Moving into your new apartment is an exciting time – You are thinking about how you are going to decorate, excited to explore your new neighborhood and the ready for the fresh start that comes with a new place. Despite the fact that many parts of moving can be a drag, (finding boxes, wrapping the breakables, carrying your belongings all the way up to the third floor… I’m getting tired just thinking about it!) the unpacking and settling in part shouldn’t be.
Unpacking and settling in is when you get to turn your new apartment into a home. But if you’re not careful, the process can easily turn into a disorganized mess. Below are a few tips and tricks to keep organized (and motivated!) and make settling into the new digs as smooth as possible.
- Put all boxes into the rooms they will belong in. This will create space in each room for you to work and move around in but also give you a general sense of where things are. So if you are dying for some toast but you haven’t unpacked the toaster, you know it will be in the handful of boxes in the kitchen instead of having to go through every box in the whole apartment lookin’ for the darn thing.
- Spend some time deciding/arranging where you want your furniture to be. You may decide to rearrange again in a couple of months but having your furniture set will give you a jumping off point for the rest of unpacking. Start with the big pieces and try to create the best flow from room to room.
- Unpack the essentials. Unpacking can take time – days, weeks, even months. There will be things you need on an everyday basis (toiletries, bed sheets, that toaster for breakfast) that you should unpack and place in a home right away.
- Make your bed. I’m a firm believer that your bed is your sanctuary and as they say, “The state of your bed is the state of your head”. At this point in the move-in process you should feel pretty good and even though you aren’t unpacked, you are at an organized point and can take your time.
- Make a donation box. As you are unpacking you will come across things you realize you don’t have a place for anymore or you just don’t need. Donate the item if you can, but if not, don’t be afraid to throw it away. Getting rid of the unnecessary is cleansing.
- Pick a room to start in and begin unpacking. Taking it room by room allows you to focus until you have each room just right and eliminates the possibility of the whole house becoming a disaster zone. Plus, with each room you finish, you get that small sense of accomplishment.
- Take a load of garbage out whenever you’ve finished for the day. Garbage piles up fast when you are unpacking. Be sure to keep your house free of all the excess clutter by making a trash run daily, specifically for unpacking purposes. This will help you stay motivated to work on unpacking a little bit more the next day and help you to fully enjoy all that you’ve accomplished this far.
- Decorate! By now you have found a home for most things and have a general sense of where everything is. Now you get to focus on the fun part – Decorating! Don’t be afraid to take your time with this part. I’ve found that setting decor on the floor (below where you want to hang it) for a day or two allows you to envision what your place will look like once it’s up on the walls. This gives you a chance to try it out in different places before making it permanent.
- Enjoy. Now that you’re all settled into your new place you can focus on other important things – like meeting your new neighbors or finding the best coffee shop in the neighborhood. And you can kick back and relax and enjoy your new home.