Tips for Unpacking Efficiently

September 1st is a hectic time, but unpacking shouldn't be one of your worries if you heed our advice.

Moving is never a thrilling or joyful process, in fact it's supposed to be the third most stressful life event behind death and divorce.  After you’ve packed up, moved out, and unloaded the truck the work isn’t over.  Unpacking is that annoying task that you just want to forget about when you’re exhausted, until you realize without it you’ll be sleeping on a bare mattress and making ramen for the next week.  It’s not fun, but it doesn’t have to be as awful as it sounds.  Here are our simple tips for unpacking in an efficient, nearly stress-free way.

Get some help

The true test of a friendship: the move.  It's what separates the best friends from mere acquaintances.  So round up some of your closest friends or family to help you out and the whole process will go much faster.  No one likes unpacking, but it needs to get done one way or the other and just two more people can make it a whole lot easier.  Just make sure you give your helpers some clear direction so you don’t spend a week wondering where they put your toaster.


If you've been renting for a while you should be used to this, renters are five times more likely to move than homeowners.  There are some things you’re going to need right away, and some that you don’t need to waste your time on for now.  Items such as kitchen appliances, dishes, and bedding should be unpacked relatively soon so your new home can be rendered livable.  It would be useful to make a list and put it up on a whiteboard or something else so you don’t forget any important steps.

Organize the boxes

Based on the recent rental prices in Boston you probably don’t have that much living space as it is, so the last thing you want to do is have all your boxes crammed into your living room.  When you move the into your new apartment put them directly in the room where they belong, this will be made easier if you’ve already labeled your boxes.  That way when you start unpacking you won’t need to do any extra moving around or be lost wondering where you put the box with all your clothes.

Organize the unpacked items

Don’t just leave your clothes out to be put away later or set your dishes on the counter.  Put everything in it’s proper place right away to avoid having a messy, disorganized house.  This means you’ll need to move big organizational items like dressers and shelves in first.  Your home may not stay organized for long, but try to start it out on the right foot.

Clean while you work

There’s bound to be a mess when you’re unpacking, in fact it’s one of the worst parts of the process.  To lighten the cleaning load bring a garbage bag to whatever room you’re unpacking in so you can instantly toss away tape, packing peanuts, and empty boxes.  Finding those little styrofoam annoyances sticking to your clothes is bad enough, but if you have a pet it could be worse.

Time management

According to recent Census data the Northeast has the lowest mover rate in the US, but try telling that to everyone that tries to move during Allston Christmas.  Unpacking everything all at once after surviving September the rest of the moving process can be a daunting task, but you don’t want to put it off for too long.  The key is finding a happy middle ground between effectively unpacking and not driving yourself insane.  As we mentioned earlier, you should finish the important stuff right away.  After that you can pick one area of the house each day and space it out over a weekend.  That way you’ll keep a good pace and avoid becoming too stressed.

Interesting Moving Stats*

-The average American moves 11.2 times in their life

-41% of people move within the city they already live in

-Convenience to their job is why 31% of people move

-Five years after college graduation, 30% of graduates no longer live in the state they attended college in, and 35% no longer live in the state where they went to high school

*Stats from the US Census Bureau, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Trulia

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »