Wondering How to Unpack After Moving Across the Country? Here’s the Answer

For an average American, unpacking can take about six months, and it is only the average number. In reality, it can take even longer. Therefore, knowing how to unpack after moving will allow you to enjoy your new home sooner. All you have to do is to get organized and plan every step along the way.

And yes, we know that you will feel exhausted and ready for a break after packing your entire home and relocating. But don’t give up yet! If you put this off, you will end up with tons of boxes lying around for months. If you organize your move the right way, your settling in will be much easier and faster. And yes, it is possible to unpack fast. Professional packers can do this in 12 hours. So don’t give up hope. Keep reading and find out the best long-distance relocation tips for easy unloading.

For Starters Pack With Unpacking in Mind

Proper packing is the most important part of every cross-country moving. Why is it so important? Well, because of easier unpacking and settling in. If you hire cross-country movers for packing service as part of cross-country moving services, your boxes and items will be properly packed, and you will unpack in no time. But if your relocation budget doesn’t allow you to take professional packers, you can implement some packing tips that professionals use and buy some high-quality protective materials. Here is what should be on your moving to-do-list:

  • Medium-size boxes,
  • Bubble wrap,
  • Packing paper,
  • Labels and stickers,
  • Permanent markers,
  • Cushioning,
  • Blankets or sheets,
  • Duct tape and duct tape gun.

When deciding what to keep when relocating, make an inventory list of all things you are taking with you. This list will come in handy when you start organizing things after your move. Furthermore, with this list, you can check if something has accidentally been damaged during transportation. Damages can happen if things are not properly placed in a box. For example, pots and pans, like other heavy objects, should go first, then lighter objects on top of them. When packing plates, place them vertically, not horizontally. Fragile items should go in a separate container, and each piece should be wrapped with bubble wrap or paper.

Label Each Box Appropriately

A good labeling system is crucial for a successful organization after a move. The best method you can use is a combination of two or three labeling systems. For example, use colors to mark a particular room, numbers to mark shelves or cabinets, and writing for marking some specifics like “heavy” or “fragile.” Make an inventory list from each room and mark everything with a corresponding label you use for that box. Knowing what is in each box will make unpacking after a move easy and at your own pace. Simply unpack things you need most, and later on, you can deal with other items.

Couple labeling boxes for long-distance moving
If you label everything properly, you will make the job much easier for you and your movers

Place Boxes in the Corresponding Room Right Away

How to unpack after a move if your boxes are all over the place? For this reason, ask your long-distance movers to put each box in an area where its contents belong. And for them to do so, you will have to label every box. If you do this right away on relocation day with the help of professionals you will save yourself a lot of work of carrying your stuff up and down in the upcoming days.

Room with boxes for moving across the country
Ask your professionals to unload everything in the area their content belongs

Clean Your Home Before Anything Else

Move-in and move-out cleaning are probably some of the most tedious tasks of every relocation. But having a new clean home and stuff is a benefit of relocation we never think about. And the best time to clean everything thoroughly is when the house is empty. So take your cleaning essentials and begin with the rooms you plan to use right away. Start with your bedroom and bathroom, and if you are relocating with kids, set up their rooms as well.

Also, when relocating to a new home, before you begin sorting your belongings, inspect everything. While cleaning, you will see if you have any pest problems, mold, and moisture. You will see if there are any damages you weren’t aware of when you bought a home. Whether there are any problems or not, take photos of the house to have proof of the conditions you came upon. Check out this video for more tips on house cleaning.

Start With Necessities First

Once your long-distance moving truck reaches your front yard, the first thing you should do is to locate relocation essentials. That shouldn’t be hard if you adequately packed a truck, placing these essentials last, so they are the first to be unloaded. Aside from cleaning essentials that you will have to use right away, you should also take your bathroom necessities. You and your movers will need clean towels, toilet paper, and soap as soon as work begins. The same goes for your kitchen necessities. Take out your coffee maker and mugs so you can have a break from all the cleaning. Double-check if you have some cash in on you as well so you can tip movers after they finish with work.

Woman washing mug after cross-country moving
Bring your cleaning supplies - you will need them right away

How to Unpack After Moving – Go Room by Room

The first thing to do after relocating is to come up with a plan and schedule for unpacking. Once your professionals have unloaded everything according to the guidance from labels, it is time to take your inventory list and see what objects are in which box. With this relocation hack, you will not wonder “How long should it take to unpack after moving” for long. The key question in every relocation is, “Where do I start unpacking after moving?” Well, choose the area you wish to organize first and begin sorting the belongings you need most. Later on, you can deal with the rest of the stuff. To give you an example, if you are relocating in winter, leave your summer clothes packed.

It Would Be Best to Reassemble Your Furniture on a Spot

When moving across the country, you will probably hire a professional company to help you out. Most crews will disassemble and reassemble your furniture. So when choosing cross-country movers, pick the one with this service. Relocating furniture demands a certain “think ahead” kind of attitude. So don’t make common relocation mistakes and think through where each piece of furniture will go. ¬†All of your furniture will probably be disassembled, and if you put them in its spot, your movers can reassemble it right away without carrying them from one area to another.

Do the Kitchen Boxes Tomorrow

One of the best tips for unpacking after a move is to do your kitchen the day after your move-in. The kitchen is, after the bathroom, probably the most important area in your house. And if you have kids, you will know that this particular advice is in place. There is no better way to deal with anxiety about relocating than with the smell of the delicious meal filling the house. And if you wonder where to start and how to unpack kitchen items, start with heavier and larger boxes and little details you can add in the upcoming days.

Unpack Your Bathroom Things as Well

We already mentioned our unpacking tips about bathroom items, and the best will be to set up your bathroom on the first day. Moving cross-country is exhausting. With the all-day work you will have, a nice bath will be all you can think about. And once you take all the toiletries and put them in your bathroom, you will feel more comfortable and at home. And if you have a baby in the house, taking care of the bathroom will come as a logical next step. Try out your laundry and check if everything is working properly – there will be a lot of washing in the days ahead of you.

Make a Nursery if You Are Moving With Newborn

If you are relocating with a newborn, you will have to set up a nursery too. Clear a space where you can change, feed, and put the baby to sleep. For starters, put this nursery in your bedroom. You probably have everything you need in your essential bag for a couple of days. All you need to do is to reassemble a crib. Here are some items you need to pack in your bag of essentials:

  • Two bottles,
  • Pacifier,
  • Clothing,
  • Diapers,
  • Cooling continuer,
  • Medicine,
  • First aid kit,
  • Thermometer,
  • Toys,
  • Blankets,
  • Baby swing,
  • Baby formula,
  • Wet wipes and paper towels,
  • Garbage bags.
Baby crib
Put your baby near you until you are all set up

Sleep Tight and Rest in the Following Days

Folding clothes in the closet is no one’s favorite job, but if you take your time and properly place everything, you will not have to bother with a closet mess for the next six months. Once your movers are out, set up a bed in each bedroom and deal with clothes one day at a time. Give yourself a deadline to finish all clothes organizing and create a schedule for rooms. If you haven’t washed some of your clothes before relocation, do it now. If some clothes are wrinkled but clean, just spray them with some water and put them back in the dryer. On the other hand, if some clothing demands some ironing, put it on the side and pick one day for that task.

Last but Not Least, Decorate Your Living Room

Leave your living room last. Aside from your sofa, you don’t need anything there until you are all set up. Do not set your TV right away, because it will only distract you and you will get lazy to do the rest of the work. Also, this area will require a little bit of imagination and decoration so who knows, maybe you decide to change the paint on your wall or to put some new shelves for your books. And being the area with probably fewer things, you can leave this to be your decorating project. Now it is an opportunity to create your space the way you always wanted it to be, so take your time.

Tidy up living room after long-distance moving
Decorate your living room the way you always dreamed of

How Do I Unpack Fast After Moving? Hire Long-Distance Movers

We mentioned earlier that you could hire professional packers to do all the job for you and the best way for you to do all this work faster is if you are meticulous in your packing in the first place. Of course, you can simply throw everything from your truck without any order, but this work will catch up with you sooner or later. It is always better to do this job properly right away than to drag this on for the next six months. And if you still don’t know the answer to, “How do I unpack a move,” you can always hire professional movers to help you out. Once they pack all your belongings, your settling in will be much more organized and easier.

Eleanor Stewart