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Unpacking and Organizing Tips

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Your move is now two-thirds of the way done! The last part is unpacking and getting settled into your new home. This can be the phase that takes the longest, but can also be the most fun. Unpacking gives you a chance to get the house organized - you know, the way you'd like to keep it all year, but it never works out that way.
When you start wading through the sea of boxes, there should be a method to your madness. The following are a few simple steps to make the unpacking process easier. And remember, you don't have to unpack everything right away!

1. Unpack one room at a time

Begin with the kitchen so that you can have a snack to fuel your fire. Items that you won't be needing right away can be set aside to unpack at a later time when you can better gage the right setup. This is also a good time to line your cabinets and drawers.
The bathroom should be next. Get your toiletries out and make sure the toilet, faucets, etc. are operational. A few things you should definitely have are a shower curtain, toilet paper and soap.
If the bedrooms aren't set up the first night, don't sweat it. Have a family camp out instead! It is helpful to have major pieces of furniture placed before unpacking (check out our Room Designer tool). Then putting things away will be a cinch! The person whose room it will be should make the area feel comfortable and personal to them. Setting up an organized closet is another great thing to do when moving in.
The living room should be a combined effort of everyone in the household. There will be a lot of items to be placed and electronics to hook up. This is a good time to consider the practicality in wirings. For example, the entertainment center will have to be in close proximity with the cable outlet.
Having an organized garage is a daunting task for most. But if you start by setting up shelves and hooks for placement of tools, yard supplies, etc., you might curb the tendency for making piles. After all, we are hunter gatherers!
Additional tips: If you're setting up a computer or stereo equipment, you may want to consider purchasing a surge protector for the safety of these items and yourself. Click here for more information on home electronics.
Collapse boxes for storage or recycling.

2. Take note

Take inventory of everything you have to make sure nothing has been lost. If you have any broken or damaged items, make sure to keep them as evidence. You must file all insurance claims within a certain amount of days after the move, depending on your particular company's regulations.
Start a log of home repairs and maintenance that need to be done.
Use our shopping list to make sure you have everything you need when moving in.

3. Play interior designer

When getting ready to shift furniture around in the living room and bedrooms, it's a good idea to make a sketch of the room with squares representing where you would like certain items placed. Erasing an armoire, rather than lifting it, could save you a trip to the chiropractor!
Placing furniture so the room feels open and functional is an integral part in getting settled into your new home. Your house probably won't look like what you'd envisioned for a few more months, but taking those few important steps now will help prepare you in the plans to come.

4. Add style

  • Consider painting rooms a different color, or stenciling around an archway
  • Brighten up a room with self-adhesive wallpaper borders.
  • Refinish old cabinets or add new knobs.
  • Hang pictures properly by measuring right the first time.
  • Add potted plants for extra color or to fill empty corners.

Moving in Shopping List

When first moving into a new house, you may find that a lot of the things you'll need for the first week have been tossed, forgotten or misplaced. So, we've compiled a list of necessities and separated them into categories to check off. We suggest that you pack these items in a box that can be put in your car. Or else, make sure it is the last box put on the moving van so it can be found easily and brought into your new home right away.


Paper towels
Paper plates
Plastic or Styrofoam cups
Plastic utensils
Can opener
Small phone book for new town
Local map
Important contact names and numbers
Toilet paper
Shower curtain
First aid kit
Extension cord

Cleaning supplies:

Glass cleaner
All purpose cleaner
Scrub brush
Trash bags

If you have children:

Diaper supplies
Formula or snacks
Extra blankets
Change of clothes

If you have pets:

Treats and food
Food and water dishes
Litter box and litter
Pooper scooper


Hanging nails
Tape measure
Box cutter
Pen or marker


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