Where to Start when Organizing Your New Home

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Make your move easier with these organizational tips when moving to a new place

So you just moved into your new home! First off, Congratulations! Whether this is a house you purchased or a place you rented, it’s an exciting time in your life. You’re off living your own life and making adult choices so cheers to you. 

But moving is overwhelming. You have to pack, move your life, unpack and, organized! It’s a lot and you may be wondering where to start when organizing your new house. 

Organizing, in general, is a lot and it takes time to figure it out. It a good idea to start fresh and organize when you move because it’s a rare opportunity to start from scratch! 

Your belongings need to find new homes in your house. Especially if you didn’t like how things were organized at your previous residence, it’s an easy opportunity to change it up!

So if you ask me, you need to start organizing when you start packing for your new home. Don’t worry, this isn’t a cop-out answer. I also give you some pointers on how to organize once the movers (professionals or very kind friends and family members) are gone. 

Declutter while you Pack

You have to go through all your belongings anyway, so you might as well purge. There are many ways to do this. You can even check out my post on decluttering. So grab the checklist and a glass of wine and start parting with the things you no longer use. I know this can be hard but at least give it a go. As long as you donate or trash a few things, it’s better than nothing right?

Labeling can definitely be your friend here.

One thing I wish I did better at when I moved was labeling boxes. I moved from a one-bedroom apartment to a 4 bedroom house and I chose to label every box like we were moving into another one-bedroom apartment. There were so many boxes in the master bedroom! 

Nowadays, you can see your future home over and over again on Zillow or Realtor.com so you can semi-plan where you want things to go. I would try to split the boxes out into different rooms especially if you hire movers. 

Even if you group like items together into spare bedrooms then at least you don’t have to look at a mountain of boxes. Especially after a long day of moving, it’s nice to get your bedroom somewhat organized. It’ll appear much more manageable. 

If you can color code it, it’s even better. We labeled the boxes on the sides and the top but they still got turned around so it wasn’t super easy to tell the movers where to put it. If you use different color tape, it’s much easier to tell by a quick glance. 

Four boxes labeled for each room: Kitchen, dining room, fragile, and living room.

Plan to spend time packing

This tip may be obvious but I think it’s important to say. Give yourself time to move. We procrastinated way too to start long packing. 

Trust me, you have more stuff than you think. I did not think we could fit all the stuff in our apartment that ended up in boxes. We have a lot of stuff… Soo much… There were so many boxes. 

On that note, there are so many boxes to unpack. Moving is stressful. Even if you chose to hire movers, it’s still a long day. If you can, take a few extra days off work. 

That’ll give you the opportunity to unpack, figure out what you need for your new home, organize a little, and recoup. 

two women packing boxes. One is taping up a moving box.

Pack a Moving Essentials Box

I would make sure you pack yourself an essential first-night box. I put this box in my car so I knew where it was and what it was at all times. You’re definitely going to want to know where your toothbrush is and be able to take a shower. Also if you’re like me after a long day, where the wine bottle and wine glass are. 

Here are some things I recommend to add to your moving essential box:

  • Hand Soap
  • Shampoo, conditioner, body wash
  • Shower curtain/liner
  • Toilet Paper
  • Snacks
  • Pajamas
  • Any daily medication
  • Cell phone charger
  • Clothes for the next day
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Garbage bag

Unpack the Kitchen and Bedroom First

When you’ve finally moved all your stuff in or the movers have left for the day, I suggest unpacking the Bedroom and the Kitchen first. You need somewhere to sleep and you’ll want to be able to use your kitchen as soon as possible. 

Trust me, the days leading up to the move, we ate so much takeout and my body was hurting. So unpacking the kitchen and not having to order takeout all week was a lifesaver. We did order takeout the first night in our new home but hey, it was a busy day! I get the last thing you want to do is cook. 

Unpacking the rooms you’ll use the most first helps you stay functional and create somewhat of a routine. You don’t want to be digging through boxing when you want to make your morning cup of coffee.

woman taking a toaster out of a box. There is a man in the background looking at a clipboard. They are unpacking and coming up with a game plan.

Keep important paperwork and receipts in a designated spot

You really don’t want to lose important documents or paperwork so create a designated space for them right away. Also, with a new place, it’s inevitable that you’ll need new things especially if you’re moving into a bigger home. 

We’re coming from an apartment to a house so we had to make some big purchases right away. Some of these things included a washing machine, lawnmower, and grill. You definitely want to keep these receipts and warranties handy just in case something happens. 

I suggest getting some kind of filing cabinet or box to keep these things organized. Another thing that will be super handy is a home maintenance schedule. Again, coming from an apartment, we weren’t in charge of most maintenance things so this is new to us.

With a house, it’s way different. You should know the last time you change the air filter or had an exterminator come out. If you create a schedule, then you’ll know when it’s time to pay attention to it. 

When you first move, there are some maintenance things that should be taken care of right away like the air filter and changing the locks. It’s also a good time to fix some of the things on the home inspection.

Here’s a post from The Spruce that gives you some ideas for your checklist.

Declutter while you Unpack

Even if you decluttered while you packed, you can do it again once you unpacked. I know I found a few things I decided I didn’t need when I went through the boxes again. 

Once you unpack your things into your new home, you may realize that some things do not fit the aesthetics of how you want your home to look and that’s okay. However, I wouldn’t go shopping quite yet. 

First, give yourself some time to live in the house. Brainstorm ways to make each room more functional and flow smoothly. 

For example, we have a bunch of closets, but it doesn’t make sense to have our wardrobe split out into four different rooms. You’re just going to end up migrating it to one place eventually anyway.

We put our dress clothes in the spare bedroom and our everyday clothes in our room. I put some office clothes in my office just in case I need a quick wardrobe change before a Zoom call.

Completely unpack before you buy organizational supplies

I know it is so tempting to immediately run to HomeGoods or Target and get all the cute organizational bins. You’ve been looking on Pinterest for weeks after all for inspiration but believe me, good things come to those who wait in this situation.  

Once you’ve given yourself a few days to operate in your new home, you’ll start to figure out what you need and you’ll save money not buying things because you thought they could be useful.

A couple cleaning and unpacking. They are surrounded by boxes.

Once you’ve unpacked the majority of your boxes, then you can decor shop. This way you’ll have a better idea of what you actually need. What works in your new space and what doesn’t. 

I know our design ideas changed several times during the first few days in our house. We were excited and ideas just came spewing out. Some good, some bad. My fiance got a little carried away with hanging pictures right away and let’s just say there are a few extra holes in the wall that we don’t need. You live and you learn.

One thing about moving into a new home is everyone has opinions on what you should do. While they probably have your best interest and are just excited for you, it’s you’re home and you can do what you want. 

You have to make sure it matches your style and makes you feel comfortable and at peace. You’re going to be spending a lot of time there. 

Your home doesn’t need to be perfect on day 1, heck even day 90

My fiance was a little more excited than me to immediately invited people over. If he had it his way, he would have had everyone over when there was absolutely nothing in the house. He almost did actually… But anyway, I was so stressed that people were going to see the house before it was Pinterest-worthy.

But honestly, that was so silly! It’s going to take time. We just bought a house so a lot of our money went into the home buying process so the budget isn’t really there to go crazy with decorating. This is completely normal and your friends and family understand that! Like I said before, there were a lot of essentials for lawn care and house care that we needed to purchase first. 

Not only that but it’s going to naturally take time to make this house your home. You have to live there and figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Girl with her arms in the air. She is surrounded by boxes and a small house plant. She is happy to be in her new home. Organizing takes time.

You have a while to decorate it to perfection and it’s not going to happen the first few months especially not in the first thirty days when everyone wants to see it! They’re excited for you and no one expects it to be perfect. Please keep this in mind. 

This is a season in your life where there are a lot of changes happening. There is a lot that goes into moving and settling into a new area. So take the time to enjoy it and be present. Don’t worry if your decor is a little out of whack right now. It’ll get there. 

Rome wasn’t built in a day and your home’s style won’t be either. It’ll get there and you’ll love it even more because you’ve had time to figure out what you want and need. 

Until next time,

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