Making the Move…An Organizers Take on Moving Part 2

By: Kristen Salera

Moving is a stressful situation no matter how excited you are about it. We’ve all done it and we’ve all had those I wish I had done this before, or I wish I had this product. If you missed part one in this blog series you can check it out here.

Today we are talking about unpacking. Unpacking from a move can seem overwhelming and when you do it professionally like we do you tend to have a lot of expectations of how it’s going to go. This move was planned for awhile and after many delays and much anticipation, when the day finally arrived I was in full on professional organizer mode. I was about to be my own worst client. Again!

Before the move I made sure to write a check list of things to have on hand that morning. This checklist may be different for everyone based on your particular move. Cross country will look a lot different than cross town which is where we were headed.

*Coffee and donuts for the moving crew
*Tip money for the movers
*Case of water and Gatorade
*Confirm babysitting arrangements for the beginning part of the day
*First aid kit (always have one on hand!)
*Sticky notes and sharpies
*Box cutters

I hired movers to physically pack the truck and move it into my new space but you may doing this on your own or with friends. Either way you need to have a good system in place so your boxes end up in the correct location. When the movers are unloading the boxes take time to label the rooms with a sticky note. If you labeled the boxes Abby’s room make sure the sticky note on the door says Abby’s room. If you have bedroom 3 put bedroom 3 on the sticky note. It is important to have the boxes end up in the correct room. It helps streamline the process for an easier transition into your new space.

Unpack the necessities first!

We talked about packing essentials in the first part of this blog so you have easy access to what you need your first night. Traveling with these boxes in your own car if possible ensures you can find what you want upon arrival. Kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms are the rooms that generally need attention first. Bathroom essentials can include toilet paper, towels , soap, toothpaste and toothbrush, shampoo and conditioner, any daily medicines and a shower curtain. Bedrooms are fairly simple with sheets and blankets. Nightlights and stuffies for the littles if needed. Kitchens are a little more tricky so I like to keep it simple with some paper goods, snacks and cold drinks. I mean takeout is way easier than cooking right!? If you can get in to your house a day or so earlier if it’s ready and local, moving all of your kitchen items over and setting up that space first is a game changer! It doesn’t need to be picture perfect but you will feel so much more in control having the hub of your home usable on day one.


Bedrooms and Living spaces:
Now that you have your necessities taken care of, you can now start on the rest of the house. When unpacking any room don’t get hung up on the fine details. It will take a little while to figure out how the space will work for you and what type of organizing products you may need. Take this first pass to get items into their correct homes whether it’s a closet or bureau in order to get rid of all the boxes. Then as you live there you will better understand what’s working and what’s not. If you have older children have them help with the process of unpacking their room. Give them one area at a time to take care of so they don’t get overwhelmed. Having them set up a desk or a bookshelf will help them take ownership of their new space. 


One item I found to be super helpful were furniture sliders . These allow you to move the furniture around with ease to get the perfect placement. 


If you work from home setting up your office may be a top priority. Having your internet and
other utilities all lined up for move in day was something we recommended in part one of this series and is definitely a must do to not miss a beat. Make sure your desk, computer, and other important items are ready to go once you get back to work.


Before you start unpacking your boxes grab sticky notes and label the cabinets and drawers
with the items you want in that space. Think about how everything is laid out and how you
would use the space efficiently. Plates and glasses near the dishwasher so they are easy to put away. Cooking utensils and potholders near the stove. You can always move items as you settle in and really get a sense for how you move about the kitchen. Once everything is labeled, you can just unpack your items in the designated spots. To get more tips on organizing your kitchen, check out this blog post!

Storage Areas:
Don’t worry about the garage and basement the day you move in, but you do want to keep
them organized so when it is time to unpack that area you are not walking into a pile of boxes and other items that are thrown in. Place totes, bins, and large items against walls with a clear pathway to walk through. Make sure to take out tools or other materials that you will need while unpacking the rest of the house. Keeping a small toolbox handy in the kitchen or utility closet is always a good idea.

Remember it takes time to unpack and give yourself some grace in the process. I had to remind myself this many times. What worked for you in your last home may not in your new one. I always tell clients not to rush out and buy all new organizing items for a new home. It’s tempting and I completely understand the need for fresh new spaces. But settle in first, trust me!


If you need help moving reach out us at We can provide you with expert guidance to help you stay focused


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