Unpacking after moving house: A survival guide

Anyone who’s packed up and moved to an entirely new home knows that, more often than not, things don’t always run smoothly.

Whether your furniture is damaged in the process, boxes of precious trinkets end up lost, or you suffer an injury while packing (lift with your knees, not your back!), there’s a whole host of things that can go wrong in a move.

Here, Jo Carmichael, professional organiser and founder of All Sorted Out, shares her top tips for unpacking post move.

1. Take pictures of set-ups

“Before packing, I like to take photos of how shelves or desks were set up so it can be quickly recreated in the next home.”

2. Declutter before packing

“Every household accumulates so much unnecessary stuff these days. Before packing anything into a box, go through cupboards first and decide what to keep, donate or toss.”

3. Pack room by room and label all boxes

“Write the general category for each room and what’s contained on the tape of the box. This will help you choose where to start when it comes time to unpack.”

Expert tip: Number your boxes and create a list in your phone of all items contained within each numbered box.

fragile

Put together a moving survival kit

Jo recommends constructing a moving kit of essentials to assist you during the days after a move.

“If you’re selling and settling on the current home – make sure to keep legal, banking, real estate, insurance documents and house keys handy.”

From there, Jo says it’s a matter of packing practical items that you may need.

“Toilet paper, paper towel, garbage bags, device chargers, snack foods, medications, tea and coffee, a bottle opener, a change of clothes, and a bag of apples are all items you should keep close by,” she says.

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Jo always likes to include a few extra touches for comfort, too, to make the move a little bit less stressful.

“A candle can help to make the place smell like home, and a charged iPad or the kids’ favourite soft toys will help them feel settled.

“Lastly, a packet of wet wipes for cleaning up spills or wiping over messy shelves before unpacking is always handy, too.”

Expert tip: Keep your survival kit in a recognisable basket or carry bag so it’s not mixed with the packing boxes.

carpet

How to start unpacking after the move

It can be a daunting thought: Deciding where to begin the unpacking process. But Jo says a good place to begin is the kitchen.

“If you brought food from your fridge or freezer with you in an esky, get this unpacked and chilling first up.

“Then it’s a matter of moving from room to room based on your needs in the home.”

Expert tip: “If you have a family member feeling a bit out of sorts because they don’t like moving house, try to unpack their room first. If they’re feeling settled, things will flow easier.”

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