I really, really dislike unpacking after moving. It's probably because I'm usually excited by moving so unpacking just gets in the way of enjoying a new place, a new neighborhood and a new city. I tend to resent all those moving boxes I need to recycle and all that packing stuff. So, to make sure I don't feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the project ahead of me, especially after the stress of moving, I break down the steps into several unpacking days.
Moving and Unpacking - Day 1
- Place large pieces of furniture. Whether you're unloading the truck yourself or you've hired movers to do it for you, you still need to know where the large pieces of furniture will be placed. I always recommend that these decisions are made before you move. But in a lot of cases, you don't have the opportunity to get a really good layout of your new space in order to make those decisions before you unpack the truck. If you're in this position, then try to get to the new location before the movers or take a half hour to decide where certain pieces will be placed, such as the couch, the big screen TV, the piano - any items that are difficult to move on your own.
- Install and check all large appliances. If you've moved the household appliances from your old residence to the new or if you've purchased new appliances, you should always consult the manuals that came with each unit when attempting to hook up items such as the refrigerator, stove, washer and dryer and dishwasher. If you don't have manuals, or if you're uncertain about how to install the appliances, seek professional advice.
- Put together essential furniture. Beds are usually the first pieces of furniture that need to be put together. This task might even come before installing appliances since a good night sleep is essential for feeling at home in your new space. The dining room table or a desk might also be essential to your ability to create some kind of routine. Remember that routine is important to maintain, especially if you have children or if you have difficulty with change; establishing a somewhat normal routine will help you and your family feel more at home.
- Unpack the essentials' box.An essentials' box should contain everything you need for your first night in the new space. It should be clearly labeled and easy to find among all the other boxes. Families might actually have packed one box per person. Whatever the number, locating and unpacking the essential box will be your key to having everything you need in one place.
- Make up the beds and order take out. This is probably the best part of unpacking Day 1: ensuring that the beds are ready to fall into after indulging in take-out or delivery food. If you have children, try to make this part of the move an essential part to the first day, a kind of reward for the main part of the move being over and a celebration of good things to come. This will help ease tensions and to help everyone relax before catching their first night sleep in the new home.