl McGuire, What Else Can I Do on the Internet?

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