You have finally finished moving and the removalist guys have already offloaded your items. As much as this deserves a sigh of relief, the daunting task of unpacking and organizing your home still lingers. You do not want to leave boxes everywhere unless you want to risk dragging the unpacking process for months! Removalist companies such as Interstate Movers Sydney offer unpacking services at the destination. If you decide to do it yourself, here are 16 tips to help you organize your house after moving. This is after the moving guys have unloaded the last box into your new apartment or house and you are left to your own means. Hopefully, these simple but efficient tips will get your house unpacked in no time.
1. Know what you are unpacking
Have a plan for unpacking instead of flailing around and making it up as you go. Having a solid structure for the process will go a long way into making the process easier. Pull out the inventory list that you used when moving to unpack your stuff. The inventory list is very important and should be kept safely even after moving. Why is this so?
- You can keep track of all items. By writing an inventory list when you are moving, you account for every item that is loaded onto the truck. This way, you know what is loaded on the truck and you have a record for reference when you are unpacking. You will also not be charged extra for items not loaded by the moving company.
- Account for damaged or lost items. There is always the possibility of something getting lost during the move. The missing items could be discovered much later after unpacking, sometimes weeks after the moving guys have finished their job. Same case applies for damaged items where you come to learn about the damage much later. The inventory list for this reason can be used when offloading items and also later on when you are unpacking into your new house.
- Can be used to collect insurance. In the case of an unfortunate accident that leads to damaged goods such as a fire or a natural disaster, a lot of items can end up getting damaged. The inventory list can be used to account for items damaged for the insurance company to reimburse you.
With your inventory list at hand, you will ensure everything gets into your house in good condition. Removalist companies will make an inventory list for you which you can get at Interstate Movers Sydney if you want to move in Australia. The same inventory list will be used later and you can uncheck everything on the list as you go.
2. Clean the house first
Before you start unpacking, make sure the new house is spick and span. Wash every surface, scrub floors, remove cobwebs, vacuum clean if necessary and so forth. Remember the apartment or house may have been vacant for a while. The realtor or company that is leasing the house may have cleaned it but you should make sure it is up to your standards.
Ideally, your washing supplies should be packed in a separate box. This box should be among the first boxes you should unpack. By packing the supplies separately, you save yourself the time and hassle of looking for them.
3. Start unpacking as soon as possible
I know you want to stretch out a bit and relax after a long day of unloading stuff from the moving truck with the Interstate Movers Sydney guys. It is okay to make a cold drink for yourself and the moving guys but you should start unpacking as soon as possible. This will get things moving and set you off on the whole unpacking process. By starting immediately, you avoid procrastinating and you also get momentum which will help speed things up.
4. You do not have to do it all in a day!
Remember how you planned to move weeks or months before the actual moving day? It probably didn’t take a day. Unpacking will also take more than a day. You have to unpack smartly to avoid confusion and to increase efficiency. Set a deadline for unpacking to give you an idea of how much time you have. You should strive to finish unpacking within a week of moving. If it is a studio apartment, less than a week will do just fine. Here is how to unpack on the first few days;
- Unpack the essentials first
The first step is to unpack the essentials box. Remember the box you packed to get you started for the first couple of days? Well it is the box containing blankets, pyjamas, toothbrushes and so forth. You could also have some utensils there and plates for eating takeout dinner before restocking the fridge. This box should be the first off the truck or car. Start with this box to ensure sanity during the first few days.
- Last in, First Out
The last boxes you packed should be the first to be unpacked. After unpacking the essentials box, you can proceed to unpack the boxes which you packed on the last week before moving. This is because the things you packed last are usually needed more than the ones you packed when you started planning your move weeks or months before.
- Function gets priority over décor
This ties in with the previous point of unpacking essentials first. Begin with the basics to get you comfortable. Unclear about which room to unpack first? Start with the kitchen and move to the other rooms.
- Unpacking the kitchen
On the first night, you are allowed to order takeout dinner. Unpack the essential utensils first such as plates, spoons and pans. On the second day, unpack your stuff into the cabinets first and then the drawers. Remember that you had defrosted the fridge before moving. By the second day, the whole kitchen should be unpacked and the fridge restocked.
- Unpacking the bedroom and bath
Spread out the mattresses on the first night and have fun sleeping on the floor and eating takeout dinner. However, the bed should be moved as soon as possible and clothes unpacked into the wardrobe. Unpack the bath too and ensure you can take a shower with the whole bath unpacked. Starting with the kitchen bedroom and bath will help you ease into the new place.
- Unpacking the kitchen
- Start with the larger items and move to smaller ones
Pick out the bigger items and start with those. This will set up a foundation on which you will base your organisation of belongings. Start with larger furniture such as wardrobes, tables, beds, sofa sets and so forth. Put them in their respective rooms. You can unpack the other accessories such as drawer chests, books and bedclothes that complement the larger furniture.
A common problem that people run into when moving is finding that a room is too small for their furniture. To avoid this, carry a tape measure on your pre visit to the apartment or house and measure the rooms.
5. One room after the other
It is advisable to unpack the kitchen first and move to the other rooms. Some people do not follow this method and can even start unpacking the living room. Whichever route you choose, you should ensure that you unpack one room and move to the next. Do not start unpacking boxes in one room and leave them halfway to work on another room. This will leave your whole house in a state of disarray and can make unpacking a lot harder than it should be.
6. Unpack all your clothes
This is more to help you ease into your new house and feel comfortable in the new environment. The reason why it is advisable to unpack the kitchen and bathroom is to make the house comfortable and habitable. Unpacking your clothes should follow suit so to speak. Remove them from their suitcases and arrange them into your dresser. It will also give you a feel of how much space you are working with.
7. Create more space for storing your belongings
< The house you are moving into is obviously different from your old house and you might find yourself not having as much storage space as you used to. The wardrobe may be smaller and shelves, hooks and cabinets may be fewer. In case you find yourself in this situation, you should create more space. Pull out your tool box and get to work fixing shelves into your house and where there is space on the wall. Alternatively, you can invest in furniture if you cannot alter those that are already there. By creating more storage spae, you an organize your new homw more efficiently and also keep it organised. You do not want to have a pile of stuff lying around if you can create storage space for it.
8. Assign a purpose to each room
To make unpacking easy, Interstate Movers Sydney recommend assigning a purpose to each room in the house. This will help you visualize where everything should be placed and stored. Jot down every room in the house and assign a purpose to it. Know which pieces of furniture will go where in the house especially the bigger ones. You can make some tweaks to the list later. Don’t rule out the smaller rooms such as the basement, bathroom, attic, pantry and also the hallway.
9. Use a key code or color scheme when packing.
A key code is a simple icon that identifies which boxes will go where. You can also use a color scheme for the same e.g. boxes with red stickers go to the kitchen, blue for the bathroom and so forth. If you had not done this already when packing, it might be too late for that. Don’t worry though you can make a list as discussed in the above point to know which items go in which room. A color scheme or key code will save you a lot of time and also help you organize your house as you unpack. It can also be fun for the kids to help unpack if they don’t keep asking for instructions every now and then. This brings us to the next point;
10. Ask the kids to help out
Kids that are older than 9 years can definitely unpack boxes. Letting them unpack will give you time to organize your own room and other rooms. Be sure to supervise them and set your expectations accordingly. Remember they are kids and they still need your guidance. The kids can also unpack their toys into the playroom. If the playroom is in their bedrooms, the better.
Another helpful tip that Interstate Movers Sydney when unpacking the kids’ playroom is to move all the toys into the playroom. They can be distributed accordingly from there. Putting all the toys in one room first will help you avoid losing them or scattering all over where they can get damaged.
11. Don’t be in a hurry to move your home office
The home office is a tricky area to navigate and not many people know when and how to unpack the home office. The home office should be one of the last rooms to unpack. The only exception is if you need to work from your home office; here you are allowed to unpack it earlier. When unpacking your home office, you should start have a box which has the most important stuff. These could be documents that you will need to start you off before unpacking the whole office. Afterwards, you can unpack the office slowly and put everything in its place. You can try positioning everything as it was in the previous office to avoid confusion and also to save time used to organize the home office.
12. Organize as you unpack
Organizing items as you unpack is very important and often overlooked. If you go unpacking without organizing them, you will end up with a heap of stuff that still need to be sorted. Instead of this inconvenience, unpack as you go. As you unpack, make sure everything is placed where it should be. Move to the next box and do so until all of them are done. This ties in nicely with moving room to room as you finish with the boxes in one room and move to the next one.
13. Hang pictures as soon as you spot them
Although we said earlier that you should unpack for function before thinking about décor, pictures need to be hanged as soon as you place your hands on them. Pictures and paintings will get in your way especially if they are big ones. Hang them immediately and you can later change their position. Doing this reinforces the previous point of organizing items as you unpack.
14. Unpack the storage room last
Storage rooms do not need a lot of organizing. It is advisable to wait until later to unpack the storage space, basement or attic. Sure, move the boxes designated to those rooms first. But leave the organizing for later. The reason for this is to get to know what else can be added from the other rooms. Waiting a little longer will avoid cluttering the storage room and leave a lot of space for storing other stuff.
15. Do your shopping after unpacking not before.
You probably want to do some shopping for the house or apartment after moving in. It is highly recommended that you do your shopping after unpacking. Why is this so? If you shop before you finish unpacking, you risk adding stuff to your house which will disorganize your house. You may also end up using a lot of money in the process if you are not careful. To save time and the extra hassle of organizing more stuff, do your shopping after unpacking your new place.
16. Organizing your garage
The garage is a bit of a challenge to many. To be on the safe side, try starting with the shelves. You can install new shelves if there aren’t any or if they are not adequate. Hooks on the wall to place yard supplies, rakes and other tools. The garage can be a mess if you pile everything in one place and placing tools everywhere can lead to damage and unexpected maintenance costs.
17. The TV goes last
As much as you feel fatigued and want to turn on the telly and see what’s on, you should try and hold back this feeling until you have finished unpacking. The reason behind this is that the TV will waste a lot of your time which would have been used to unpack. It is an unneccesary distraction that will just slow you down. After you have unpacked, you can get your cords and reconnect the TV.
For those who have a hard time connecting the cords at the back of the TV, fear not, there is a simple solution for that. Just take a picture of the cords with your smartphone before moving. You can use the photo as reference to reconnect the cords at your new place. It is also good practice to keep the cables and cords in one place.