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The destination is just the beginning

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July 17, 2023

After months of preparation, you and your family have finally arrived at your new home, and you couldn't be more excited. But before your new house really becomes your home, you must unpack your moving unit.

Moving can be overwhelming, and the last thing you want is for your unpacking process to be stressful. What can you do to help make the transition easier? While there's no magic wand that you can wave to suddenly have everything in place, let's take a look at some of the strategies you can use to make the final stages of your move easier.

Planning Ahead

Sometimes when we ready for a move, we scramble to get things in order. We throw items in boxes, stuff them into our moving container, and figure we'll deal with it on the other side.

While this strategy might work in the short term, as you start to unpack your portable storage container, you might find yourself drowning in a sea of boxes and containers as you search for that one item you absolutely need.

When you pack for your big move, take the extra time to label your boxes with its contents. If nothing else, you will know which box contains which items when you arrive at your destination.

If you have time, create an itemized list of what each box contains, then number the box on your list and the box itself. Having a typed list will make it clear what is inside every box, and creating a system of corresponding numbers will help you find boxes quickly and efficiently.

If you want to take this idea to the next level, you can give each room a number, then create sub-categories for each box. Your list of itemized boxes could look something like this:

Room 1 - Living Room

  • Box 1.1 – Lamps, Stereo, coasters
  • Box 1.2 – Books, records, pictures (framed)

Room 2 – Kitchen

  • Box 2.1 – Toaster, Microwave, miscellaneous spices
  • Box 2.2 – Blender, hand mixer, cutlery

Having your boxes organized this way will help you as you unpack, as you'll know exactly which box contains the items you'll need most.

To further make your unpacking experience easier, load the items that you think you'll need first, last. Anything you think you can hold off on, put deep in the back of the container. You'll get to it eventually. But if you think you'll need quick access to it, like items for a baby's room, or a couch for your friends who are helping you move to sit on, load it so it's the among the first things you'll take off the truck when you arrive.

PRO TIP: Pack according to your new space!

We tend to organize items according to rooms as they were in the place we're moving from. We'll take items from our living room and throw them in boxes labeled "Living Room." To minimize the work as you arrive in your new home, try packing items according to where they'll go in your new space.

If you formerly only had one room that served as an office and a bedroom, but now will have two, pack items that will go into the two rooms separately. This will save you time and hassle as you start to organize items in your new space.

You Can't Unpack Everything At Once

You've arrived at your new home, unpacked the portable storage container, and are ready to start unboxing. By acknowledging that you won't be able to unpack everything in one day, you'll save yourself a lot of unnecessary stress as you settle into your home.

If you had time before you moved to label your boxes and create an itemized list, you can find the items you're going to need right away with relative ease. If you didn't get a chance to do this, don't panic! While you'll have to spend a bit more time shuffling around boxes and rooting through them to find what you need, this doesn't have to be anxiety inducing. Accept that it will take you some time to unpack, and that you won't necessarily have everything you need on hand right away.

As you unpack, searching for the spatula that you SWEAR you put with the microwave, take a look at the other objects that you've thrown into the box. Where is that whisk ultimately going to go? Can you put it in a pile so you know where it is when you do need to put it away?

It's never too late to organize items as you unpack. As you start unboxing, it's also a great time to further purge items you've been hanging on to and no longer use. Even if you have more space than you did in your previous home, unpacking is a great time to minimize your clutter.

PRO TIP: Organize your new space in a way that makes sense to you.

Sometimes it's a scramble to unpack boxes after a move. As you start to unpack, think about where the items will go in your new space, and how you're going to use your space in a way that makes sense to you.

Inevitably, you're not going to be able to find something you're looking for after you've unpacked everything. But if you have followed a certain logic for organizing, you should be able to trace your steps to find the item you're digging for. (Where is the nutmeg, anyway?)

Anticipate Your Moving Needs

When you've lived in a space for a number of years, it's easy to underestimate how much stuff you have to move with you. Anticipating your moving needs will help you as you arrive at your new home. Do you need a short-tail moving truck, or does a long-tail truck better suit your needs? Are you going to need use of a storage container at your new home, or will you be able to get all your boxes off the truck in one go?

Taking the time to figure out your transport needs will save you both time and money in the long run – not to mention a lot of headaches! Spend that extra time to consider what your unpacking experience will be like, and how best to manage your organization as you ready for your big move. And why not speak to a professional mover, and have them assess your needs? They have years of experience and can help you with every stage of your big move.