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How To Unpack

If you’re getting ready to close on a new house, then you’ve no doubt read lots of advice about how to pack for your big move. But what nobody ever seems to tell you is how to unpack once you’ve arrived at your new place. For some, living with unpacked boxes for months becomes a reality. For others, it may take time to feel settled even though you’ve put everything where you think it belongs. Is there a way to get all your stuff out of the boxes and into place quickly and in an organized way? Yes — and here’s how.

Start with necessities

We’re going to start by giving you one piece of packing advice  — label your boxes. Clearly mark what room the box goes in or what the box contains. One (or more) of these boxes should be labeled “open first”. These are your necessities. It includes everything you’ll need for the first day or two, like toiletries, medications, chargers, and a fresh set of clothes. Open this box first while you’re getting yourself situated.

Organize boxes by room

Next, organize boxes by room. If you’re lucky, then you or your moving company already did this on the day you moved in. It’s a lot easier to move boxes once instead of twice. If you didn’t already do this, then carry each box to the room where it belongs.

Unpack the bathroom next

It’s really hard to feel settled if you don’t have your bathroom up and running. You don’t have to unpack every single towel — especially those that will be living in the linen closet. But unpack all those things you’ll need, like your toiletries and the shower curtain. Being able to clean up after a day of physical labor will make everything else a little easier.

Follow up with your bedroom

A good night’s sleep is key to getting settled in your new home. So once you’ve unpacked the bathroom, then head to the bedroom. Arrange your furniture and make your bed. Unpack anything that needs to be hung up right away and some of the clothes you wear the most often. Get your nightstand set up. You don’t have to unpack all your clothes immediately, that’s something you can come back to later.

Now comes the kitchen

Take a moment to think about how you’d like to organize your kitchen before you jump in. Kitchens can be tough to organize, so you’ll want to have a plan. Label each cabinet and drawer with what will go inside. Then begin unpacking and putting everything in its designated place. You’ll likely fine-tune your organization as you get settled in.

Tackle your home office

If you work from home, then you’ll want to tackle your home office next. Start with large items like furniture and computers and then move on to the smaller stuff like office supplies. Get what you need up and running and save decorating for later.

Set up the living room

It’s finally time to set up the room where you can relax! Arrange your furniture and get the TV and stereo equipment set up. You can also start organizing books, games, and other entertainment or leave it for later.

Arrange storage areas

We all have stuff that needs to be kept in storage most of the time like seasonal decor and clothing. You can now start unpacking boxes for closets, the basement, and the garage or create a system for storing your little-used items.


Finally, it’s time to decorate! Saving this for last makes it easier, as you’ve gotten to know your home and figured out where all the furniture goes. And it’s the step that makes your house begin to feel like a home!

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