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Organizing After a Move

9 Essential Tips for Organizing After a Move

May 02, 20246 min read

Moving to a new home, especially in a thriving area like Johnson County, KS, is exciting. But along with the joy comes the inevitable task of unpacking. It can quickly become overwhelming. A strategic approach to organizing after a move is the secret to achieving a clutter-free home.

With the right strategies, you can transform your new space into the haven you envision. This guide will walk you through proven strategies for unpacking, maximizing your space, and turning your new house into a cozy and warm abode.

Let’s uncover 9 unpacking tips to help you organize your belongings.

Tip #1: Pre-Move Decluttering

It's tempting to pack everything you own, but a pre-move declutter can help prevent this. Give yourself a head start on the unpacking process. Start early, giving yourself ample time to tackle closets, drawers, and those notorious clutter zones.  

As you go through items, ask yourself “Do I use this, love it, or truly need it? If the answer is no, it's time to donate, sell, or toss it. Remember, less stuff means a smoother move and a more organized home.

Tip #2: Pack Room-Specific Boxes and Label Them

Ditch random boxes and pack with a plan. Designate boxes for each room in your home. Label each box with both the room name ("Master Bedroom") and a short list of contents ("Bedding, Clothes"). You can even use color-coded labels for extra visual organization. This simple strategy makes it easy to find what you need when the movers leave, minimizing frantic searches through countless boxes.

Tip #3: Designate a Central Unpacking Zone

Choose a spacious, central area in your new home. The kitchen counter is a good option due to its size, but even a cleared-out section of the living room or a dedicated folding table can work.  The key is to create a defined workspace. This keeps boxes contained, prevents them from spreading out, and helps you stay focused.

Tip #4: Ready Your Unpacking Tools 

Don't waste time looking for tools while you unpack. Stock your command center with unpacking essentials. This includes box cutters of various sizes, sharp scissors, thick and thin-tipped permanent markers, and packing tape. Have a trash bag or two on hand for immediate disposal.  These tools make unpacking easier.

Tip #5: Unpack Your First Night Must-Haves

Make your first night in the new house less stressful. Unpack a dedicated box with necessities like your toothbrush, toothpaste, favorite soap, a set of clean sheets, your most comfortable pajamas, and a fresh change of clothes. Don't forget your phone charger. Knowing these basics are taken care of means you won’t have to rummage through your moving boxes.

Tip #6: Unpack Your Bathroom Necessities 

After a long moving day, a hot shower feels incredible. Stock your bathroom with necessities like toilet paper, fluffy towels, shower curtains, and toiletries like shampoo and body wash.  Being able to follow your usual hygiene routine gives you a sense of control within the chaos.

Tip #7: Unpack for Your Meal Prep 

Set up a basic kitchen to avoid relying solely on takeout. Unpack your coffee maker (or tea kettle), a few mugs, plates, and silverware. Include basic cookware like a pot and skillet, plus dish soap and a sponge. Even the ability to prepare simple meals makes your new house feel more like home.

Tip #8: Bring Out Your Cleaning Supplies

Moving creates a mess. Make sure you have cleaning supplies on hand, like trash bags, paper towels, an all-purpose cleaner, and a broom or vacuum. This way, you can clean dust, and spills, empty boxes, and keep your home tidy.

Tip #9: Set Up the Bedroom

A good night's sleep is important for staying energized during unpacking. Set up your bedrooms first, including mattresses, cozy pillows, and your favorite bedding. Unpack soft pajamas and comfy loungewear to help you unwind after a busy day. A restful sleep environment recharges you for the next day's work.

Other Helpful Organizing Tips

If those tips aren’t enough for you. We have more organizing tips in store for you. 

Declutter as You Unpack

Decluttering shouldn't wait until after unpacking. Instead, integrate it into the process itself. As you unpack each box, assess each item with a critical eye. Ask yourself:

  • Have I used this in the past year?

  • Does this bring me joy or serve a practical purpose?

  • If the answer is no, it's time to let go. 

Create three piles as you work:

  • Keep: Items you use regularly or hold sentimental value.

  • Donate: Gently used items others could benefit from.

  • Toss: Broken, damaged, or unusable items.

This system takes the overwhelm out of decluttering and prevents items you don't need from piling up in your new home. By letting go of what no longer serves you, you create space for the things you truly use.

Arrange Your Rooms

First, consider traffic flow. Position furniture so you can move easily through each room without bumping into things or squeezing through tight spaces. Avoid blocking doorways or creating pathways that feel awkward or cramped.  

Next, think about the purpose of each space. In the living room, arrange your sofa and chairs to encourage conversation. In the kitchen, consider adding a small table and chairs to create a cozy breakfast nook in addition to your main dining area.

Don't forget to express your style as you arrange your furniture. Choose layouts that feel comfortable and reflect your taste. Experiment with different arrangements until you find one that feels right. If you're working with a smaller space, get creative. 

Choose multi-functional furniture like a storage ottoman that doubles as extra seating or a sleeper sofa for accommodating guests. Floating furniture, such as a coffee table pulled slightly away from the wall, can also make a smaller room feel more spacious.

Use Vertical Space

Even without installing shelves, there are plenty of ways to use vertical space to your advantage. Hang hooks on the back of doors for coats, bags, or towels. Use over-the-door organizers for shoes, toiletries, or cleaning supplies. Install a pegboard in your garage or craft room to keep tools and supplies organized and off the floor.

Invest in Storage Containers

Of course, shelves and vertical space are only useful if you have a way to keep your belongings organized and contained. Invest in a variety of sizes and styles to fit your needs. Use clear plastic bins for seasonal items, decorative baskets for everyday essentials, and stackable containers for pantry goods or bathroom supplies.

When to Call in the Experts

Sometimes, enlisting help makes the moving process much smoother. If you have a lot on your plate, hire a professional organizer in Kansas City. Organizers are experts in maximizing space and streamlining systems. They can help you declutter before packing up, develop customized storage solutions for your new home's layout, and create a plan to keep your home organized.

On the other hand, if you're moving across the country, have lots of heavy furniture, or lack the time or energy for the physical aspects of the move, you can hire professional movers. They pack, load, transport, and unload your belongings.

Complete Your Post-Move Organization Checklist

Remember these 9 essential tips and you’ll transform the chaos of moving into a serene and organized home. An organized home is a happy home. Implementing these tips for organizing after a move lets you focus on enjoying your new life, not stressing over boxes.

Now it's your turn. Have you discovered any brilliant organizing tips after a move? Share your successes and questions about organizing after a move so we can help each other.

Happy Un-packing!


Karen has been a professional organizer in Kansas City since 2015. With her experience in sales & marketing, complemented by a lifelong side gig as a fitness instructor, she discovered that maintaining organization is her method of cultivating tranquility in her life and thoughts. Her frequent family relocations were managed with ease thanks to her organizational prowess, a talent she now imparts to her clients.

Karen's enthusiasm is rooted in devising systems, overseeing projects, and utilizing her meticulous attention to detail to craft spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and practical. As her enterprise flourishes, so does her team—comprising only the most professional, efficient, and discreet organizers. She's selective, ensuring her team exemplifies their high standard of service. For her, organization transcends the mere purchase of attractive storage solutions; it's about equipping individuals with the means to alter their habits and revolutionize their lives.

Karen Swart

Karen has been a professional organizer in Kansas City since 2015. With her experience in sales & marketing, complemented by a lifelong side gig as a fitness instructor, she discovered that maintaining organization is her method of cultivating tranquility in her life and thoughts. Her frequent family relocations were managed with ease thanks to her organizational prowess, a talent she now imparts to her clients. Karen's enthusiasm is rooted in devising systems, overseeing projects, and utilizing her meticulous attention to detail to craft spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and practical. As her enterprise flourishes, so does her team—comprising only the most professional, efficient, and discreet organizers. She's selective, ensuring her team exemplifies their high standard of service. For her, organization transcends the mere purchase of attractive storage solutions; it's about equipping individuals with the means to alter their habits and revolutionize their lives.

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