Friday, September 7, 2012

Moving Checklist: Unpacking. SCRATCH IT OFF!

The truck is coming.  Hooray!  You are finally going to get your STUFF!  Crap.  Now the unpacking begins.  Yuck.  
Look on the bright side:  You get to scratch off the last thing on your moving checklist.

Pre-unpacking advice:

1.  Have a simple dinner planned ahead of time.  If they deliver pizza or any kind of food in your new town, great.  Otherwise, keep it simple.  Sandwiches.  Something you can eat without dishes or a table for that matter.  Remember, it's going to be covered with your unpacking stuff.

2.  Plan to buy the movers lunch.  Pizza, again, seems to be a universal go-to.  Any kind of fast local food, though, will do.  Oh, and don't forget a couple liters of coke.  It's a treat.  Lunch provided oozes goodwill.  After hauling in your 141 boxes and your sofa bed upstairs into the playroom, you need all of the goodwill you can get for the long afternoon.

Unpacking advice:

1.  Let the movers unpack (if you are lucky enough to have them).  If you aren't comfortable with that, then at least let them unpack the kitchen and dining room boxes.  These boxes have the most packing material and are the most tedious to unpack.  Also, plates and platters stack easily in the room where they are supposed to go.  After unpacking, the movers will take the empty boxes with them and the extra packing material and you won't have to deal with that clutter.  Also, seeing the items in your face forces you to deal with them and boxes won't remain in the garage for months. TWO moving checklist scratch off bonuses!

2.  Let the kids "unpack."  Find the boxes with the toys.  Move it to the designated play area.  Let the kids unpack.  It's Christmas in September!  They will be out of your way for hours, rediscovering their "new" toys.  You can deal with the mess later.

3.  Use unpacking to declutter!  Score!  Two in one!  I, of course, always plan to declutter BEFORE we pack.  But, (there's always a "but"), in the past packing lined up with newborns, sleep deprivation, and general baby chaos.  Now pack-out generally corresponds with the end of the school year, goodbye parties and that general chaos.  Whatever the reason, there is always chaos.
Soooo, out of your now empty dining room and kitchen boxes, choose two and write, "DONATE" on one box and "TRASH" on the other.  As you are unpacking your stuff, move the consequences of chaos into one of these two boxes and then the stuff you really do want, put away.  When the boxes get full, move them to either the dumpster or your car (if you have one- if not, arrange to move them on tomorrow).  In the last place we lived, we just set the boxes outside our front gate.  Gone.  Here, we can drive over to a needy neighborhood and the folks help us unload the car.  Find out what the easiest way to help folks out in your new place and do it!  Yeah!  Unpack, feel good, and declutter.  It doesn't get much better than that!

4.  Plan a BIG party a week from now!  I now this sounds insane.  I wouldn't suggest it unless I'd been forced to do it and saw, by goodness, how wonderful it turned out to be.  It forced us to unpack all of the living space and actually hang the pictures on the walls.  It made the house feel like ours right away.  Granted you had to wade through the bedrooms, but seeing the downstairs like it was supposed to be, motivated all of us to finish the rest of the house, picture hanging and all in two to three weeks.  Now that's something to cheer about!

5.  Burn your moving checklist.  Doesn't that feel good?  Sit back and enjoy the warmth.  You are home.


  1. Good advice! I have to move in this month. I am feeling stressed. I decided to ask a removing company to do it.

  2. Good call! Sometimes sanity is priceless! Thanks for commenting!


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