In the 14 years my ex-husband was home, we moved over 30 times. You most likely don’t know anyone else that can pack a Uhaul as good as me (if it didn’t fit, I didn’t get to keep it!) nor do you know someone who can put up a home as quick (because I’ve literally done it SO many times!)
Moving is hard. It’s a lot of work, you get tired, it’s physically and emotionally draining. Then you get to the new house, look around at all your stuff and have NO IDEA where to put it all. If you are planning your next move, these tips will drastically help you know exactly how to unpack a house in two days!
How to Unpack a House in Two Days
The very first thing you want to do is…
Layout furniture before you move
You have to go to the new house before you move, measure, and figure out where all your big furniture is going to go. Where will you put the couches? Where will the entertainment center fit? On what wall do you want your headboard for your bed? Where will the dresser go?
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Don’t forget the garage. Where will your garage pantries go? Your shelves? Your lawn equipment, snow shovels, bikes, kids cars?
The more you have planned where it will go BEFORE you move, the EASIER it is ONCE you move.
If you want to put things away super quick after you move, plan out everything. On this move that I just made, I already had a lot lined up where it was all going to go, down to the dishes, bowls, plates, cups, silverware, etc.
You absolutely will get overwhelmed with decisions after you move, so the more decisions you’ve already made, the less stressed YOU will feel and the faster you can put it up, because you already know where it goes!
Take pictures before you pack
Over the years, there have been times where I’ve really needed to remember where I had certain things and I can’t.
A good example is my garage pantries. I have everything in a certain order, so that I know where everything is.
Taking a picture of it BEFORE you pack it with your phone, will greatly help you when you want to put everything back! This one tip alone has helped me SO many times and helps me put things back where they belong super quick!
Refrain yourself from organizing
It’s been three days since I’ve moved at the time that I’m writing this and everything is put up, including my garage. Is everything organized? No!
Here’s the trick. I KNOW that things will move. I had an end table in one spot, and it’s just more convenient in the office than the living room. So, I moved it. I put my glasses in one cabinet, but I find myself hoovering over another cabinet to get them — I will move them!
You don’t have to be set in stone on where things are. Throw all your food in the pantry. Don’t worry about organizing it. Just get all those dishes, cups, glasses, silverware, pots, and pans put up in SOME cabinet or drawer where you think they can fit in best. You can fiddle around with the layout of all that later when you’re settled in and find yourself drawn to one area more than another. It’ll all start coming together.
What you DON’T want to do, is have everything in boxes. You’ll never find ANYTHING like that. Seriously!
Then, as time goes on, start organizing the things how you want them, but at least you’ll know where everything is!!!
Do not pack early
I know this must sound so incredibly crazy, but I NEVER pack anything, at all, before 3 days before I move. Listen, even as a single mom, I can pack my whole house in that time-frame, and so can you.
You don’t want to pack early for several reasons…
1) You’ll forget which box you put something in.
2) You’ll need something you packed and never be able to find it. You’ll go out and buy one to replace it, wasting money and time.
3) You’ll pack wrong items with wrong items. There have been many times where I’ll start filling up a box and because I’ve packed early, can’t finish packing the room, so I go on to somewhere else. Then, the boxes are filled with a mish-mash of everything and nothing makes sense. I’ll lose something because I put that can opener with my kids stuff. LOL. I’ll end up buying a can opener because I can’t find the one and have no idea where it’s at.
Speaking of which…
Don’t let anyone else help you pack
Again, this may sound crazy, but goes along with the logic that YOU need to remember where everything is. Every time someone else has helped me pack, I’ve lost things, not known where they are and it’s just a mess. With good intentions, it’s literally sabotaging you.
Note: The only exception is if that same person is helping you put the same boxes they packed away in the new house.
Pack the things yourself, so you know where everything is.
Never take clothes off of hangers
A little known trick is that if you take about 10 articles of your clothing with the hangers in them and fold them in half, only the very middle clothing piece will even have a chance to get wrinkled.
I can get about 20-30 clothes in a 13-gallon trash bag and call it good. At the new house, throw the few wrinkled clothes in the dryer with a wet washcloth and bada-bing-bada-boom, you’re done! If you’re me, you just hang them up and they get the wrinkles out all by themselves…most of the time. Yeah, I’m not an ironer. 🙂
Do this with everyone’s clothes. Seriously, it saves SO much time.
The only thing I would say about this one, is that if you have stairs, roll the bags down the stairs, don’t throw them. It’s much easier to NOT have broken hangers. We always liked to have a soft landing for them like a pillow or something and they all rolled down like a snowball. This will help pack the Uhaul much faster and you will save some energy!
Label your boxes well
For pete’s sake, label those boxes. If you pack misc. items all together, make a list on the box lid. I’ve listed like 10 items on the outside of a box before. You want to know where everything is quickly!
Pack a suitcase
One of the BIGGEST TIPS you need to know is to pack a suitcase for your entire family for 5 days. All clothes, socks, undies, toothbrush, toothpaste, shower stuff, hairbrush, etc. Anything you’d pack to take on a trip or vacation, have it all there in suitcases.
Don’t forget pets! They need a zipper baggy of food for 5 days too, along with two bowls, one for water and one for food. Anything else they may need, like a bed, leash, etc. have them all packed too.
This will ensure that you’re not scrambling after you move to get your kids to school on time or to bed at a decent hour.
Everything is there in the suitcases and you have FIVE days to unpack and find things! This one tip will literally change your moving experience and I can’t recommend any other tip higher than this one! It’s absolutely crucial!
Are you planning on moving soon? What is your biggest challenge when moving? How has this article helped you and what could you add to it to help someone else save time in unpacking a house?