It can take time to unpack after a move. Some suggest making a two week schedule. However, we’ve condensed it into one week. You’ll be busy, but if you follow this, you should be able to put everything in its place in just seven days.
The important thing is to not procrastinate. You want to make your new apartment or house feel like home.
Let’s get to the schedule.
Before you bring anything into your new home, assign rooms. Mainly, that means deciding who gets which bedroom. Next, as you’re bringing in boxes, furniture, and appliances, put them in the correct rooms. Put the beds in the correct bedrooms, the couch in the living room, table and chairs in the dining room, and any shelves and dressers in their proper rooms.
In the kitchen, set up your refrigerator and put away any extra food from the trip. Put towels away in the bathrooms and put soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other toiletries in their place. If you have a laundry room in your home, put a laundry basket or two in it.
If you haven’t gotten all your utilities set up yet, call the local utility companies and get this done right away. That might mean getting your cable and Internet installed, switching the electric bill to your name, getting gas and water turned on, and the like.
All this work will likely wear you and your roomates or family out! Order some take-out or delivery food for dinner and relax, then make your beds and get a good night’s sleep.
On the first day, you did the basics of getting major items in their places and bringing in all your belongings. Next, you’ll need to make sure there’s nothing different about the home from when you walked through it with the owner or property manager.
Check the ceiling for water marks, which could be evidence of leaks, and check the walls for cracks. Check the garage, bathrooms, and basement for mold or mildew. If any dust has gathered on the floor or counters, clean them.
Check built-in appliances, such as the dishwasher, refrigerator (if the place came with one), stove, washer, dryer, and air conditioner. Make sure they’re clean. Clear out the dust trap in the air conditioner, and the lint trap in the dryer.
If a moving company brought your things, you can contact them and make claims if necessary.
If you haven’t put in a change of address form at the post office, find the one nearest your home and take care of that. These days, you can also do so online. You’ll also be able to register to vote with your new address.
If you have kids, make sure their rooms are set up. Get their help and ask where they want things. You can work together with them on this.
Put away their bedding and make sure their beds are fully made. Put their shelves, dressers, and toys in place. Unpack and put away their clothes. Help them put up their art and posters.
Next, finish setting up the kitchen. Make sure the appliances are where you want them and put away the dishes and silverware. When that’s done, go grocery shopping. This is a good time to check out the grocery stores in your area and to get used to them. Don’t forget to pick up some extra garbage bags. You may need them for your moving boxes. If your area recycles, however, you’ll want to start breaking down the moving boxes you no longer need and putting them in the outdoor recycle bin.
This is a good day to get the living room in order. Hook up the television if you haven’t yet, and set up any gaming systems you have.
It’s time to unpack books as well. Typical spots for bookcases are the living room and bedrooms. You may also have an additional family room, and that’s a great place to put most of your bookcases, turning it into a study area. Arrange your books by topic, author, or however you like.
With the living room, kids’ rooms and kitchen set up, it’s time to get the adult bedrooms in order. You’re probably tired of living out of a suitcase at this point! Put your clothes away in the dressers and closets, and unpack any additional bedding you have. You can fold this up and put it in the closet.
If you have any hobbies, you can store related items in your room. This might include craft items, musical instruments, sketch books, and the like. It may also include sports equipment. However, if you have sports equipment that tends to get dirty, and you have a garage, that’s a good place to store it.
If you have a home office, set that up as well.
At this point, most of your belongings will be where they belong, and you will have thrown out many boxes. While we recommended you put art up in the kids’ rooms as you were setting those rooms up, we’ve left decorating the rest of the house off the schedule, until now.
Today’s the day to hang those photos and paintings, put those ceramic figurines above your mantle and arrange the rest of your decorations. If you want, go get a houseplant or two and put them in an area that gets plenty of sun. This is the day you make your house feel like a home.
Also, put away anything that you have room for, but that you might have missed.
You may find that you have some things you don’t use much or don’t have a place for in your new home. Maybe you want to put away your off-season clothes, or you have some collectibles you want to keep, but only take out now and then. For those, consider getting a storage unit. Check out our size guide to see how much space you’ll need. For most areas of the U.S., and most belongings, we recommend getting a unit with climate control as well. You can find a facility in your new neighborhood and book online.
Back at home, it’s time to consider the outdoors. If you have a backyard, consider setting up some outdoor furniture. Mow the lawn and set up the grill if you have one.
This is also a good day to finally introduce yourself to your neighbors. They may have some advice about the best restaurants and places to shop.
We hope this helps you settle in quickly after your move. Enjoy your new home!