Moving to Minneapolis – Part 4 : Unloading and Unpacking Boxes

Okay, you’re in the home stretch! You’ve successfully packed all your stuff, you’ve managed to get all those boxes and furniture out the door, and you’ve loaded up a rental truck and hauled your life to a new home.

But the last step can actually take the most time and cause the most frustration. Unloading shouldn’t take too long—it’s just loading in reverse, so check out our post on proper box handling and lifting techniques.

The real challenge is unpacking. Even if you’ve properly labeled all your boxes so you know which goes with which room (we sure hope you did!), you’re going to be a little exhausted and you’ve still got plenty of other new-home chores to take care of. For many people, the unpacking process can stretch into days or weeks.

That’s okay, you earned a break. Take your time. And when you’re ready, take a look at these unpacking tips that will help the process go faster and smoother whenever you decide to tackle it.

The horror... the horror! Image Credit: Flickr
The horror… the horror! Image Credit: Flickr

Plan Ahead

Hopefully you’re reading this before you’ve arrived at your new home, because there’s a lot you can do ahead of time to make unpacking easier.

First, you’ll want to make sure that the last box you load into your truck—and the first box you unload—is your ‘essentials’ box, full of everything you’ll need for the first few nights. That means toiletries, food and dishes for a few simple meals, garbage bags, any documents you’ll need, and some common tools you’ll use to assemble your other items.

If you’re able to scout out your new place ahead of time or even get a floor plan, you’ll also be able to plan what furniture will go where, and you can move it straight to the proper room instead of letting it clump up in the living room.

Details First

It may seem counterintuitive, but there are a number of chores that seem like low priorities that you should really take care of right away. It’s going to be easier to line your cupboards before you load them with pots and pans, and it’s a good idea to start bedroom unpacking by organizing your closet—you’ll have the space to lay out everything and put it where it needs to be so that everything is easy to access in the following days and weeks.

The First Room, the Last Room, and In Between

It’s best to get all those boxes marked ‘kitchen’ unpacked first, unless you plan to spend extra on eating out for every meal.

As you proceed from room to room, always move in the furniture first so that you can plan around it. You don’t need to reassemble everything right away, but it’s best to get these bulky items out of the way first and have them in place so you can estimate how much space they’ll eventually take up.

You can leave any garage and patio items for last. There shouldn’t be anything in there that can’t wait, and you’ll be much happier and more comfortable getting your interior in shape before worrying about these extras—plus you’ll have a better idea of what items should end up in the garage if you can’t find a suitable place for them indoors.

Take it Easy

There’s really nothing wrong with putting off all the little unpacking chores that come after you’ve got the essentials in your kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom sorted out. Doing everything at once is stressful, and you and your family will have a much better time if you reward yourself by taking breaks to explore your new neighborhood.

Go ahead, relax. If you've unpacked your clean underwear and your coffee machine, what else do you need? Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Go ahead, relax. If you’ve unpacked your clean underwear and your coffee machine, what else do you need?
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

People like to joke about how long it takes them to unpack after a move, but they still do it anyway. The result will be a less stressful and exhausting experience and a final layout that reflects your real preferences instead of simply the first place you could think of to stick your stuff.

And we’ve said it once, but we’ll say it again: Make sure to follow the best practices for safely lifting and moving heavy and awkwardly shaped objects. Or better yet, let College Muscle Movers do it for you! Good luck!