River Cities Gazette

Unpacking and organizing always important after your move

 

NEAT WITH KNIGHT

 
Moving is always a difficult and stressful time taking up a great deal of energy and cleaning out your closet is just one of the many hurdles.
Moving is always a difficult and stressful time taking up a great deal of energy and cleaning out your closet is just one of the many hurdles.
Gazette Photo

River Cities Gazette

Moving takes a lot of time and energy so here are some tips to make each moment count. 

The final phase of moving includes cleaning, unloading, unpacking, and organizing. Start by disinfecting each space. A detailed cleaning checklist for new homes is available on www.about.com. Take full advantage of the empty spaces and do a thorough job. 

If you unload items yourself remember to lift or lower by bending at the knees, not the waist, and keeping your back straight. Also push rather than pull items. Planning ahead is important so that furniture can go straight from the truck to a new spot. This is where a floor plan comes in very handy. 

Be sure to communicate with whoever is moving your possessions so they know where to drop things. You can be there to delegate or add signs on the floor. Boxes can be taken directly to the room or closet where the items will be placed or you can set up a general area (like the garage or spare room) where they will be stacked. Position the labels facing out and keep each room's boxes together.  

Once everything is inside the property the next step is to get things out of boxes. You might start immediately or wait until the next day. Use a box cutter by exposing a small amount of the blade and slicing at an angle away from the body to avoid cutting yourself or any of the items inside. Retract the blade after each use. Extract and unwrap items, then set them aside in categories based on their purpose. If you unpack anything that you no longer want or need, immediately set it aside for donation, sale or trash. If you have helpers, consider an assembly line technique and divvy up the tasks. 

Collect and remove packing materials as often as possible. The best method for disposing of these materials is to recycle them for reuse. Set them aside if you need them to move again in the near future. If not, ask your mover if they take used supplies, use them for creative games or art projects (ideas on www.movinginsider.com), 

or give them away to someone who is moving. 

Online posts for people who need or want to donate free moving boxes 

are common on www.facebook.com, www.craigslist.com and www.uhaul.com. U-haul also has multiple drop sites that accept or distribute used boxes to customers for free.  

When deciding where to begin unpacking, one idea is to do a few boxes in each room, starting with the items that are high priority such as toilet paper, towels, toiletries, perishable food, essential clothing, and bedding. Doing a little bit in each room may help you feel more at home. This strategy becomes more difficult when your boxes are not well labeled. 

Another option is to start with the boxes of only one room and work until you finish. This method will allow you to check one room off the list and will give you a place to relax if you get overwhelmed. If you implement this strategy, start with a room that is important to you. That could be your kitchen because you love to cook and gather there, your room so you can sleep well, a young child's room to get them better situated, or the living room so you can all camp out together on the first night. 

A very effective method for organizing a new kitchen or closet is to see what you are working with before you attempt to put anything away. Gather the items that will go in there and look at the categories to see what might fit in each shelf, cabinet, or drawer. Create a general area for similar items so you know exactly where to look for things. 

Think logically about what items are needed in certain areas of the room. For example, you may need to store the mugs near the coffee machine, the socks near the shoes, the makeup near the mirror, and so on. The things you use most often should be easily accessible and the other things can go up high, down low, or in the back. 

Avoid creating extra tall piles that need to be removed each time something comes out. This advice applies to dishware as well as clothing. Instead of over stacking, consider using a shelf divider or assigning a larger area for a particular category unless it is something that you rarely access. 

Do not stress out, your new organizing system is flexible and can be re-adjusted at any point. When you finish, all of the packing items should be gone and everything should be placed in the correct room somewhere that you can locate it within minutes. If you get stuck at any point consult a Professional Organizer. Also visit neatwithknight.com for more information and archived articles. 

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