Super Easy Ideas for Unpacking and Organizing Your New Home

The hard part is over, now it’s time to set up your new home!

a couch and a houseplant in a living room
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Bridget Houlihan


Jan 21, 2021

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You did it, you bought a new house! It’s an exhilarating feeling to know that all your hard work paid off. You sifted through endless listings, saw many nice houses (just not THE one), filled out all the paperwork and even got approved for a loan by the bank. Congratulations, you owe yourself a pat on the back. The process of buying a home can be difficult and exhausting sometimes, but it is one of the most gratifying feelings to finally walk through the door of your house.

So now that the hard part is out of the way, how are you going to handle unpacking and organizing in your brand new space? A new house is like having a fresh canvass-- there’s so many options to pick and choose decor that really speaks to your personality, as well as a multitude of ways to organize your space to fit your lifestyle. Instead of being overwhelmed by all the choices, why not tackle it in a consistent and easy to follow manner? We’ve put together a list of some easy ideas that will have you unpacked, organized and enjoying your new space in no time.

moving vans
Getting movers is a great way to ensure that your items are protected and being handled by professionals.

The Move

Long Distance

Whether you’re moving across the city, or across the country, moving presents a certain set of challenges and difficulties that new homeowners must be up to facing. If you’re moving to another city or state, it’s a good idea to enlist the help of professional movers. These companies are insured and have a designated team of movers that will help ensure all your furniture and valuables are transported in a safe manner. This is especially recommended if you have a lot of large items-- such as beds, dressers, tables, and chairs-- that are awkward and heavy to transport, and require wrapping to safeguard from breaking or scratching.

It’s recommended that you call a couple of long distance movers and get some quotes. Typically they’ll need to know how far, around how many rooms you’re looking to move, and an estimated weight of your items. Once you’ve found one that is within your budget, arrange a day and time for pick up. It’s best to leave the heavy lifting and the secure wrapping to the movers, that way if something happens to your items, they hold the liability.

Short Distance

Not all moves are across state lines, sometimes they’re to just another local neighborhood! If you have an established household-- with rooms full of items to move, you may want to consider contacting professional movers as well. There are plenty of moving services in cities to check out-- so again, make sure to call around and find a moving company that is within your budget. These companies will help you move all your large items, or your all your items if you choose!

Some people prefer to move the small things such as boxes and smaller appliances themselves, especially if they know someone with a truck. This will cut down on the weight of your move and will make it less expensive for you. 

If you don’t have a whole house full of items, and your friends and family are willing, it is also an option to just move everything yourself! This means packing everything up into cars and trucks and making multiple trips to your new home.

Pro Tip: Organize your boxes with labels or color code them by room. This will make it much easier to unpack!

woman with moving box
Having a plan to stay organized before the move will help you stay organized when you arrive at your new house to unpack.

The Unpacking and Organizing

So now you’ve arrived at your new house, the movers have left and it’s time to start unpacking! If you labeled your boxes, each room should contain the items that belong in their specific room. This is a great way to stay ahead of the game and keep things organized amongst the clutter that is inherent with any move. If you can, arrange to have a couple of days off after the move to really settle in and start to unpack. Rushing an unpacking job just results in more stress and more mess! Here are a couple of tips to unpack successfully in your new home.

Arrange your time

After the first couple of days after the move, you’ll want to figure out a long-term schedule of unpacking that works with you work and home life. It’s not advisable to try and unpack everything all at once-- that just leads to a let down. No one could, or should, try to do everything in a short amount of time. 

Set up a plan with yourself or your family with realistic goals for unpacking over the next couple of weeks or months. Depending on how busy you are, set a goal for unpacking a box per day. If you have more time, or on the weekends, try to take on the larger tasks of organizing the dishes in the cabinets, or making sure the pots and pans have made it to their proper place. These micro goals are crucial to unpacking and organizing your new home in an efficient manner.

Make sure to have the essentials

Home organization experts agree that having a box or two of “essentials” is the best way to have a smooth unpacking transition to you new home. Pack a box that includes everything you’d need in a given day-- from medication, a pair of clothes, and basic cooking utensils. Having easy access to these items will keep you from searching through boxes and boxes for some important items.

This tip also goes back to labeling your boxes properly-- make your essentials box clearly labeled, and consider keeping it separate from all the other boxes during the move. If you enlisting the help of movers-- especially when it’s over a long distance-- it’s a good idea to keep those essentials with you. You never know what can happen to the truck along the way, so it’s a good idea to make sure your important items won’t be delayed in reaching your new home. If you have small children with you for your move, make sure to pack some things to entertain them as well! 

suburban house
With a little pre-planning before your move, you’ll find it much easier to stay organized while you unpack.

Work room by room

This is probably one of the best tips for staying organized while you unpack from a move. Most experts advise unpacking and organizing the items for the kitchen first, because the sooner you can cook, the sooner you can stop ordering in or eating out. After that, it’s a good idea to have a plan for unpacking the rest of the rooms in order of importance. If you organized and labeled your boxes prior to the move, they should already all be in their appropriate room just waiting for you to unpack them!

The rooms that should be unpacked first after the kitchen depends on what you’ll need first-- such as bedrooms, bathrooms, and then the living room. Other rooms can probably wait to be unpacked such as offices or extra bedrooms. Don’t get distracted as you’re unpacking, and keep your focus on one room at a time. Although it can be tempting to designate friends or family to help you unpack and organize simultaneously, it’s better to keep your focus on one room at at time. Not only will you finish it more quickly, but you will see the results of your efforts sooner!

Clutter will accumulate-- again!

Prior to your move you probably went through your things to decide what you no longer need or use. However, post-move is also a good time to take another sweep through your items that you either just can’t seem to find a place for, or you really don’t want. Make a pile or designate a space for more items that you no longer need and plan to donate them or have a garage sale-- which is a great way to meet your new neighbors!

As you’re going through your items consider the last time you used it or wore it-- if it was longer than six months, you probably don’t need it anymore. And remember, if the item doesn’t bring you joy, it doesn’t need to be in your new home either!

Pro Tip: Try organizing your house with things you already have! There are so many ways to re-purpose common items such as mason jars and magazine racks.

The Enjoyment


After you’ve unpacked, organized, and de-cluttered your home, now it’s time for the fun part: decorating! As you’ve unpacked, you’ve probably found your decor items that you brought from your previous space. Try putting them in their new home and see if you still like the way the space looks. If you don’t, this is the time to try out a new style or orientation that you’ve always wanted. See what works with the space, the light, and the colors. If you don’t like it, you can always change it, after all, this is your home!

It may take some time but eventually you’ll get your home exactly the way that you want it. Keeping things organized takes work, but it is definitely worth it in the long run.

Everyone’s home buying journey is different, and everyone has their own unique style to make their house feel like a home. With a little pre-planning and some fool-proof moving, unpacking and organizing tips, you’ll be well on your way to spending some much needed relaxation time in your home!

September 4, 2019
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