You have gone through the huge process of moving to your new house – packing, scheduling, planning and the moving day itself. The hard part is over. The only thing left to do is unpacking all the boxes.
This can be a very long process and will set the tone for living in your new house. Here are some tips from my experience for unpacking and settling into your new place.
Unpacking made easy
- My first suggestion is not to rush it. It is best to take time and consider where to put what, otherwise you will end up moving things back and forth from one place to another.
- Another suggestion is do it yourself. Some years, I employed a packing and unpacking services. It worked well in some cases, but the unpacking was always a hassle. It seemed like a good idea but they put pressure on you to decide where to put things. It was never the right decision. Unpacking takes a bit of thought, and trial and error.
- If you are moving from far, go shopping for groceries but only buy for a week. Think of your new house like a serviced apartment, don’t buy too much. You will be thinking much clearer in two or three days. Stick to the food you prepared in advance.
- If your kids are young and anxious, allow them to sleep on mattresses in your room (avoid getting them into your bed, because you need the rest!). Let them make a slow and gradual transition to their own room(s). It takes kids time to get used to the sounds and smell of the new house.
- Wash the house with your regular cleaning products, air fresheners or use your perfumes and incense to help everyone in the house feel like “home”.
- Put on music that everyone is familiar with to make it feel more like home.
- Do not unpack boxes if you have nowhere to put the items. This just causes a mess. If you don’t know where to put something, close the box with the things still inside. I know the desire to get rid of boxes is very tempting, but try not too. You will regret it later.
- Do not rush to buy shelves and fixtures. It is better to find out all the things you are going to need for unpacking the whole house rather than going shopping every day for one item. Make a list on the refrigerator and stick to the list.
- Go to your neighbors and say hallo. You can give them a card with the names of everyone in the family and your contact details. You never know, they may be your friends for life and maybe provide some support (or food) while you’re unpacking.
- Hang paintings and framed photos as soon as you can. This can really help the new place feel more like home. It probably is not the best idea to hang them on the first day, but probably aim for the first week, once the furniture is in place.
- Try creating a routine as soon as possible. This will give you and the kids a feeling of certainty that is often missing once you move to a new house. Be careful not to be too rigid about it. Just aim for a regular routine as much as you can. If it gets to the point when you start stressing about it, the routine is probably limiting you more than helping.
- Remember that you will probably be busy on the weekends. They will be packed and full of things to do. If you keep this in mind and take it into consideration you won’t be disappointed when you discover that you don’t have much time for anything. Give it a month and it will clear up.
- If your kids have a hard time after the move, allow them to contact people from the old place and let them grieve for a while. Try not to lecture them about your reasons for moving in the hope of convincing them to stop grieving. It probably won’t help. Give them the time to manage their feelings. They will be fine. Kids are often much more flexible than their own parents.
Have a great move!
This post is part of the series Moving House Made Easy:
- Moving House Made Easy: Spring Cleaning
- Moving House Made Easy: Packing
- Moving House Made Easy: Telling the Kids
- Moving House Made Easy: The New Place
- Moving House Made Easy: Movers
- Moving House Made Easy: Pack a Holiday Suitcase
- Moving House Made Easy: Food
- Moving House Made Easy: Bills and Services
- Moving House Made Easy: Changing Address
- Moving House Made Easy: Just in Case
- Moving House Made Easy: Moving Day
- Moving House Made Easy: Unpacking
- Moving House Made Easy: Making the New Place Home