Twenty days after we moved in, we hosted Thanksgiving for our parents. For those of you who want things to be “perfect” for the holidays, imagine 50+ boxes to unpack and make into a home in less than three weeks. The last twenty days have been a whirlwind. I have to say that I am truly thankful to be settled into our new home!
If you are moving here is how I was able to unpack and organize so quickly (Hint: the secret is in the packing and planning)
- Plan the layout for your space. I actually made a scale diagram of our new home and played with the placement of the furniture. It takes more time than you would think to rearrange a room once furniture is already placed, so take good measurements of the space and of your furniture. Make sure to include door and hallway dimensions. Knowing where your larger items will go will save you time in the long run and the stress of trying to get a too large piece of furniture through a too small doorway.
- Use moving boxes. At most corporately owned Uhaul locations, they have a leave a box/take a box program. We, did not find this out until we were getting rid of boxes. This is important because the boxes will stack well in corners and be sturdy enough that you are not wasting time cleaning up damaged items. After you unpack, you are going to need a place for these boxes to go. All of our Uhaul boxes are going back to them, which will empty out our garage dramatically.
Label your boxes with the room and the items or even unique location within the room. For instance we had boxes labeled “Buffet Drawers Fragile” and “Items from Secretary” not only did we know what room they went in, but where in the room.
- Have help if you have children. My mother-in-law stayed with us and took care of our son and pets while I unpacked like a possessed demon. Had she not been here that first week, I would not have been ready for the holidays.
- Set up donation pick up. Even though we got rid of quite a bit of large furniture, prior to the move, we still had boxes of clothes, toys, and a mattress that needed to be donated. Salvation Army and Amvets will come to your house and load up the donations themselves, saving you tremendous time and stress.
- Lastly, set aside time. I took a total of three days off to move and I knew that we had the week of Thanksgiving off from school. I unpacked enough that during this week we concentrated on arrangement and cleaning. While it may seem like too much time to take to set up your house, know that until you feel settled you will be unpacking every night after work. I come home to a pretty, comfortable home and can relax after a hard day of work which makes me more productive the next day.
- Have an area or room where you forgive yourself for your lack of unpacking/organization/attention. For us, it is the garage. We chip away at it small bits at a time–or not. I am completely OK with this messy space.
Here is what we ended up with. The pictures are dark, please forgive me.
More to come later!