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5 Tips to Unpacking Your Home

On life's list of most stressful events, moving tops the charts. The very thought of packing and unpacking every single item that occupies your space can be overwhelming. Kick in some chaos and your stress levels will hit your newly purchased roof. Although you may be chomping at the bit to unpack every item and set up your new home, the reality is you'll probably be living out of boxes for at least a few weeks. The good news? There are some quick and easy steps to make your new house feel like a home, even if you're not fully unpacked. Here's how.

  1. Eliminate the ick. Before you even touch a box, send in a professional cleaner to do the dirty work. Not only will it take some work off your plate, it'll give you peace of mind knowing your new home is clean and sanitized. If needed, now is the time to have the place painted, too. Even if you haven’t decided on your final colour scheme, a fresh, neutral or white colour will provide a fresh start.
  2. Start with the bedroom. Moving is an exhausting venture, so setting up your bedroom first is key, says Laura Kay, director of communications of Professional Organizers of Canada. “The unpacking process can be exhausting and time-consuming, so having a peaceful place to plunk down at the end of the day will provide necessary replenishment for the next day,” she says.
  3. Keep essentials handy. Your “Open First” box should contain a variety of items you'll need to live comfortably, advises Kay. These items include personal grooming tools and sleepwear, prescriptions, bathroom and bedroom linens, coffee maker, tea pot, toaster, dishes and utensils, cups and glasses, knives, cutting boards, kitchen linens and cleaning products.
  4. Organize your chaos. Hopefully your packed boxes have been properly labeled with the appropriate destination or room allocation. During the move, try to set down the boxes in one corner of the room so they won’t be scattered or become a physical hazard when it’s time to unpack. Before unpacking everything, remember that new closets may need additional shelving or hanging rods and you may need additional storage units to make a room function properly. “Take your time before opening every box and bringing things out before you have a place to put them away,” says Kay. “It will only add to the chaos in the early stages.”
  5. Pace yourself. “Although you may be in a hurry to settle in and make the place look beautiful as soon as possible, this can be a lengthy process and will indeed take some time,” says Kay. That’s OK. The first place you choose to stash things on unpacking day tends to become its final resting place – taking some time will help make sure it’s the right one.