Moving — Unpacking

You made it! All the boxes and furniture and people have relocated to a new home. Now what?

Target needs first. Beds set up and made will make for a good night’s sleep. The bathroom and kitchen are often the next, as far as immediate needs. Hygiene and coffee, right? Targeting the priorities will be more effective, so don’t even think about the den or craft room until later.

Set up a calm space. I generally aim at a settled bedroom first. It is an oasis in the midst of chaos, and it helps with mental and physical rest until the whole house catches up. In your house it may be an office or the kitchen or a child’s bedroom. Decide what will have the biggest impact, then unpack and set up that room completely. The goal is to be able to enter it and not know you are still in the middle of moving.

Unpack boxes completely. As much as possible, try to unpack the whole box and put all the items away. Pulling one item from here and two items from there leaves a wake of clutter that is working against you. Clean out the box, fill the shelf, and put the box outside the house (or in the garage). Now you can see your progress.

Avoid big projects immediately. Some repairs or renovations need to happen right away — or even before you move — but usually it will help to give yourself space and time to settle in to a new environment and really see how you will use it before you tackle most projects. Once the dust has settled, you can see more clearly as to what you want to change and what works just fine, actually.

Remember how to eat an elephant. One bite at a time. One box at a time. You are making progress with each box unpacked, so settle in to the one in front of you and deal with the others in time. They don’t all need to be done at once; you will eventually make it through the mountain of cardboard (or plastic totes). It can be done, one at a time.

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