What is the time it takes to unpack post-move

So you’ve managed to pack up your household and relocate everything to your new place. Success! Enjoy that sigh of relief after the moving truck pulls up the driveway. But you aren’t out of the woods yet. There’s just that one last step: unpacking. For so many families the time it takes to unpack post-move seems like an eternity. Well, not if you hire professional unpacking services of course! According to a recent survey conducted in the USA, it takes Americans a shocking 180 days on average to unpack after relocating. One family had a huge book collection and it took them 6 years to unpack everything after settling in their new home. Talk about procrastination. Here is what we have learned from such tales.

What you should do before the move in order to reduce the time it takes to unpack post-move

  1. Label your boxes. It’s much easier to unpack when you know what’s in the box before you start implementing our unpacking system.
  2.  Keep like items together. When you’re just trying to get the move out of your way, laziness can be tempting. Don’t throw things in boxes without paying any mind. Getting unpacked is far less tiring when you don’t have to rummage through boxes. 
  3. Throw out unnecessary items. The less you have to unpack, the better. Don’t waste time and money hauling items you don’t use or you had forgotten you owned. Declutter your home instead, especially if you are moving into a smaller apartment. Free up your time and space for the things that really matter.
  4. Keep the essentials near you. Pack a bag with the items you know you’ll need right after you move in: chargers, toothbrush and toothpaste, medications, important documents, pyjamas… Don’t shuffle nervously through boxes searching for these things when you are tired after a long day of moving obligations. 
Girl driving a pickup truck
Reduce the time it takes to unpack post-move by packing some crucial things all in one, easily accessible place that you will transport in your car.

Things you can do during the move in order to reduce the time it takes to unpack post-move

If you meticulously label boxes than use those labels! Don’t just throw all the boxes together in one messy pile in the hallway. Yes, we understand that it’s much quicker to simply put a box anywhere and rush back to the truck for the next one. Especially if this was a last minute move. However, this will just slow down the unpacking process since you’ll just have to move every single one of those boxes all over again. Instead of spending a significant amount of time carefully avoiding that mountain of boxes, take the time to carry each box to the corresponding room on moving day. If you’re hiring movers, they will gladly do the same.

What you should do after the move to help reduce the time it takes to unpack post-move

  • Fight the urge to procrastinate. We know that this is easier said than done. But in our own experience, we have found that people either unpack within the first week after moving in, or they live between the boxes for months. Tackle the task right away, it’s the quickest way to reduce the time it takes to unpack post-move.
  • Recycle (or store) boxes as soon as you empty them. Unpacking is overwhelming, but if you have visual signs of progress like systematically removing boxes after you unpack them, this can keep morale up. You will also have so much more space to get around.
Baby in a cart smiling
Assign each member of the family to unpack their own bedroom. Create a game that allows kids to participate in the event.

Enlist help

Of course, you know best where all of your stuff goes. But like every task, and a chore, and job in life, unpacking is always better with a friend. Enlist local movers Hawaii as a partner in this process, since your friends are more likely to join you in procrastinating. After 10 boxes they will probably just be cheering you on from the couch. With professionals on your side, you’ll be less likely to give up after finishing half of the first room, you won’t have to lift a finger if you don’t want to! The time it pros takes to unpack after the move is astounding as well, and not by longevity, but by efficiency and quality.

Reward yourself no matter what

Make unpacking a game, with prizes for each milestone. This helps with motivation and it makes the time it takes to unpack post-move shorter. Have you unpacked just one box of dishes and one set of pots? Have a cookie. After you’ve unpacked the whole kitchen you can enjoy a half-hour television show. Work in segments for improved efficiency and to cheat on that procrastination urges.
Be kind to yourself when you feel the pressure and stress of wanting to achieve too much in a short time. Unless you went full on minimalism and got rid of most of your belongings before moving, you probably have quite a bit to unpack. Set realistic goals and don’t allow disappointment to ruin this life change. This process always takes longer than you thought it would. You’ll get everything unpacked eventually. Then celebrate and book a spa day, why not, you deserve it.

A chocolate cookie with a heart shape on it is a great reward during the time it takes to unpack post-move
Getting everything sorted is a necessary but thankless chore; by celebrating each step, you give yourself the incentive to keep the momentum going.

Essentially, if you unpack following a system – you unpack like a pro

Movers don’t just rush in and randomly start opening boxes. They have a system by which they know what it is that they are unpacking. An inventory list that tracks your belongings is the ideal way to coordinate your items according to usage or by room and that way reduce the time it takes to unpack post-move.

When it comes to moving to a new location, people’s experiences and expectations differ. For some people, relocation is an overwhelming list of chores but when they unpack at their new home they are feeling refreshed, full of energy and opportunity. Many other people love the anticipation packing up the household brings, but they procrastinate the boring unpacking task at the new house. Whichever group of people you belong, following a simple yet effective process makes will make your move as smooth as possible.