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Checklist for Unpacking After Moving to a New House

Everybody has a slightly different methodology when moving to a new house. Some people handle it all with military precision, their boxes all neatly taped and labeled with a detailed inventory list synced to every household member’s phone. Others manage with duct tape and a prayer. Whichever way you’ve packed, once you’ve managed to haul everything from place to place, you’re still going to be faced with one last chore: unpacking it all again.

It can seem like a daunting task, especially when you’re already wiped out. Don’t worry! With these tips from professional moving companies, we’ll have you unpacked and relaxed in no time.

1. Start with the essentials

Each family member should have a suitcase or box of items they’ll need for the first few nights in the new house so that even if you should arrive at midnight while your moving truck is in another state, you’ll have what you need to get through to morning.

2. Put furniture in place first

Decide in advance where your furniture will go, and either move each piece straight to where it belongs or leave the room where you plan for it to go. There’s nothing more disheartening after a long day of moving than realizing you just created a Jenga-style stack of boxes where your bed is supposed to be.

3. Tackle one room at a time

Where you begin is a matter of circumstance and lifestyle. If it’s already evening and you’re still unloading the truck, your best bet may be to order some pizza, get the beds and linens set up, and save the rest for the morning. If you’re going to be up at first light preparing a large breakfast for your kids, the kitchen may be the most important thing to get done. Start in whichever room makes sense for your life.

4. Take on common spaces together

The living room or den are community spaces; give everyone some input on where everything should go, and your group will come up with the best functional arrangement for the room. Plus, everyone will know where everything in the room belongs: they’ll have no excuses when you ask them to tidy up in the future!

5. Set a goal

You may not have the luxury of days to unpack before you get back to your regularly scheduled life, but don’t let all those half-emptied boxes linger. Give yourself a goal of a set number of hours to work, or boxes to unpack, per night. You’ll be finished before you know it, but set yourself a few rewards to help you keep working away toward the finish line.

6. Don’t treat every decision as final

You don’t need to create a flawlessly organized home the moment you move in. Take the pressure off a little and allow yourself to just put things away for now, in places where you’ll be able to find them again later. As you get to know your new home, you’ll figure out exactly how to rearrange things to get the most out of your space.

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