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Unpack with a Plan

Once everything is unloaded, you may feel overwhelmed by the stacks of boxes surrounding you. Unpacking in an organized manner can make the transition to your new home less stressful and can save a lot of time. Try these unpacking tips.

1. Unpack Essentials First

You should have a few boxes of essentials marked to be unpacked first. These boxes should include items like toiletries, pet supplies, tools, a couple changes of clothes and so forth. Go ahead and unpack these boxes right away and distribute these essential items to their respective rooms.

2. Clean and Prep Your New Home

Though it's tempting to dive right in and start unloading boxes, it's a good idea to clean, prep and get organized. Here are some moving tips to help you prepare to unpack at your new home:

  • It's easier to wipe down shelves, clean windows, and mop under appliances before your belongings are in place.
  • Complete any prep work. Line kitchen and bathroom shelves with paper. Consider installing closet systems in bedroom closets, if necessary. Once these jobs are done, you'll be able to unpack more efficiently.
  • Plan where to place certain items. For example, in the kitchen; put dishes and glassware in the cupboards above the dishwasher, coffee cups above the coffee pot, and so on. Deciding what goes where before unpacking will save you time in the long run.

3. Go Room by Room

Focus on one room at a time, and unpack essentials first. Though it can feel like an insurmountable task, rest assured: Your house is going to feel like home in no time!

Kitchen and Baths. In the kitchen, unpack most-used items first. Items that you won't use immediately can be set aside to unpack at a later time. In the bathrooms, hang shower curtains, unpack toiletries and put out toilet paper and soap.

Bedrooms. In your bedrooms, have the beds set up and made with clean sheets by the first night. Unpacking your clothing and bedroom accessories can wait. Again, now is a good time to install a closet organization system.

Living Room. Unpacking the living room should be a combined effort by everyone in the household. There will be a lot of items to be placed and electronics to hook up.

Garage. Having an organized garage is important. If you haven't set up shelves and hooks for placement of tools, yard supplies and sports equipment; do so now. Having organizational systems in place will help curb the tendency for making piles later.

4. Play Interior Designer

Place furniture so the room feels open and functional. Strive for balance by distributing heavier pieces of furniture around the room. Create a focal point or use a natural one like a fireplace.

When positioning furniture, it's a good idea to make a sketch of the room, including desired locations of items. Erasing an armoire, rather than lifting it, could save you a trip to the chiropractor.

It takes time get settled in, but here are some quick and easy tips for making your house feel like home:

  • Hang shades, blinds or curtains for instant privacy and a homey feel.
  • Consider painting rooms a different color, or stenciling around an archway.
  • Brighten up a room with self-adhesive wallpaper borders.
  • Refinish old cabinets or add new knobs.
  • Hang family photographs, mirrors and framed artwork.
  • Add potted plants for extra color or to fill empty corners.

Helpful Tips for Setting Up

  • As boxes are unpacked, take an inventory of everything you have to make sure nothing has been lost. If you have any broken or damaged items, make sure to keep them as evidence for insurance claims. Claims usually need to be filed within a set number of days after the move.
  • Use a surge protector when setting up a computer or stereo equipment.
  • As you unpack boxes, collapse them for storage or recycling.
  • Start a log of home repairs and maintenance that needs to be done.
  • Create a shopping list to make sure you have everything you need.

We hope this article on how to unpack with a plan has helped you get started. Read more house packing and moving tips from Lowes.com.

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