Relocating – How to Get Unpacked and Settled In
One of the biggest stress culprits of moving is not the move itself, but once the moving truck has unloaded your belongings in your new home. So it is important to devise a game plan for getting unpacked and settled into your new home. Why? Because this is the home you are now going to enjoy for years to come. It can also mean reduced stressed for you and your family so everyone can get on a routine at home, school and work; and acclimated into your new community. But the idea of creating a new living environment can feel overwhelming – unless you have a plan. The following steps will help you get organized and settled in after the big move.
- Pack and plan smartly: Do not pack (or unpack) anything you no longer need. Plan where everything will go ahead of time. Use a room layout and measurements where possible and draw out furniture placement locations.
- Color code boxes: As you fill a box with items for that room mark the box with a colored marker or tape a colored piece of paper that says the room and contents, such as “kitchen – pots and pans.” Mark the furniture with colored paper or tape as well. Now all you have to do is instruct your movers to match the color on the box or the piece of furniture to the floor plan for that room.
- Organize by room: This will help unpacking go by twice as fast. Take a few minutes to create a master inventory list of all your boxes and their contents, according to each room, to help you make sure nothing gets left behind in the move.
- Keep basics handy: Pack a few days of clothes, toiletries, bed linens and paper kitchen products, so you do not have to search for and unpack the essentials. Always have your checkbook, credit cards, and driver’s license with you.
- Protect important documents: Separate out any documents, whose loss would cause you inconvenience during your move, and keep the box with you at all times. Consider including: financial records, stock certificates, birth/death/marriage certificates, social security cards, passports, wills, insurance policies, school records, pet documents, home purchase/sale papers, the moving contract, and other documents pertinent to the move.
- Unpack key rooms first: Start with the bedroom(s), bathroom(s) and the daily items used in the kitchen.
- Clean as you go: Cleaning later means that you will just be putting your nice things down on a dirty surface and having them get dirty. Plus, it is easier to clean surfaces while they are clear.
- Use extra hands for help: Consider using an organizing service to help you get unpacked and organized. If you use movers to help you unpack, make sure you keep track of any damaged or missing items and report that as soon as possible. Check your moving contract closely for their specific requirements. If friends or family offer to help, take them up on it. It is a stressful time so accept help where you can. And remember to get your kids involved – everyone should do their part.