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How to Unpack After a Move

Unpacking doesn’t have to be a dreaded roadblock before enjoying your new home. With some thoughtful planning and preparation, getting organized in your new home can be one of the most seamless components of your move. If you’re ready to take the stress out of the final step of moving, check out our top 10 tips on how to unpack.

Spoiler alert: Tips #1 and #2 will most impact your move, preventing stress and setting you up for moving success!

1. Take Time Off Work to Unpack

Plan at least 5-7 days off work to unpack, starting the day of the move. You will feel much more settled and happy if you’re not ending each work day trying to unpack for 6-8 hours before collapsing on the couch at midnight.

2. Strategically Place Boxes in Your New Home

As you unload your belongings into your new home, carefully put each box in its proper room. Place kitchen boxes into the kitchen, bedroom boxes into the bedroom, and so on. Doing so will keep you from becoming too overwhelmed by looking at one giant mountain of boxes.

Unloading boxes this way will also help your main living areas feel less cramped as you get settled, making it easier to find things as you need them.

3. Schedule Necessary Appointments and Services

Start a running list of services you need to schedule. Call to set up appointments and do so by order of importance. Start making calls on day one because sometimes it can take a couple of days to hear back from service providers.

You may have set up some appointments before moving day, like your internet hookup, cable service, electricity, etc. You may not realize you need others until you’re unpacking, like pest control or air conditioner duct-work cleaning.

4. Prioritize Rooms According to Their Importance

Understanding how to unpack efficiently is vital, so take time to identify which rooms are most important to unpack first. This space will be different for everyone – perhaps for you, it’s the kids’ rooms, so they have a place to play while you focus on unpacking the rest of the house.

5. Focus on One Room at Time

Once you have listed the rooms that take priority in unpacking, it’s time to execute. While it may be tempting to “squirrel” all over the house unpacking here, there, and everywhere, starting and finishing one room at a time will leave you feeling accomplished instead of exhausted.

When you focus on one area at a time, you’ll be able to look around and see the progress you’ve made. You’ll feel inspired to be more organized as you unpack, giving you something to celebrate and feeding your motivation as you continue the process!

6. Get Reorganized

Did you know that having an organized home reduces stress? Take a few minutes to think about how your new rooms can function best. Do you need to organize things differently than in your previous home? Does this room need all the items from the boxes, or could some go into storage? Ultimately, you want to determine how to utilize the space best, making it the most functional and soothing for your family.

7. Create a Renovation Schedule

Determine the importance of any planned renovations and whether you want them completed immediately or in the future.

Take a few days to see how your new space works for you, learning about what you need to focus on first. After you’ve spent some time in your home, set a goal for the timeframe in which you want the updates completed.

For instance, you may want to renovate the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room. However, after spending a week in your new home, you may feel that the outdated bathroom must be renovated first. Everyone’s “#1 renovation priority” is different, but getting to know your new surroundings will help you hash it all out.

8. Spend Wisely

Homeowners report a 20% increase in their spending on renovations, so spend wisely. Based on the importance of the renovation and the anticipated timeline, budget appropriately for any upgrades needed to make your space functional or livable.

9. Reuse and Re-label

While you want to understand how to unpack correctly, knowing how to remain organized while unpacking is also vital. If you watched our tips for packing before your move, you remember we mentioned how crucial painter’s tape is for creating tote labels. As you unpack your totes, decide what you will keep in your living space and what you will put in storage.

Organize items by category (beach supplies, winter gear, camping equipment, etc.). Reuse the totes that helped you make the trek to your new space. You can easily peel off your old painter’s tape labels and create new ones as you reorganize your items. By the time you’re finished, your home will be organized, and things will be easily accessible.

10. Relax and Celebrate Your New Home

Take time to kick back and enjoy the emotional benefits of homeownership. Remember that getting settled is a process, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Plan and pace your upcoming projects and practice gratitude for your new home and all you have to organize.


We hope our tips for how to unpack your new home have been helpful! Don’t forget to bookmark this page so you can refer to it again throughout your unpacking journey.

Are you not quite at the “unpacking” stage but are interested in purchasing a new home? We’d love to explore how we can help you with your unique needs – please feel free to book a free consult or drop us a line. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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