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5 Tips for Unpacking after Moving

Moving is stressful but unpacking doesn’t have to be. At Megan’s Moving, we’ve moved families and businesses of all sizes. In all that packing, moving, and unpacking, we’ve learned a thing or two. In this post, we’d like to share five unpacking tips to help you unpack after a big move.

Megan's Moving team unpacking boxes

Tip #1: Get Help!

The first of our unpacking tips is to find a few helpers. Nothing makes unpacking easier and more enjoyable than having an extra hand (or two, or four…). If you have a large family, then you already have lots of helpers you can rely on. Friends and coworkers can also assist in the unpacking process. Whomever you enlist to help you move into your new place, make sure that you show them gratitude. Even with lots of people helping, unpacking is hard work. Provide plenty of drinks and snacks to keep everyone motivated, and consider taking everyone out for a meal once you’re finished unpacking. It’s a great way to say, “Thank you!”


If you don’t have anyone that can help you unpack, or if you’d rather hand off the whole process to a qualified team of professionals, then give us a call. Our moving crew can get your home or business unpacked in no time. We’ll even take care of the empty boxes and packing materials for you!

Tip #2: Keep Unpacking Essentials Handy

The right tools are critical to making the unpacking process go smoothly. In fact, of all the unpacking tips mentioned here, this one might be the most important! Here is what you should have on hand while unpacking:

  • Box cutter
  • Trash bags
  • Paper plates
  • Plastic utensils
  • Box cutter
  • Snacks
  • Water bottles
  • Box cutter
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand soap

… and did we mention a box cutter? All jokes aside, this is the most important item you’ll need for unpacking. You can substitute an old pair of scissors (the glue from the tape will ruin a new pair), but you absolutely need something sharp enough to cut open all those boxes. Trust us, there’s nothing worse than trying to peel packing tape off of a hundred boxes.

The other items on the list are important to help you and your crew stay hydrated and stave off starvation. Cleaning supplies are key for places like the kitchen and bathrooms, where you’ll want to wipe everything down before bringing your stuff in. As for toilet paper and hand soap, we think those are pretty self-explanatory.

Tip #3: Clear the Floor for Safer Unpacking

As you’re unpacking, it will be tempting to toss packing materials and empty boxes onto the floor. You may even find yourself leaving wires and cables strewn about until you’re ready to connect them. Leaving anything on the floor while unpacking is dangerous and should be avoided.

Instead, choose an out-of-the-way place to stack your empty boxes, put packing materials directly into a trash bag, and do your best to keep cables and cords attached to their electronic devices (or at least in a box). Doing so will allow you and your assistants to walk freely through your new space without fear of tripping or breaking any of your belongings.

bedroom almost empty during a move

Tip #4: Unpack One Room at a Time

Try your best to unpack just one room at a time. It makes unpacking more manageable, and you will get a boost of motivation from finishing a room before moving onto the next one. Unpacking one room at a time is much easier when you’ve properly labeled your boxes and created an inventory. If you haven’t done this, you can start by opening boxes to see what’s inside. Then move boxes to the appropriate room based on their contents.

Which room you unpack first is up to you. Some people prefer to start in the kitchen, while others prefer the bathrooms or their own bedroom. There is no right or wrong answer here. It just depends on your needs and preferences.

Tip #5: Have a Plan for Disposing of Your Packing Materials

When you finish unpacking you will find yourself with lots of empty boxes and used packing materials. Having a plan for these items will help you avoid the stress and headache of trying to come up with a plan at the last minute. Here are a few ideas for you to consider:

Recycle Your Boxes and Packing Materials

Not all of your packing materials will be recyclable, but some of them definitely will be. Check with your local waste management division to find out what types of materials they accept for recycling and how to schedule a pick-up.

Sell Your Boxes

You can sell your used boxes on BoxCycle, Craigslist, or another online marketplace. You may even be able to sell them back to your moving company.

Give Your Boxes Away

Start by asking around your network to see if anyone you know needs empty boxes. Check with local charities, too. Then consider posting them to Freecycle or NextDoor.


Cardboard is great for composting. So is uncoated and untreated packing paper. When in doubt about what you can compost, look it up!

Store Your Boxes for Later Use

You may want to consider keeping some of your boxes and packing supplies if they are in good shape. You can use them to move items in the future, or you can give them to your kids. Remember how much fun it was to make a fort out of cardboard boxes?

Check out our post on what to do with used moving boxes for more information.

Happy Unpacking!

These five tips should help make your unpacking process as easy and enjoyable as possible. Of course, you can always call in the professionals to make it even easier. Megan’s Moving team is standing by, ready to help you move with ease. Contact us to get a quote today.

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