In our last blog, “The Secret to Getting Organized in Your New Home – Part 1” we discussed the practical steps you can take prior to moving day to set you up for a successful move and easier transition in your new home.
These steps included:
- Getting an early start on the moving process
- Leaving ample time for packing
- Hiring professional, reputable movers
- Creating a clear and effective labelling system
- Packing electronics with care
- Selling or donating unwanted or unneeded furniture and other belongings
- Placing wanted items one has no space or use for into storage
- Tackling important moving tasks in advance
Implementing these strategies is fundamental to ensuring a safe and successful move. But there is also a myriad of steps you can take on and after moving day to help get organized in your new home as efficiently – and with as little aggravation – as possible.
Surviving Moving Day
- Make sure that all your utilities are on. You want to feel comfortable in your home as quickly as possible, and to achieve that you need the basics – water, power, gas, cable and internet. Make sure they’re all on so you can move on to the other tasks on your To Do list.
- Inspect your furniture and belongings for damage. Conduct an inspection of your furniture and belongings to make sure nothing was lost or sustained damage during the move. If anything of consequence was lost or damaged, contact your moving company immediately.
- Conduct a home inspection. Examine the walls, floors, and stairwells to see if they sustained any damage during the move. Again, if damage was sustained, contact your movers immediately.
- Unpack Your Moving Day Box. Unpack the box of essential items you set aside for immediate use on moving day (i.e. toilet paper, paper towel, scissors, box cutters, bottled water, coffee, a kettle, snacks, hand soap, etc.). These items will tide you over as you unpack and get settled.
- Unpack the Other Essentials You Need to Keep Your Home Running. Unpack linens and towels so you can make beds and shower, and sufficient clothing to last you a few days while you get settled.
After Moving Day
- Don’t Procrastinate Unpacking. Just as the importance of getting an early start packing before your move can’t be understated, the value of unpacking promptly should not be underestimated. It’s hard to get organized or create any sense of normalcy when you’re living amongst piles of unpacked boxes. As long as your environment is in chaos, your life will be unsettled and chaotic as well. Treat the task of unpacking with urgency and make it a priority. The sooner you get unpacked, the sooner your hectic new house or apartment will begin to feel like home.
- Have a Plan. Having a system or plan for unpacking in place will help improve the efficiency and minimize the stress of the process.
- Know what you’re unpacking. Make sure you have an inventory of all the boxes and their basic contents. This will allow you to plan the unpacking process accordingly.
- Make sure everything is in the correct room. Before you begin unpacking, make sure all your boxes are in the room they are meant to be in.
- Arrange furniture before unpacking boxes. Once you have unpacked your boxes, moving furniture around will become much more labor intensive. Create a floorplan and make sure your furniture is where you want it before beginning to unpack. (Ideally, you can do this before your movers leave on moving day!)
- Create an unpacking schedule. Determine which rooms will be unpacked first, second, third and so forth, based on necessity. Unpack your kitchen essentials first. Hook up major appliances (i.e. stove and microwave) and small appliances (i.e. toaster, coffee maker) you rely on, and unpack a few pots, pans, dishes and utensils so you can prepare basic meals. Don’t unpack what you don’t need at this point. After the kitchen basics are complete, move on to the bedroom. Again, stick to the basic essentials. Assemble your beds (if necessary) and unpack your linens. Next, unpack your bathroom essentials, such as towels, toiletries and medications, and install your shower rod and curtain. Storage spaces like your garage or attic can be unpacked last. Unpacking methodically, moving from one room to the next, will help minimize the chaos and maximize the productivity of the unpacking process.
- Keep your schedule flexible. When it comes to moving, you have to roll with the punches sometimes. If your move took longer than expected and you arrive at your new home or apartment much later than expected, you will likely have to adjust your unpacking schedule. Don’t stress – there is no one right way to do it. In fact, which room you unpack first depends on the time of day you arrive at your new home. If you arrive in the late morning or early afternoon, you can begin with kitchen essentials. However, if you arrive in the later afternoon or evening, prioritize unpacking the bathroom so you can take a hot shower and the bedroom(s) so you can get to sleep.
- Unpack only what you need. You are probably eager to get unpacked so you can get back to the other responsibilities on your plate and feel a sense of normalcy. However, rather than trying to unpack each room in its entirety, in the first day or two after your move it is best to focus on unpacking the basic essentials you and your family need to function. You can tackle the rest of your unpacking when you manage to find more free time in the evenings after work or on weekends. Just don’t fall into the trap of pushing off unpacking “unessentials” for too long. You don’t want to be left with moving boxes months (or even longer!) after your move.
- Be careful with your breakables. Don’t unpack anything breakable or delicate in a hurry. You (hopefully) put a lot of care into packing delicate items, like your stemware and china. These items aren’t essential. Unpack them when you aren’t in a rush to get the job done so you can work with care.
- Assemble your furniture. Another key to getting organized is reassembling old furniture and assembling new furniture. You don’t want to live out of boxes for long! Assemble dressers, shelves and other important pieces that will allow you to unpack and function normally.
- Make sure you have the appropriate tools. The unpacking process can only be efficient if you have the appropriate tools necessary to complete the job. This may include box cutters, tape, scissors, screwdrivers, lining paper, basic cleaning supplies, and a number of other basic tools. It’s also important you have the necessary storage units before you unpack. For example, there is no sense in unpacking your clothing until your dressers and/or wardrobe are built.
- Get rid of packing materials as you unpack. The packing supplies you used to pack will pile up as you unpack, and will begin to get in the way and slow down your progress. Store boxes you intend to re-use, flatten the ones you will recycle, and throw the rest away on a regular basis so you don’t end up with a house filled with clutter.
- Take care of post-moving tasks. Before the move, you were focused on last minute packing preparations. Now that the move is behind you, there are probably a number of tasks you need to tackle. For example, ensure that your mail is being forwarded correctly, visit your local DMV to update your driver’s license, find a new doctor and dentist (and ensure your records are transferred), update your contact information with your bank and credit card company, and register to vote with your new address.
Getting Settled in Your New Home
One of the hardest things about moving is feeling unsettled. Moving involves leaving the comfort and familiarity of your home and possibly even your community, and heading into unchartered territory. If your home holds a lot of memories, it can be difficult leaving it behind to start a new chapter. Moves are also chaotic disruptions to your life and day to day routine, especially if you are moving out of town. Here are a few action steps so you can take to feel settled in your new home as quickly as possible.
- Learn the Lay of the Land. If you are moving out of your neighborhood, one of the best ways to get settled after moving day is to get your bearings. Familiarize yourself with where the stores you will need to visit regularly are, including your local grocery store, bank, and gas station. Map out your route to work and try different routes until you find what works best for you. If you have children, figure out the best route to get to their school and familiarize yourself with the closest parks and playgrounds. The sooner you get a sense of your surroundings, the sooner your new neighborhood will feel less foreign and more familiar.
- Get Acquainted with Your New Neighborhood. If you’ve moved to a new neighborhood or city, make a point of exploring. As you check out local shops and start visiting local bakeries, cafes, restaurants and bars, your new neighborhood will feel more and more like home. Push yourself to enjoying new experiences and create new memories.
- Make Your House a Home. It may sound cliché, but a house is just a house until you make it a home. The longer you lived in your old home, the more memories you have there and the harder it is to leave and start anew. Of course, it will take time to create new memories in your new home, and it’s important to be patient and have realistic expectations about the transition. But there are a few steps you can take to make your new home feel like home!
- Hang pictures. Putting up pictures of family and friends will immediately infuse your new home with familiarity and comfort. Fill rooms with keepsakes from your favorite trips and adventures. If certain rooms in your old home held a lot of sentimental value, you may want to lay out or decorate a room in your new home the same way.
- Get creative. While it’s important to bring memories along with you and create a sense of familiarity, remember that moving is also an opportunity to start fresh and get creative. Consider adding new décor to your home that makes you excited to enjoy your new space.
- Host a housewarming party. As soon as you’re unpacked, invite old friends and family over for a housewarming party. First of all, you’ve worked hard throughout the move and deserve a break! Creating new memories in your new house or apartment will help it feel like home much more quickly. Hosting a housewarming party is also a great motivator to get the house in reasonably tidy shape! Don’t feel pressured to make a fancy party. A housewarming party is just as enjoyable if you serve pizza and beer or host a backyard BBQ. The point is to bring together the people you love to celebrate this new chapter in your life.
All Jersey Moving & Storage – Your New Jersey Moving Experts
All Jersey Moving & Storage has helped thousands of families execute successful local residential moves and long distance moves in New Jersey, across the East Coast and beyond. For clients who are short on time, we also offer partial and complete packing and unpacking services. We also have a containerized storage facility in New Jersey where clients can safely store the furniture and belongings they wish to keep but have no space or use for in their new home.
Because we’ve helped so many families and businesses move, we’ve learned the best strategies for ensuring a safe, smooth and effective move. We regularly share packing and unpacking strategies and other moving tips with our clients so they can set themselves up for a stress-free, successful move.
Contact All Jersey Moving & Storage today for all your moving needs.