How to Unpack After You've Moved!

Home Stager with Room Service Home Staging

How to Unpack After You’ve Moved!

I’ve moved about 9 times and have learned something with each move.  Having your house on the market and selling it are stressful enough, packing to movehowever, it doesn’t stop there.

Now comes the fun part! It’s time to unpack and settle into your new home.

The key to making unpacking easy is to start before you even move!

Whether you are packing and moving yourself or you’re having professional movers, you can follow these tips.


Before you move...

1 As you pack, keep all of the items in a room together, just as they will be in your new house.

If you have professional packers, they will pack what they see. Their job is to get it packed quickly!  If it’s in a room, it gets packed!

On one of my moves, I was working from home and couldn’t supervise closely.  That was a big mistake.  The packers would take items from my family room into the dining room.  They used the table as a work table. (they had a pad placed over it).  The problem was that when they finished wrapping the items, they all were labeled Dining Room.

2.Clearly label each box and don’t be too general.

Label the sides as well as the top so you will be able to read which room it goes in.

Know exactly what’s in each box. If you’re really on top of things, make a detailed list with what’s in each box.

kitchen drawer3.Tips for drawers.

This is how professional packers handle your kitchen.  They do not pack each thing individually.  For example, take the flatware organizer, lift it out of the drawer and wrap the whole thing.  It’s so easy when you unpack.. all you do is remove the paper and place the organizer in the drawer.

If you are moving yourself, you can do this with all of your drawers and loose items.  

Wrap like with like!


4.Have a Last on-First off box that includes items you will need/want right away such as: toilet paper, scissors, a hammer and nails, tape, paper towels, glass cleaner, trash bags, bedding, toiletries, paper cups and plates, light bulbs, your coffee maker, coffee or whatever you need.  Don’t forget your pets, medications, and other personal items you need.

5.Plan before you go, where you will place your furniture.  It’s a lot easier to Last on first off boxask the moving people (whether they’re the buddies you’ve bribed or professional movers )to move something once, than to ask them to hold up placing furniture while you make up your mind where it should go.

6.If given the opportunity, clean and prep your new home. If you plan on lining your shelves, it’s a lot easier to unpack  if the shelves have already been wiped and lined.

7.Make use of clear plastic bags.

Have bed linens for each room in a labeled plastic bag so that you can set up each bedroom without having to rummage through your boxes.  

8.Keep your important and sensitive papers, computers, and jewelry with you.  If you are having professional movers, do not put them on the moving van. (yes, you’d think that this was a no-brainer, but no, people still do this)

9.Gather numbers and information you will need.

You'll want the nearest take-out or delivery service.  Who wants to cook the day you move in!  

If you can, find out the days of your trash pick up.  Now with Yelp and GrubHub it’s easy to locate services that will deliver.

10.Label your wires!

If you’re like most of us, you have wires coming out of televisions, computers, and who knows what else.  My suggestion is to get colored tags and label where everything goes as you unplug/unhook them. Watch this video on how to label your wires.


1.Have on hand and with you a pocketknife to open the boxes

2.Have a bag for trash and wrapping paper.

3.Have cleaning supplies gathered in one place.  

4.Unpack the rooms you will need now! This usually means the kitchen and your bedroom and bath.  If you have children, then of course their bedrooms will need to be unpacked.

5. As you empty a box, break it up and move it out of the way.  You can sell the boxes and special moving paper on Craigslist!

6. Don’t wait to hang pictures!  This will help to make your new house feel like your home.


How to unpack after you move?  It’s easy… just start at the beginning!



Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Roy Kelley 09/22/2015 07:00 PM
Home Selling
The Lounge at Active Rain
Addicted to Active Rain
Bartender, Make it a Double
moving tips
how to unpack after youve moved

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Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Great suggestions, and we try to unpack ASAP, since both of us hate clutter...Thanks for writing this wonderful article.

Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Realtor (503)755-2905 make sure they really have insurance...On our way to Napa from LA we had breakage, even though they packed it...They refused to acknowledge it.  They told us, they had replacement insurance.  They sent an adjuster who tried to blame us for the damage...We learned and our move from Napa to Santa Barbara was perfect, and no breakage.  A

Aug 27, 2015 04:46 AM #32
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

You provide GREAT suggestions and tips for moving here, Kathy Streib ... consider them Pinned and Shared!


Aug 27, 2015 06:21 AM #33
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Some great tips and information in the post on the best way to make a move and not go crazy at the new home.

Aug 27, 2015 07:02 AM #34
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Great tips, the move doesn't end after we have all of the stuff in the home, unpacking can take a very long time, haha.

Aug 27, 2015 07:08 AM #35
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Excellent tips for unpacking made easier!  Preparation is so important, as you mentioned having them packed by room in the first place will make it so much faster at the other end!

Aug 27, 2015 08:49 AM #36
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Hey, Ron and Alexandra Seigel thanks for the tip! UPS doesn't hold up their end EITHER, when they break things. 

Aug 27, 2015 09:08 AM #37
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Patty- I actually love to unpack but only for myself.  I couldn't do it for a living. Patty Da Silva, Davie, Southwest Ranches Cooper City, Plantation, Weston, REALTOR 

Dick- I agree!  When we moved to our first house in Florida, we moved in on a Thursday and had houseguests the next week. Dick Greenberg 

Gayle- let me get past Erika (if she chooses to stop by Palm Beach County for a visit or go up the coast) and I will. Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Realtor (503)755-2905 

Beth- and so many have to move in and start work the next day!  Beth Atalay 

Ron and Alexandra- I'll never forget when I moved from one apartment to another in the same complex.  I was planning on moving the next day (Saturday) but after several adult beverages, my friends and I said "what the heck, let's do it now."    It was awful, I had stuff everywhere! Ron and Alexandra Seigel 


Aug 27, 2015 11:17 AM #38
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Gene- thank you so much.  Hope that others find it helpful. Gene Mundt, Chicago-area Mortgage Lender - 

Ed- thank you!  It all starts in the old house!  Ed Silva 

Brian- you're right about that!!! Brian England 

Sharon- in one move, the packers put my baskets in wardrobe boxes to fill them.   I ended up with what looked like 10 wardrobe boxes of baskets! Larry thought I'd gone nuts! Sharon Tara 

Gayle- I will write you your post... just for you!!! Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Realtor (503)755-2905 

Aug 27, 2015 11:23 AM #39
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


Great tips on how to unpack after a move.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Aug 27, 2015 12:14 PM #40
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

Thanks Kathy! 

Aug 27, 2015 01:33 PM #41
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Thank you, honey!!! 

Aug 27, 2015 01:45 PM #42
Sussie Sutton
UTR Texas Realtors - Pearland, TX
UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers.

Great post. In my last move I got my grand daughter and her husband to pack all my fine china and kitchen ware way ahead of time .... they did an awesome job. 

Aug 27, 2015 03:13 PM #43
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Kathy. Why is this post not featured? Outstanding job with your post and such an important top. Very important list for everyone that is considering moving.

Aug 27, 2015 07:20 PM #44
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Thank you for the great tips. i will bookmark this and share it with others.

Aug 27, 2015 09:07 PM #45
Mike Rock
Complete Design - Granite Bay, CA
Granite Bay Luxury New Construction...For Less

i love the reminder to get the new home ready... clean, line the shelves. super helpful to get ready the new place

Aug 28, 2015 12:16 AM #46
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I'm sure it's not the last time Larry will think you've gone nuts. LOL!

Aug 28, 2015 11:00 AM #47
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Ron and Alexandra Seigel ~ just saw your comment on unpacking ASAP. I'm exactly the same way... my mother always used to say she didn't know how I could move into a new place and in three days it looked like I'd been living there forever.

Aug 28, 2015 09:46 PM #48
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Hi Kathy.  You moved nine times.  Wow.  Great tips. Thank you.

Aug 29, 2015 01:37 AM #49
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Great tips.  We moved 3 years ago and are still un packing.

Aug 30, 2015 12:27 AM #50
Sue Ginter
Water Pointe Realty Group - Jupiter, FL
Agent serving the beautiful Jupiter, FL area

Kathy Strieb, great useful post! So many good tips. I'm in the middle of my 8th move in 10 years. Job changes, life changes, landlords selling houses, you name it.

Aug 30, 2015 06:35 PM #51
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Kathy Streib

Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224
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