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Moving Series: Part III, unpacking and getting organized

Hey, ya’ll!  Today I’m going to finish up my 3-part series on moving, with a nod to the current struggle bus I’m riding: unpacking and organizing.   Since this is right where I am in this whole moving process I have some fresh experience to share.

This is how it all went down.  All the trucks were finally unloaded and I stood at the door looking at a garage full of boxes.  I shook my head wondering why I thought it was a good idea to move.  Where was I supposed to start?  I mean, seriously there were so many boxes, like wall to wall in a 3-car garage amount. How did I acquire so much stuff?   I was feeling certifiable, ya’ll.  Then I saw something familiar sticking out of a box in the left corner of the garage.  I walked over to the box and opened it.  It was a toilet plunger, and of course the rest of the items in the box were bathroom related.  I rounded up my moving posse and began to delegate which boxes were to go to which rooms.  I was feeling some satisfaction pretty quickly after noticing the boxes were diminishing at fairly steady pace.  It seemed like we did this song and dance for hours, but really it only took about an hour to move all the boxes to the rooms they belonged in.   My husband asks me often, “how do you eat an elephant?”.  I know the answer is one bite at a time, but It’s easy to get caught up in the sheer enormity of it all.   Help is essential!  I never could have done all that on my own.  I’d still be staring at a garage full of boxes today, with a sick feeling in my stomach because of my spinning head.  There are several ways to go about unpacking your home but I will give you the method to my madness.  Who knows, it might just help your move go a bit smoother.

The first thing to do when unpacking your new home is to move all the large items to the appropriate rooms.  For example: beds, dressers, refrigerator, couches, tables…you know where most of those big items will be going, which will clear some space and give you a sense of accomplishment.  Yes, you may have to shuffle them around again later, but at least you’re heading in the right direction.  We have a large oak computer cabinet that was moved down to our basement.  When I say large, I mean it took 3 grown, sweating, and grunting men to move it.  Fast forward 2 months and guess what, I don’t want it down there.  It’s ok though.  At least it has been out of the way, and now I know where it really needs be.  Having those large items out of the way helped us get to the boxes easier.

The second thing I recommend doing is to start unpacking the essential rooms first.  For my family, it was the kid’s rooms and kitchen.  Be honest, how much money have you spent on dining out during this moving session?  If you have the kitchen at least somewhat unpacked you can start cooking again, or at least pop some bread in the toaster.  That will save you a little cash for the curtains you’re about to buy.  Unpacking the kid’s rooms will give them a safe place to play without being under your feet.  I admit, each of my kids have boxes in their rooms that haven’t been unpacked yet.  At our old house, each child had a desk in their room, hence boxes full of stuff that goes in a desk.  None of them have a desk at our new home.  At some point, they’ll have a place for their office supplies, but for now the boxes will have to exist a little while longer.

The next recommendation I have for your move is to unpack items for function first, aesthetics later.  That sounds so obvious, right?  Of course, you should unpack the things you need first.  Bedding, clothes, towels, toiletries, you know, things you use every day.  I unpacked room by room, organizing then cleaning as I went.  The pictures and other decorations I combined in one box per room to revisit later.  The decorating will come, but it’s best to get to know your house before the pictures and curtains are hung.  It takes a while for this relationship to develop.  Each house is different spatially, so how the space is utilized and decorated will differ.  What worked in your last home, furniture and décor wise, may not work in your current one, which means purchasing different items, or using them in different rooms.  Maybe the rug you’ve always used in the hallway will look great in the bathroom and vice versa.

The last bit of advice I can give is to set an unpacking and organizing goal.  I don’t know how you all operate, but I have a hard time relaxing when things aren’t organized.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a creative person, therefore I am a messy person.  I throw clothes on the floor or the nearest chair, for sure, but I have to know that they have a place if I want to put them there.  It’s hard for me to sit down and watch an episode of whatever show it is I’m all about at the moment if there are boxes, toys, dishes, pillows, whatever, on the floor or in my line of sight.  I will sit there thinking about how I should be doing all these other things, or how fast I can do them during the commercial break.  I can never fully relax. It was imperative that I set a goal.  My goal was to unpack at least 2 boxes per day.  Even tonight, two months after we moved in, I unpacked a box.  I think I’m close to having everything unpacked or at least accounted for.  I’ve started to decorate and hang pictures and dream of future projects.  I’m actually starting to enjoy this house.  It is finally making sense to me.

Thanks for stopping in to read my blog today. I hope this info helps you make your next move your b…est friend.  This concludes my 3 part moving series.  Next week’s post will be touching on a topic that I get asked about all the time:  I’ve just moved, or I’m redecorating a room and I’m not sure which paint color to use.

Tell me in the comments below, what awesome unpacking and organizing tips do you have?

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Shelby Doumitt
August 27, 2020

There are no words in the English language to adequately express how wonderful Unique Painting KC and their amazing team are! Chad and Toska go above and beyond to take care of each and every customer and their crew did phenomenal work. Their attention to detail, communication, design and finished product are second to none. They sincerely feel like family and we cannot wait to have them back out for some interior painting!!!