How to Unpack After Moving | How-to | Long Distance USA Movers

How to Unpack After Moving With Speed and Efficiency

You’ve finally tackled how to pack, but now you’re starting to wonder how to unpack after moving. As if the issue wasn’t bad enough before, now you’ll be living in a new home with a different layout and have no idea where to start. We have some awesome unpacking tips for that occasion.

a girl sitting among boxes after long-distance moving
Unpacking after a move isn't as difficult as it seems if you get organized well

If you learn how to move, you’ll quickly learn how to settle in and start fresh. Whether you’ve relocated for love and plan on beginning an exciting chapter in your life or were promoted and had to relocate for a job, the process of unpacking everything is the initial step towards settling in and becoming a citizen of your new residence. Even something seemingly small, like relocating to a college dorm where you’ll most likely be sharing space with someone unknown, is still a big change. For that occasion, we suggest you prepare some questions to ask potential roommates. Now let’s see how to unpack after a move.

If You’re Reading This Before Packing, Make Sure You Take the Steps That’ll Help You Unpack

This may be a long shot, but perhaps you’re creating some sort of super-organized checklist for relocating to a new state and want to have all your bases covered. If you are that sort of person, then relocating won’t be a big problem for you; just don’t let the anxiety about going out of state get to you.

The First Thing that Will Help You Unpack is Having an Essentials Box

Bringing an essentials box or boxes is a vital step for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s meant to contain all the necessities for the first few days (or even weeks) of your stay at the new home. This will make the unboxing process more comfortable, but it’s very often the most commonly forgotten thing to pack. For example, the list of necessities should go something like this:

  • Toiletries – putting the necessary items for hygiene is high on the list of things to pack into an essential kit because nothing’s more difficult than running out of toilet paper or soap when you most need it,
  • Food and cutlery – you’re bound to get hungry from all the unboxing and relocating, but you probably won’t be able to make cooked meals in the first few days. That’s why it’s vital to pack some foods that can last a long time and sustain you,
  • Linens – you should put your bed down before using the linens, but having some emergency sheets and pillowcases will be the most important thing you pack for a comfortable night at your new place,
  • Tools – you’ll need these in case there’s stuff that needs fixing around the house, but also for the unpacking process,
  • Clothes and shoes – you’ll pack a suitcase for sure, but bring some comfortable outfits for your first few days of permanently going away from home, too.

Label Your Boxes Before Moving Out

Another action that’ll make the unboxing way easier is labeling your cargo properly and on time. Containers with fragile cargo need to be labeled as such because they’ll be handled with care by long-distance movers and anyone else trying to carry them. After the move, the labels on the boxes will help you sort out the cargo and then distribute it properly across the rooms. You don’t want to end up having your plates and glasses in the bedroom at the end of a long week of relocating with the pets and driving across the country.

a girl labeling her boxes for cross-country moving
You need to pack well so that the unboxing could go smoothly

How to Unpack After Moving and In What Order

We’ve mentioned some things you shouldn’t miss doing during the packing process, and now, hoping that you’ve done them, you can take the time to unpack. Now that your idea of relocating from a small town to a big city has come true, you can make the unboxing process all about that adjustment. The same goes for relocating to a small town, because no matter the change, it will take time to get used to everything.

Unpack the Essential Box Before Anything Else

Assuming you’ve brought a well-packed survival box full of essential stuff for the first few days of relocating to a warmer climate or anywhere else, the time for opening it comes as soon as you land at the new house. Here lies the answer to the question, “Where do I start unpacking after moving.” Don’t be surprised by this, because you’ll need all the necessary toiletries and linens sooner than you might think.

Move on to Furniture and Unpack It in Its Designated Room

Hopefully, you’ve done a home inventory before packing up, and now you know precisely what you have and what goes where. If you’ve hired cross-country movers to help you relocate, that’s a good thing because they also assemble furniture as a part of their long-distance moving services. That way, you can simply tell them what goes where, and they’ll ensure that your furniture is all in the right place.

If you decide to assemble your furniture yourself, ensure you’re doing that in the room you want it to be in. That’s simply the easiest way to begin the unboxing process and have it as stress-free as possible. Assembling the couch wherever it lands is quite a big relocation mistake, so be sure you don’t make it.

It’s Best to Leave the Small Things and Clutter for Last

While a couch and a bed fall under the first apartment essentials list, so do towels, forks, and books in your decor. However, they’re not the first things to unbox when you’re finished relocating; they’re more likely to be the last things to take out of the boxes. However, fragile items are exceptions to the rule, but only if there are lots of them. You can unbox them just as soon as you’re done with laying out the furniture. Clutter and decorations are the final touches for making your space personalized and feel more like home.

a couch and some boxes sitting in the room after long-distance moving
If you're wondering, "how do I unpack a move," start from the biggest items and furniture

If You Want to Begin Unpacking Room by Room, Here’s How

Another one of the great tips for unpacking after a move is to do it room by room. Consider what’s the most important area for you, the one you’ll be using first, and the most out of all spaces in the beginning. For some, it would be the kitchen, while for others, the bathroom or the office.

Begin by Unboxing the Kitchen and the Appliances

If you had some unwanted appliances before packaging, which you’ve decided to donate, and you’re arriving at your next house with appliances already there, then the unboxing process won’t take that long. It’s also one of the great tips on how to save for relocating out of state. However, if you pack the stove and microwave for your next kitchen, then ensure they’re the first ones to get unpacked. There are manuals on how to unpack a stove and set it up to function properly.

After setting up the appliances, ensure that they’re clean by giving them a sweep. Do the same with all the drawers and cabinets because unloading all the kitchen items into dusty storage spaces doesn’t seem clean or sanitary. The second thing to unbox is the fragile dishes and glassware because they shouldn’t sit in the boxes for long. That increases the risk of them breaking, so ensure they’re out of the packages as soon as possible and set in the kitchen cabinets.

You Can Also Begin By Equipping the Bathroom With the Stuff You Packed

For some people, the place where they spend most of their hours is in the bathroom. That makes a lot of sense, as research said that people spend 416 days of their lives in the bathroom, and it’s where we tend to initiate our days. This is why you should also have bathroom essentials available until the last day of relocation, as well as on the first day of settling into your next home. If you’re helping a friend move, be sure to remind them of the importance of packaging basic supplies for the toilet.

You can initially put the washer and dryer in place if you’ve brought them along. If you already have those appliances at the other home, that significantly reduces your relocation expenses checklist. In that case, you should start by unloading the smaller electricals like hair dryers, curling irons, straighteners, and alike into a box or another closed container, away from the water and humidity. Then ensure all your morning and evening necessities are unloaded and ready to use (this would be toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, towels, and anything else you require daily.)

You can watch the video below to see how you can organize and unbox these two vital rooms in your house.

Before Unpacking Your Home, Put the Boxes in Their Designated Room

Unboxing everything before knowing what goes where is a foolproof way for the process of unloading all that cargo to take longer than expected or wished for. If you threw a packing party and none of your friends labeled the cargo for what it is, then you’ll have the most difficult of times understanding what goes where. During the unboxing process, though, you can come up with some creative storage ideas for your house and allow a long-distance moving company to store your stuff in their storage units, too, at least until you manage with the process and get over the fear of relocation.

You’re Allowed to Change Your Mind About the Packed Stuff

If you see something you don’t want to keep after all, you can always donate unwanted items. While this is better to do during the packaging process, it’s OK if you change your mind about some things along the way. You wanted to move away and start over for a reason, and that’s why getting rid of stuff in the process is supportive of whatever your reasons to move might be. We only suggest that you check how to dispose of unwanted things properly, without damaging the environment or your wallet.

a girl contemplating what to get rid of after cross-country moving
How do I unpack fast after moving? Double-check if you need absolutely everything you brought along

How Long Should it Take to Unpack After Moving?

The timeline of how to unpack can also last as long as you want it to, but no longer than that. Ensure you’ve put the most important things in place and unpacked each box within the first two weeks. It’s impossible to do it all in one day, but it’s also not realistic to waste a whole month or longer on it, especially if you relocated to another state alone and don’t have a ton of cargo for unloading.

Something else to note before relocating if you’re doing it alone (or otherwise) – browse “long-distance movers near me” and hire professionals to help you pack, but also to unbox. Their packaging services can help the move to become easier and faster. Because they also handle the furniture and all of the logistics around it, that could shorten the period of unboxing, and you’ll have the basics set up immediately. Simply relocating with the help of movers will shorten every bit of the process by a mile.

two cross-country movers unpacking boxes after long-distance moving
Cross-country moving services can be a life-saver when it comes to boxing and unboxing

Your Furniture and Cargo Can Get Unpacked by Professional Long-Distance Moving Experts

As we already mentioned, getting in touch with a cross-country moving company will be a great help and ensure you have it easier during the first few weeks of relocating. In addition to everything we mentioned about their relocation, storage, and packaging services, there are many other perks. More than anything, they’ll help you sort out your life day by day by assisting you in the unboxing process, too. They’ll ship your car for you, too. It’s simply easier and faster when you hire professional movers.

The last of our tips is to look at how you can make friends in a new city to fit in better, and another thing to research is how to stop getting mail from previous residents, which is bound to annoy you sooner than later. Hopefully, you’ve settled and created a timeline for the unboxing process so that everything works out much sooner and you can begin living the lifestyle you want.

Gemma Collins

Gemma is an NJ local that has explored all the US states, making her the perfect person to write about moving.


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