Tips For Unpacking After a Move: The First Month After Moving In

Post updated on June 12, 2024

There’s really no way around it: moving can be tough. Luckily, by the time you’re ready to unpack, you’re almost at the end! It’s hard to say how long it will take to unpack after moving, but rest assured, the unpacking process is usually much easier than packing and moving portions. But even so, there are definitely things you can do to make it easier.

It’s exciting to settle into a new home, so unpacking can actually be a lot of fun! Hopefully you took the time to pack your moving container or truck by properly by labeling your boxes, thoughtfully sorting items, and strategically loading your moving container. This will help with the entire unpacking process. Here are a few tips for when it’s time to unpack to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible.

Before You Move In

A few days before your belongings are set to arrive, whether you’re using professional movers or going the DIY route, go through your new house or apartment and give everything a thorough cleaning. If you’re lucky, the previous resident or landlord will have had the place cleaned, but you should still give it a once over just in case. Vacuum or mop the floors, and wipe down the countertops and cabinets.

Getting this done beforehand will save you a lot of hassle when your stuff arrives. The last thing you want is to be trying to vacuum while heavy furniture is being moved around. If you don’t have a time gap between your old place and your new one, using a BigSteelBox to move can take some of the pressure off. You can keep your portable storage container (and all of your belongings in it) outside your home as long as you need, so you’ll still have space to work inside.

This is also the time to think about any renovations you’d like to do, but keep it as simple as possible. Maybe you want to paint a wall or install some shelving. These types of things will be much easier to complete if there aren’t boxes and furniture in the way.

What to Unpack First After Moving?

Couple unpacking box of kitchen supplies after movingNow that the house is clean and ready to go, it’s time to start unpacking.

Don’t worry about getting everything done the first day, just stick to the essentials. As soon as you arrive at your new home, unpack any perishable food you brought from your previous home so that it doesn’t go bad. You can deal with dry goods later. Unpack some basics, like drinking glasses, plates, silverware, and a pot or pan so you can eat when you take breaks. After all, you’ll need food to fuel all the work you’re doing!

Your next step should be putting your beds in place and putting fresh linens on them. It’s amazing how great a freshly made bed can feel at the end of a long day of hard work. If you have guest beds, don’t worry about them yet. Just get yours and the kids’ beds ready as well as any pet beds and supplies. Unpack your toiletries as well so that you have everything you need to get ready for bed that night.

The last step for the first day is to get at least one bathroom prepared with fresh towels, soap, shampoo, toilet paper and any other essentials. If you have kids, set up a communal bathroom first. If not, start with the master bathroom.

Day 2 After Your Move

Today is the day to tackle your closets. Start with clothes that are in season. If you won’t be wearing something until next year, it can wait until later. As you’re unpacking, try to get everything as organized as possible. Don’t just dump everything on the floor of your closet. Hang or fold things as you go – you’ll be happy later!

Get to work on the rest of the kitchen today too. Try to plan where you would like everything to go before you begin so that you won’t have to keep rearranging everything if you change your mind.

Arrange all of the dry goods in the pantry or cabinets, and unpack your everyday dishes, pots, and pans if you haven’t already. For the rest of the kitchen gear that you use only occasionally, find a place for it in a cupboard or pack it to go in your attic or basement for later. (Make a note of where you’re putting it just in case!)

Over the Next Few Weeks

Family unpacking their BigSteelBox after a moveNow that you’ve unpacked your essentials, you can relax a little bit. You don’t really need to unpack the rest right away. Depending on the needs of your family, you may wish to unpack the living room or game room next. Perhaps it’s important to get started on your office or home gym. Wherever you choose to tackle next, the key is to be deliberate and methodical with your unpacking.

Work on a single room at a time, and only bring in one or two boxes at a time from your portable storage container, the garage or basement. Having only a couple things to focus on can make the overall process seem less daunting. As you unpack each box, put everything into its predetermined place.

If you can’t decide where to place an item, designate one box or area of the house for things to deal with later; don’t leave random items lying all over place. Keep them out of the way until you are ready to decide where to put them or if they should be donated, sold, or placed in storage.

Feel free to take plenty of breaks during this stage to explore your new neighbourhood as well. If you haven’t done this already, find your local post office, grocery store, your kids’ schools, and other important landmarks. Notify your friends and family of your new address, and stop by to introduce yourself to your new neighbours.

More Unpacking Tips

If you’re moving with pets, you may wish to have them stay with a trusted friend or family member throughout the moving process. If there is no one nearby who can take them, seek out a high-quality boarding facility in your new neighbourhood. The moving process can be incredibly stressful for pets, so it will make everything easier on them if they are out of your way.

If you’re moving with young children, you may also wish to have them stay with someone else or at a daycare centre while you’re unpacking. Older kids can help with the unpacking, but they’re still likely to get bored or frustrated after a period of time. Have activities ready to go if they need a break – you can even assign them the task of researching local services.

Resist the urge to set up your TV right away. While it may seem like a good idea to have entertainment while you are unpacking, it’s easy to slip into the trap of getting distracted when you should be working. Try to hold out as long as possible before hooking it up. (If you really need to watch the hockey game, you can always go out and check out your new neighbourhood pub!)

BigSteelBox Makes Moving Feel Better!

We provide reliable and affordable local and long distance moving service across Canada. Plus, we offer secure storage at our facilities across the country to help make your move easier. Our portable storage containers are secure and durable. They can withstand the elements and keep your belongings safe and dry throughout the unpacking process. We offer door-to-door delivery of your BigSteelBox from your former residence to your new home, so you don’t have to worry about driving a moving truck yourself.

Contact us today online or at 1-800-373-1187 for more information or a free quote on your move!

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