Unpacking Can Be Fun, If You Plan Ahead
The fun actually begins in the packing process. Before you pack up your stuff, make sure to grab a bunch of markers in a variety of colors. Designate a specific color for each room – for example, make the kitchen green and your master bedroom blue. Mark your boxes with the appropriate color as you pack. When you get to your new place, let your movers know about your color scheme and it will be easier for them to figure out where to put your stuff.
In addition to color-coding, number your boxes on a 1 to 10 scale, with 1 the least important, 10 the most. When you arrive at your new place, you’ll be able to prioritize and grab your essential boxes first because they will have the highest numbers.
If you have young kids, you could have them take the markers and, sticking to the color scheme, draw pictures of the items inside. For example, turn them loose on the bathroom basics box – the one you’ve filled with items such as soap, towels and toilet paper. Their artwork may not be of much added assistance for the movers, but it might help the kids feel involved in doing something important and the drawings may lighten the mood of an otherwise dreary task.
Along with your basics, pack a suitcase as if you were going on a weekend getaway. Pack enough clothes and toiletries to get you through the first few days until you get your closet and bathroom unpacked.
After you’ve emptied the first couple of boxes, set them near the front door. Label one “donate” and the other “discard.” As you unpack your stuff, you’re sure to run across things that will make you wonder why you packed them. Chuck them into the appropriate box and lighten your load.
As you unpack your boxes, flatten them out. Seeing the progress of flattened boxes stack up will give you the confidence boost you need. If you have kids, ask them to go through the discarded wrapping paper to make sure you didn’t toss any of your stuff inadvertently. Call it a ‘treasure hunt’ – even if they come up empty, you’ve won!
Try a few other quick ideas to make unpacking fun:
- Make it a race. See who can empty a box – without breakables! – the fastest.
- Reward yourself after every five boxes with a drink and/or snack break.
- Bring some speakers and make sure to have music while you work.
And if all else fails, make sure to unpack a few items wrapped in bubble wrap. Popping bubble wrap is a time-honored, stress-relieving tradition that kids (and adults) can enjoy while taking a break from the boxes.