31 May 2016

6 Tips for Moving & Getting Your New Home Organized

Since November of 2011, our family has moved four times – two of those moves were cross-country and our latest move happened when we moved to Pittsburgh from Georgia. Michael and I also work full-time so it’s not as if one of us was home during the day to pack, unpack and get our home set-up and organized. It took a lot of extra work but more importantly – it took planning. By now, it’s safe to say that I’ve picked up a few tips on organizing a new home that I’m happy to share with you all today. I hope you find it useful! 



ONE :: Determine Your Priorities
For some people, it’s the kitchen. For others, it’s the bedrooms. Regardless of what your must-do-firsts are, you have to go in with a plan. Make a list of the rooms that are the most important to you and your family to unpack first and do them in that order. Do not start another room until the current one you’re working on is complete. I’ve always found that completing a room before moving onto another one always gives me a sense of accomplishment and motivation to keep going instead of randomly opening boxes all over the house. This will keep order and a flow to things.

If you have no idea where to start, allow me to share how we’ve done it:
1.       Kitchen – all life flows through the kitchen. For us, it was important to get the kitchen unpacked first so that we wouldn’t have to break our budget by eating out so much after the move. It’s amazing how happy and settled you’ll feel simply by being able to brew your own coffee in your new home instead of having to run out each time you need a cup of coffee.
2.       Bedrooms – obvious choice. You have to sleep. For us, Michael will work on getting the beds put together, arranged, etc. while I’m unpacking the kitchen.
3.       Bathrooms – At the very least, throw up the shower curtain so that you can clean yourself and come back to this item once 1 & 2 are complete.
4.       Living room/Dining room
5.       Guest/office rooms
6.       Garage

Of course, everyone’s home is different so this list may vary. This is just a very short example of how you can list out each room by importance so that when moving day arrives, you know what to attack first instead of just looking at a pile of boxes and wanting to throw yourself off a cliff. 

TWO :: Ask For Help
I can’t stress this one enough, especially if you have small children. For our move from Colorado to Georgia, I coordinated with my parents for them to be at our new home on moving day. Their sole responsibility? To take care of Chickie and keep her occupied. That was the only job they had – keep her busy and out of the way. This was invaluable to us because it left Michael and I free to deal with the movers to be able to show them where things belonged in the home while they unloaded the truck without having to deal with Chickie all at the same time. Ask your friends and family for help. Most people are ready and able to help, they just need to know what you need the most. Ask a friend to provide a meal or two for you. Trust me, it will make a huge difference on moving day while you’re trying to organize and unpack.

Having said this, we haven’t always been this lucky to have help. On our move from Roanoke VA to Colorado, we had no one in Colorado to call to help us. So what did we do? We decided ahead of time to pack one of our TV’s and the DVD player in our car instead of putting it on the truck so that when we got to our home, we could hook it up and let Chickie watch movies while the truck was unloaded. It worked great. It kept her occupied for a few hours and Michael and I were able to do what we needed to without having her in the way. Again, this is where planning ahead of time will make a huge difference in how smoothly your unloading and unpacking will go.

THREE :: Unpacking – Everything Has a Place
As your boxes are being moved off the truck and into your home, make sure that they are being placed in the room they belong in so that you’re not wandering all over looking for the boxes and items you need.

FOUR :: Clean
Clean each room after you get it unpacked. Your furniture and the boxes being brought into your new home have been on dirty trucks and equipment that has now been brought into your new home. Take time to dust, wipe down counters, run the vacuum, or mop the floors. Having a clean space will really help to give you the feel of being settled in your home.

FIVE :: Extra Items
It’s inevitable that no matter how well you clean out to pack for your move, you’re still going to find a lot of things you don’t want or need when you get to your new home and start unpacking. Take an empty box, set it aside, and put all your unwanted items in that box to be donated once you’re completely done unpacking. There is no need to keep items in your new home that you don’t really want or need. Get rid of the extra clutter and donate it!

SIX :: Getting Rid of All the Boxes
Allocate an area in your home to store all your empty boxes until you’re done unpacking so that you don’t have the clutter and visual stimuli laying around and in your way to make you feel overwhelmed. For us, that place was the garage. Immediately after a box is empty, break it down and take it to your allocated collection space so that it’s out of the space you’re trying to organize and clean. For me, there’s nothing more aggravating than a bunch of empty boxes cluttering a space I’m trying to clean.

Additional Tips and Suggestions:
·         Set aside a “last to shut” and “first to open” box that has important or helpful items like toilet paper, paper towels, batteries, a flash light, paper plates, plastic cups, plastic silverware, etc. You will need access to these basic items until they are unpacked.
·         Prepare and set aside a utility bag with screwdrivers, nails, hammer, electric drill and the battery, box cutters, the remotes to your TV {You’d be surprised how hard those things can be to find once they are packed!} and cleaning supplies. It’s hard to unpack a home when you don’t have access to these items!
·         If you plan on having the exterminator do a once over to your home, try to get him scheduled to come out to your home before your move in date. This is the only time that your home will be completely empty for an exterminator to have complete access to everything without furniture being in the way. We did this for our last move and it was wonderful. We didn’t have to worry about wet chemicals getting on our pets or Chickie because it was already dry and we could move in knowing that any potential problems were found and nixed.

·         Lastly, I suggest an accordion-style folder to hold important documents that you don’t want to risk being lost in the move or documents that are easy to access should you need them. This folder should stay with you in your car or in your possession the entire time during the move. This would include items like: a copy of your new mortgage papers, birth certificates and other vital records, phone numbers and receipts of movers, cable, satellite, and Internet/phone providers that you might need to easily access once you’re moved in, and your final checklists of items that still need to be done or important notes about your move.


I hope you’ve found these tips to be helpful. What advice do you have to share?
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup

Courtney is a published author, mom, taco enthusiast, and a Star Wars and Tennessee Volunteers fanatic. She's never met a piece of sushi she didn’t like and enjoys an amazing glass of wine and a great cut of meat. You can read more of her wine-induced, sleep-deprived adventures on The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy.

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