The second biggest task in moving your entire household is unpacking. And by second, I don’t mean it’s less effort, just that it comes after the packing. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve moved but one thing I know: I long for everything to be in its placed and organized in as short a time as possible. Here are some tips I used that just might work for you:
1.Unbox before organizing*
Take as much out of boxes as you can before you start putting things away. You’ll need to visualize everything in each category that you want to store together and, if by chance you discovered some duplicates, you can address them before storing 3 bottles of window cleaner.
2.Assess available storage space
Your things might no longer fit in the same room or general area that they were stored in at your previous home. This is painfully true if you’re downsizing. I used to always store garbage bags under the kitchen sink – in every house. This one? The plumbing takes up half the under-sink storage. Where’s the next most logical place where they will fit? In my case it’s the pantry, even though that’s 3 more steps away from the garbage can. We’re still getting used to it.
3.Mimic prior storage systems
If it worked effectively in the past, then go ahead and put your pots and pans in the same space relative to the range. Just because you now have more kitchen storage doesn’t mean you should upset a system that’s working.
I used to keep cleaning supplies distributed to the place where they were used: tile cleaner in each of the bathrooms to increase the chance that it will actually be used by teenagers. And the bulk of other cleaning products under the kitchen sink. Since that’s no longer available due to size constraints, it’s natural to store all cleaning products in one central location. So, I minimized duplicates and put them in a linen closet just off the kitchen. It actually gives me a better set up in some respects. Be flexible.
5.Take your time
This isn’t a race. I know I was anxious to get everything put away and rid myself of boxes. But I’m glad I took time to think things through. Had I rushed, I know I would be frustrated but likely too stubborn or lazy to take the time to rework a couple spaces to accommodate everything the best way. On the other hand, if it’s just not getting done, create time in your schedule for unpacking just like you would for a meeting or appointment.
6.Rearrange if it doesn’t work
If you find yourself looking in the wrong spot for something time after time, ask yourself whether that isn’t a more logical place to store it. If your kids are constantly asking where something is because they genuinely can’t find it, then you should look for a more logical home for that item(s).
As you unpack, break down your boxes to save space. That also makes it easier to dispose of them. Most communities have cardboard recycling or check your local FreeCycle or social media for others looking for boxes.
And when you’re done, remember to thank your prior self for all the decluttering you did before moving!
*If you bought moving insurance and you find damage while unpacking, stop and take photos of the box, unboxing, and the damage. Include photos of the item prior to damage, if available. Then submit a claim to your moving insurer if the value (combined) of all damages exceed the deductible.
Until next time!
Certified Kon Mari Consultant
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*Designed 2 Stick and Mrg Simon do not offer legal services. Mrs. Simon does not accept legal clients or provide legal advice.