Phew! One week in and the new house seems like either one day or one year has passed depending on how I’m feeling! I’m so happy with how we have been getting settled in and making this house feel like our home.
Now it had been 16 years since we moved from Kansas City, Missouri to Centerville, Iowa and more kids and more life living means we had a lot more stuff this go around! I was so happy that I began preparing our house for the market well in advanced because that definitely allowed this first week of unpacking in the new house to go much, much smoother. Read all about me prepping the old house HERE.
So what tips do I have for unpacking? I really think the main tip is to go back to the SAME tip I have for putting your house on the market and for physically packing the house to move…PARE DOWN.
Less clutter makes your house sell faster!
Less clutter makes packing and moving less work!
Less clutter makes unpacking smoother!
Take A Full House Tour One Week In
Unload into the garage
We backed up the trailer and then depending on the time frame, 3 to 5 people unloaded the trailers straight into the garage. If it was a couch, bed, table, dresser, etc. then those items got deposited into the appropriate room or into the living room. If it was something big, heavy, or needed to get squeezed into a tight spot, then it stayed in the garage. This included the large antique hardware cabinet that is in my office area in the basement.
I knew where I wanted this piece to go, but it also weighs a ton and after spending tons of time loading the trailers in preparation for moving, my body just wanted a break! So we kept that piece in the garage too.
We also had a big electric reclining loveseat that is big and heavy. It was going to take some patience to move to get it down the basement stairs. Knowing that it was going to take strength and patience I thought it best to save this piece for later when we were more equipped to execute the task. So that couch stayed in the garage.
Watch to see What the Garage Looks Like Over the Span of a Week
Unpack Labeled Boxes
I know this is shocking to all of you that know my controlling Type A personality, but I did not label boxes, EXCEPT for the kitchen and a couple bathroom boxes. I guess when I packed I was more concerned about “tetrising” things and having the fewest boxes possible versus having things sorted by room.
So to unpack we focused on bedrooms and kitchen. We had each made travel bags, so I wasn’t too concerned with bathrooms as we had all packed what we needed with us. But I do know how nice it is to get a good night’s sleep and in order to do that you need a somewhat organized and put together bedroom.
All of our blankets and clothing, anything soft, got packed into large extra strong trash bags. So while those weren’t labeled per se, they were things we unpacked first. For the most part we even kept our clothes on hangers, so we simply removed the trash bag and hung them up. Clothes either got put into closets or drawers or they got stacked on the floor where a dresser would be someday.
Because our beds were already in our rooms, it was very easy to just come in and make the bed. Clothes were easily identifiable so those were easy to put away. Since we did massive purging before the move and I have teenagers, there really weren’t toys or excess stuff to put in their rooms.
As Kash unpacked his own boxes, he actually got rid of a lot more too!
Because the kitchen boxes were marked those were easy to bring in from the garage, open and put away. While I haven’t moved, I did help my sister unpack and organize her kitchen. To me there are just “normal” places for most kitchen items to go. Glasses are by the sink and spices, hot pads, pots and pans are by the stove. Baking items, bowls and measuring equipment is near a nice open counterspace…where you actually do your mixing and prep work. Air-fryers, crockpots, larger things go wherever they actually fit.
Once you put things like that away, then you just see what you have left and fill in where it makes sense. I did not over think it because I knew that using the kitchen was going to be my best way to gauge if I put things in the right spot. Not all kitchens will even allow you to put things where you want them. I really wanted all of my utensils to be in the same drawer, but the drawer I preferred to use was too shallow. I really wanted to set my crockpot in a low cabinet, but it LITERALLY wouldn’t fit in any spot because the cabinet openings were too narrow!
So, put things away in their logical homes as your cabinetry allows. Then cook a few times and you will figure out what needs to be shuffled around. I do not believe it’s possible to get things perfect on the first try!
At this point my parents came to visit to see our new house. New muscles and lower stress levels, so we hauled in the furniture that didn’t make it when we unloaded the trailers. Dad and hubby, with the assistance of my mom and myself, squeezed the loveseat into the basement. We also got the big hardware cabinet to the basement and all of the drawers carried down and put in the right spot.
Because we had this extra help, we also had everyone carry items from the garage to the storage room. Honestly, I made the kids haul down a fare amount of boxes most days. I had brought all of the shelving I had in the shop, so we put all of the totes on those carts so we could easily maneuver them. There were also 2 built-in shelving units for totes already down there.
We did not move the totes down in an organized method like we probably should have. I came back a couple weeks later and organized this storage room. It has holiday decor, keepsakes, and my inventory for The Junk Parlor. One of the reasons I did not organize as we brought things down, was because I didn’t have a clear idea of how I wanted to organize it AND I really like organizing when I can see everything at once that needs to go into a space.
Also, we were in a hurry to get the garage cleaned out because we were going to be out of town for four days and wanted to get cars into the garage. So instead of organizing the storage room, I was organizing the garage.
Take A Break
I worked solid dusk to dawn the first 7 days in the house. One, because I wanted to. Two, because I knew we would be gone for four days. Three, because hubby and the kids were home too, so I could delegate tasks, BUT it is important to pace yourself!
After we came back from being gone for 7 days, I slowed down because at this point I new where everything was. MOST things had a home and really all that was left to do was to decorate. Also, I did want to take time to curate a look for the new home and have a vision.
Things To Do The First Week In Your New House
Change of Address
We did this before we moved, but if you didn’t, make sure you contact USPS and do a change of address. Don’t forget to call all the “places” too! – Banks, Credit Card companies, contact anyone who sends you stuff!
We also did this before we moved, but if you didn’t, make sure to have your utilities shut off at the old house and turned on at the new. You will also want to change your mailing address with your old utilities company so they can send you a final bill. Not technically a utility, but don’t forget trash, internet, and HOA.
Locks & Garage Code
In sad news, we have yet to do this, but you really should change your exterior doors access codes or keys!
We have already given out our garage code, which the neighbors already had, but she figured she was the only one the previous owners had told! Anyway, because we were gone for four days we needed her help with some things! I’m so thankful she had already taken the time to say hello to me!
We got to the new house early and we were sitting outside with our trailers waiting for the previous owners to leave. She stopped and chatted with me. She had been tearing up because her friends were leaving and then I was tearing up because…well moving! Then I went over to her house the next day with a “neighborhood question” and she gave me her cell number, which seems minor, but ended up being a huge blessing while we were gone that first time!
Shut Off Locations
It has been forever ago, but I did sell real estate when I lived in Kansas City for a couple years. I loved going to home inspections because I learned so much just by observing the inspector, listening to him talk about things with the homeowners or just by asking questions. Loved it! So I was sure to drive up when our home got inspected.
One reason was to learn about the house. I doubted there was going to be any real issues, but I still wanted to be here. The inspector was younger than me but I acted like he was a dad. I asked him about our fireplace. I have never had one before and turns out you aren’t supposed to clean them with windex! So glad I asked!
I’ve also never had a gas stove. So, I asked him what I needed to know about it! I also found out how to shut off the water, in 2 places, and where the electrical box is, both of them!
The other reason was because I wanted to look around! When we toured the house we spent about 15 minutes in it. I didn’t even look in any of the closets other than the master because I NEVER imagined we would write up an offer! So, I wanted to actually LOOK at the new house!
Register for School
Hubby has been taking care of all of this, but if you have kids, don’t forget to contact the school and get registered. There are always new student orientations, activities to sign-up for, etc. And, don’t forget school physicals and picking new doctors and pharmacies! Lucky us in the first two weeks we had to visit the chiropractor AND go to urgent care for x-rays!!
A different neighbor told me I needed to get on our residents only Facebook page! I wouldn’t have even known something like that existed if she hadn’t mentioned it. I had already joined some public community groups, but this one is for just residents! I even found some Centerville natives that way and the husband’s mom had actually babysat my sister and I for awhile!
Thinking About Moving?
Check out our house hunting adventures HERE.
See what the move was like our last weeks in the house HERE.
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