Blog August 17, 2021

How to Unpack After Moving Without Unleashing Chaos

Posted in How-to
Daisy Wilson

Daisy was born in Salt Lake City and in her free time, she writes about moving and watches Charmed.

Around 70% of the things people move in relocation are household goods. Therefore, knowing how to unpack after moving is probably one of the most important steps in order to relocate smoothly. If you are organized and strategic about relocation, your unpacking after a move will not end up being messy and chaotic.

You probably wonder what’s worse, packing or unpacking. Both will be hard if you are not well organized to move and don’t have a meticulous and well-organized packing plan. And what is the better way to do so than with some long-distance relocation tips from professionals? Even if you are relocating at the last minute, you will have a smooth and stress-free move if you implement these relocation hacks. So keep reading and find out how to unpack after a move.

What Is a Key to Fast Unpacking?

If you wonder, “How do I unpack fast after moving,” the answer is – with good packing. If you are moving out for the first time, you will probably have to get some packing materials first. Go to the store and buy the following materials:

  • Boxes,
  • Bubble wrap,
  • Protective paper,
  • Plastic wrap,
  • Duct tape,
  • Tape gun,
  • Cushioning foam.

But if you have to move on the budget, you can use things from home to protect belongings, like sheets and towels instead of bubble wrap and cushioning. And you can get free boxes at the local grocery store.

Implement the Best Labeling System

When relocating a family to another state, remembering where you put each item will become a nightmare once you relocate. And not only will you have to remember where your kitchen items are but your kids’ toys, school supplies, and clothing. To avoid this conundrum, make an inventory list of belongings and label each box appropriately.

Combined labeling systems are probably the best when relocating out of state. Give each box a color (that represents the one room,) a number (for a shelf or drawer from there,) and write what is inside in the inventory list. To make the job easier for the state to state movers, write “heavy” and “fragile” on boxes too, so they know in which order to pack a truck.

Do Not Overpack

Another important tip is to use medium size boxes with holes for carrying cut on sides and not pack them all the way to the top. Not only will they be easier to carry but to unpack too, and for better protection of your belongings, on top should be some sort of protective layer (cushioning or towels.) When packing fragile items, you should put a protective layer between each layer of pieces inside the box.

If you have many heavy things like pots and pans, do not put them all in one package. Even if you can put them with a nesting dolls method, they will be too heavy, and you are risking tearing the container apart. And while we are tearing apart, reinforce the bottom and top of your containers with some duct tape. The benefit of relocating is that you get to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. If you downsize your home for the move and get rid of all unwanted things before packing, unpacking will be much easier.

Think About Hiring Professionals

If you don’t have time to pack everything alone but wish to have an efficient move, you should consider hiring movers for a packing service. Ask your interstate moving company if any kind of packing is included as part of an interstate moving service. If you have a problem packing some of your belongings, ask your movers if they can pack them. Are you wondering how long should it take to unpack after moving? Either way, with professionals’ help and their techniques, unpacking will be much faster – it can even take just one day. And best of all – you can check online to see how much these services cost.

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Inspect Your Home and Make a Plan

Probably one of the best tips for unpacking after a move is to come to your new home before movers arrive. Later on, the house will be crowded with people, and your belongings will be all over the place, and you will not have time to check out your new home. And most importantly, you will not be able to clean. So, take your cleaning supplies out of your essentials and clean every cabinet, room, and closet.

Next, take your phone and snap a picture of every room, so you have proof of the conditions you find there. See if there is any pest residue from bugs and mice, and look if there is moisture, humidity, and mold. If there are any of those things, you will have proof when filing a complaint. Also, this is an excellent opportunity to make a plan of renovations if you intend to do such a thing.

After inspection, make a plan of what you should start sorting out first. For instance, if you are relocating with a newborn, you would want to set up a nursery first, or if relocating with pets – set up a place for them.

Mouse on the road
Look for pest residues

Put Boxes in Corresponding Room Right Away

Once your movers arrive and start unloading the truck, ask them to put each box in the room where it belongs. For this purpose, it is important to implement a good labeling system so you can unpack each area of the house at your own pace. Also, with the boxes in their place, you can start unpacking the highest priority area without much mess.

Now It Is the Best Time to Check If All Your Things Have Arrived

While your movers are unloading the truck and placing everything in its place, you should take out your inventory list and see if everything has arrived. If something is missing, you can file a complaint right away.

If you use storage facilities, check if everything is dry. When you start opening containers if something was broken or damaged during the transportation, take a picture of that for insurance purposes. Double-check if your company has insurance. According to rules and regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association or FMCSA, all companies must provide this.

Also, pick reliable companies with USDOT numbers and avoid relocation scams. Check out this video to see how to avoid scammers.

How to Unpack After Moving – Best Unpacking Tips

Wonder how to unpack on the first day? Frankly, damn near impossible. The first day will be exhausting, especially if you are relocating alone. From cleaning to sorting, you will have a lot of things on your plate and a little time to unpack everything right away, so leave it for the following days, and your relocation anxiety will be much lower.

Unpack Your Moving Essentials First

Where do I start unpacking after moving? Well, the first thing you will have to open is a box of essentials. If you used an auto transport service, your container of moving essentials was probably on a truck, so start with that. On the other hand, if you decide to drive to your new location, you should have essentials with you so you can do all the preparations before movers arrive.

Dedicate one area in the house to be your safe room, to place all your belongings and valuable stuff like important documents, jewelry, delicates, expensive electronics, and alike. A safe space should be off-limits for everyone except family and friends. Unpack necessities there and put them in rooms they belong to.

Place Your Bathroom Necessities

On a relocation day, you will not have time to unpack all your bathroom items right away. For this reason, you should put your basic toiletries with other necessities so you can use them right away. One of the most common things people forget to pack is toilet paper, towel, and soap they would probably use the minute they arrive in a house. Also, put all the hygiene products you will need for a nice bath after everything is over.

Assemble Furniture on the Spot

When picking a company for moving state to state, ask them if reassembling furniture is part of the relocation service. Most reputable companies will have this service free of charge, so double-check if your company of choice is one of them. Once professionals start unloading a truck, ask them to assemble your furniture on the spot where the piece should go.

That is why it is important to do good preparation before movers arrive, so you can picture where each piece of furniture goes. To move furniture is not an easy job, so better assemble your furniture on the spot where it should be. It beats carrying it around the place later every time.

couple holding a welcome mat after a long - distance moving
Put furniture where you wish on the first day

Make Your Bed and  Get a Good Night Sleep

Relocating to a new state demands a lot of things to be done. From finding a job in a new city (of course, if you are relocating without a job,) packing, and sorting everything up. Your relocating to another state checklist will be extensive, and you will need an area to get some rest. So your top priority should be your bedroom. And if you are relocating with kids, their beds should be ready and set as well. Your box with the bedding should be properly labeled so you can find it right away.

Do Not Rush With Kitchen Items

Moving interstate is an excellent opportunity to rearrange things from the kitchen the way you always wanted, so take your time with that. Only put out a couple of things from the essential container and use them until everything is sorted out. Also, pack dishes that you will actually use, and donate or sell damaged ones and pieces you don’t like. Relocating is an excellent opportunity to renew your kitchen stuff. Do the same when packing your glasses and mugs.

Couple arranging kitchen items after interstate moving
Arrange your kitchen the way you always wanted

Make Your Home Feel Like Home and Enjoy Your New Life

Now that you know the answer to the question “how do I unpack a move,” it is a perfect moment to arrange your house to your needs. If you have packed your TV, it should be unpacked last. You certainly don’t want any distractions while working around the house. The last area you should arrange should be your living room.

Once you give time to decorating it the way you always wanted, and once you are done unpacking, you can throw a housewarming party. Party in your home is an excellent way of making friends since you will feel more relaxed and talkative. Don’t hesitate to meet your neighbors, too, especially if you are relocating to the suburbs, and your neighbors will be your best allies in adjusting to the community.

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