Actively Raining Thoughts-Room Service Home Staging: How to Unpack After You've Moved!

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How to Unpack After You've Moved!

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.

Unpacking

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!

 

 Kathy Streib 

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Comment balloon 51 commentsKathy Streib • August 26 2015 03:39PM

Comments

Sending this to my relocating Sellers....they will love it ..thank you !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 3 years ago

Kathy Streib ~ good morning, Kathy... everything you listed is what I learned over many years the hard way!

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | Charlotte, NC) about 3 years ago

Good morning Kathy. I think this is so well done I think it should be a handout.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) about 3 years ago

Those are excellent tips, Kathy!  I haven't moved in years, but could certainly have used those ideas each and every time I have moved.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) about 3 years ago

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

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 3 years ago

Good morning Kathy.  I do wish we would have read this before we sold our home last year.  Packing, storage and unpacking is a monumental task

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) about 3 years ago

BARFF, we could move in together with no problem, this is how I pack and plan my MANY moves.

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) about 3 years ago

Excellent tips on how to move as easily as possible!

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) about 3 years ago

Kathy, great tips for being organized when moving! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) about 3 years ago

Good morning Kathy,

Something to add to my binder for clients on the move.

Thanks for a great post.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) about 3 years ago

Good morning, Kathy -- finally, all those moves have paid off with some very valuable tips.  Important and helpful information.  

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 3 years ago

Good Thursday morning Kathy Streib -

Excellent tips!  This one would be great to print off and hand to everyone on the move.

Posted by John McCormack, AlbuquerqueHomes.com, Albuquerque Homes Realty (Albuquerque Homes Realty * www.AlbuquerqueHomes.com) about 3 years ago

Great information...thanks for sharing and make it a great day!

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) about 3 years ago

Really good tips Kathy. And you made me think about how many times I've moved (in my entire life including childhood) and I'm at 9 and only plan on ONE more move.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 3 years ago

GREAT information! I always have packed 'by the room' to make unpacking easier.

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) about 3 years ago

This is great advice for families on the move. I will schedule a re-blog.

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Realty Group Referrals) about 3 years ago

I learned the "label your wires" lesson a few moves ago. It's absolutely mandatory now!

Posted by Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert, Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com (Zion Realty) about 3 years ago

What a great post and good information to share. Getting your house sold is just the beginning for any sellers.  After keeping the house pristine for days/weeks you now have to pack, label and know what to unpack first.  You are so right about packers packing and labeling.  You need to not only think of where the items come from but where you are going.  If your home had a formal dining room and your new one doesn't, who knows where  the boxes will end up!  After three corporate moves I learned the need to closely supervise and plan.

Posted by Shirley Coomer, Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az (Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living) about 3 years ago

I'm surprised when I see home buyers with boxes stacked here and there with NO LABELS.

NO LABELS.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 3 years ago

Kathy Streib I didn't see the most important tip: hire someone to do it for you.

Bill Roberts

Posted by Bill Roberts, "Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner (Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate) about 3 years ago

Great tips, Kathy. Some of these I hadn't thought about. In addition to labeling wires, I've taken pictures of the backs of computers, TV equipment, etc., clearly showing how the wires/cords are attached.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) about 3 years ago

Sally and David- hope this helps their clients!  Sally K. & David L. Hanson 

Nina- I was lucky in that most of our moves were corporate and paid for.  I watched how the packers wrapped everything! Nina Hollander 

Sheila- Thank you. There are more tips, I know, but hope this gives people an idea of what they can do. Sheila Anderson 

Myrl- moving can be fun if you get everything organized, but, it's still not something I enjoy doing. Myrl Jeffcoat 

Gita- thank you.  Hope you find it helpful. Gita Bantwal 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 3 years ago

James- and isn't it funny how when we unpack, we always wonder why in the world we even bothered to bring it! James Dray 

BARFF- Where we balance each other is you would help be get rid of things. I just know it!!! Roger D. Mucci 

Kat- thanks.  I learned a lot after my first move. Kat Palmiotti 

Wayne- it doesn't have to be hard if you do some preplanning. Wayne Martin 

Raymond- hope this helps!!! Raymond E. Camp 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 3 years ago

Michael- I watched the movers build crates for our stuffed turkey (in flight).  Each time we moved the crate got bigger and bigger!   

John- have at it!!!   John McCormack 

Kristin- and the same to you! Kristin Johnston, Waukesha Realtor 414-254-6647 

Tammy-  I'd bet you have a lot of tips to offer!!!   I didn't even count the times when we had a home in Delray and Orlando then had to move both! Tammy Lankford 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 3 years ago

Yep, you're probably right BARFF.....I don't hang on to much.

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) about 3 years ago

Barbara-Jo- it's so much easier when you break it down like that. Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional 

Roy- thank you very much!!! Roy Kelley 

Nicole- no kidding!  I don't care how techie or good your memory is, you need those labels!!!  Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert 

Shirley- that is key.  Something I forgot to include was to get help as the movers are bringing everything in!  You need to be able to watch what they put where!  Have a great day! Shirley Coomer 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 3 years ago

Lenn- I know!  How in the world can they remember what's in the boxes!!! Lenn Harley 

Bill- good advice!  I'm a little too much of a micro-manager on something like that.  I prefer to unpack by myself, very methodically!  Bill Roberts 

Lottie- that's an excellent idea!!!  Lottie Kendall 

BARFF- see, I need someone to help me with that!! Roger D. Mucci 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 3 years ago

What a great idea to post , Kathy. I think this is the first time I read about unpacking after moving. Very helpful!

Posted by Patty Da Silva, Davie, Southwest Ranches Cooper City, Plantation, Weston, REALTOR, Top Listing Broker (BROKER of Green Realty Properties® - 954-667-7253) about 3 years ago

Hi Kathy - Great advice, most of which we learned the hard way through many moves. The only thing I'd add is to get on it and don't take too long to unpack it all. The sooner those boxes disappear, the sooner life gets back to normal.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) about 3 years ago

I SWEAR that you wrote this one for me, Kathy!! I've got to bookmark this...I've moved W-A-Y too many times, but there's always something to learn. Like tabbing your wiring--good one--

so I have "homework" for you, would you write a post on how to select a good mover and what to ask, etc.? That's really what I need right now! (Thanks, GF!!!)

 

Posted by Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate, "Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905 (John L Scott Market Center) about 3 years ago

Kathy, aside from finding "the home", packing and unpacking are probably equally difficult, great tips..as always!

Posted by Beth Atalay, Cam Realty of Clermont FL (Cam Realty and Property Management) about 3 years ago

Kathy,

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

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) about 3 years ago

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

Gene

Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) about 3 years ago

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

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) about 3 years ago

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.

Posted by Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ (Arizona Focus Realty) about 3 years ago

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!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) about 3 years ago

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

Posted by Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate, "Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905 (John L Scott Market Center) about 3 years ago

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 

 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 3 years ago

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

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 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 3 years ago

Kathy

Great tips on how to unpack after a move.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) about 3 years ago

Thanks Kathy! 

Posted by John McCormack, AlbuquerqueHomes.com, Albuquerque Homes Realty (Albuquerque Homes Realty * www.AlbuquerqueHomes.com) about 3 years ago

Thank you, honey!!! 

Posted by Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate, "Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905 (John L Scott Market Center) about 3 years ago

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. 

Posted by Sussie Sutton, UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers. (UTR Texas Realtors) about 3 years ago

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.

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) about 3 years ago

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

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 3 years ago

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

Posted by Mike Rock, Granite Bay Luxury New Construction...For Less (Complete Design) about 3 years ago

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

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) about 3 years ago

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.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | Charlotte, NC) about 3 years ago

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

Posted by Conrad Allen, Webster, Ma, Realtor (Re/Max Professional Associates) about 3 years ago

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

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) about 3 years ago

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.

Posted by Sue Ginter, Agent serving the beautiful Jupiter, FL area (Water Pointe Realty Group) about 3 years ago

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