The Unpacking Opportunity: Tips on Organizing Your Home from the Start

By: Jamie Kreps

When you move into a new home, it’s often difficult to think of the unpacking time as a positive opportunity, but it certainly can be! When you consider the amount of clutter and objects you’ve collected over the years (we all have at least that one junk drawer that we’re afraid to open – or close), think of moving as a chance to get a fresh start on organizing your home.

“Moving into a new home is a chance for a fresh start and that includes a fresh look at the way you organize your home.” –

The key to taking the headaches out of organizing your home lies in the preparation work. When you approach your move with a clear plan and goals in mind, you’ll be able to ease into your new home with minimal stress – and clutter.

So where do you begin? Well, for starters, it’s important to know that organizing your home will begin long before moving day. Here are the top 5 tips to start organizing your home from the start:

1 – Where to Start Organizing Your Home

The first steps to a smooth organization process start weeks before the move even takes place. Your planning begins with your downsizing efforts as you prepare for packing. As you prepare for your move, you will be putting in motion an organized plan for unpacking and settling into your new home.

This happens by way of getting rid of any items you no longer need, and by organizing your packing – and by extension, your unpacking. Make sure all items that make the move are placed into boxes or containers labeled by room, so movers know where to place things when they arrive. You can also take photos in each room to give your professional movers a visual on where specific items need to be set up or stacked for unpacking.

2 – Create an Unpacking Schedule

Once everything is moved into your new home, you’ll want to attack the unpacking with strategy. First things first. Unpack bedroom and bathroom items first to ensure you have easy access to all of your essentials right away.

If you have children, you’ll likely want to start on their belongings right away too. This will give them something familiar in their new environment and also give them something to stay occupied while you’re busy unpacking other things.

“Moving can be especially confusing for small children, which is why it’s so important to maintain a sense of normalcy on moving day.” –

The kitchen is another key area to tackle as soon as possible. While takeout and pizza delivery may be appealing for a while (who wants to cook after a long day of sorting boxes?), it’s not going to hold you over for long. You’re going to want to access essential cooking items (hello, coffee anyone?), so be sure to consider that when planning your unpacking schedule.

3 – Finish One Before Starting Another

If you want to avoid spending years living out of boxes, we suggest unpacking one room completely before moving on to the next. Why? When we unpack only the essentials and move to another box, we tend to lose motivation to finish unpacking. That leaves us living with half-unpacked boxes around our homes for – well, a lot longer than we should. says by tackling one complete room at a time, it “…gives you a sense of accomplishment, which can be very motivating and gives you the energy to complete the next room.”

4 – Utilize Your New Space

While most of us gravitate toward closets, drawers and cabinets or cupboards for storage, it’s important to take stock of all the areas you have in your new home. Combining furniture with storage is a good way to add more space and keep things organized.

Ottomans are an excellent place to store blankets, extra pillows or hide-a-bed linens, or even toys if you have small children. Adding decorative baskets, vases, and totes to shelving or furniture (bookshelves, stacked tables, etc.) are another way to add space.

5 – Incorporate the Entire Family

An important tip to remember is that unless you are moving solo (and even then, you can employ help from friends and family), one person does not need to tackle the entire unpacking process alone. When you incorporate the entire family in the unpacking process, you’re freeing yourself from a heavy burden.

I know, many parents will argue that their children helping may cause them even more stress, but in the long run, it will save you some hassle if you have them help unpack. Why? Because when kids have a say in where things go in the new home, it helps them feel like they’re a part of it faster. And an added bonus: they won’t have an excuse that they don’t know where things go later on when you tell them to pick up!


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