“Why is the slow cooker in the front of this cabinet?”

“Why do you keep your mugs and glassware in two spots?”

“Why are your towels in the hall closet while your foot spa is under the vanity?”

These are the kind of questions I’ve asked clients over the years and the answer is often the same: “It’s been that way since we moved in and we just never changed it.”

I’ve worked with clients who tolerated disorganized spaces for years before calling me. They moved into a new home and in the haste to get unpacked and settled, they put things away without too much thought. And that’s how they stayed. Today I want to share with you five organization tips for moving, so you can unpack your boxes and be organized from the day you move in.

  1. Lighten Your Load
    The best way to ensure an easy UNpack is to give considerable thought to what you pack and bring with you from your old house. Several months before your move, systematically declutter each room of your home, donating and selling everything and anything you can possibly live without. There is no sense putting time, energy and money into moving things you don’t need anyway.
  2. Organize Up Front
    When packing your things, label each box in a way that will help you unpack easily. Write on the outside of the box the room it should go into (not where it came from), how many boxes you should have in there and what’s in each box. For example, MASTER BEDROOM / BOX 1 OF 6 / SOCKS & T-SHIRTS.
  3. Outfit Storage In Advance
    Most homes will require some customization to fit your lifestyle. If possible, arrange to outfit your closets and storage spaces with organizing tools before you move in so they’re as ready as they can be on moving day. Install your closet systems and kitchen Glide-Outs, purchase a wide selection of drawer dividers, shelf risers and clear containers so you have them all on hand in the moment you need them when unpacking.
  4. Unpack One Room at a Time
    Get each box and piece of furniture into the appropriate room first. Then, whether you’re solo or moving as a team, assign each person a room (beginning with the kitchen) to unpack completely before moving to the next one. There’s nothing more chaotic than having several rooms half-unpacked and nothing completed.
  5. Unpack the Kitchen and Bedroom First
    As mentioned above, focus on one room at a time and make sure the kitchen is the first room. Next, set up your bed, put on bed linens and unpack your clothing and toiletry items. At the end of the first day no matter how much you did or didn’t accomplish, at least you’ll be able to eat, shower, sleep and get dressed in the morning with ease.

Tell us in the comments what tips you have for a successful, organized move. 

About Monica Ricci

Professional Organizer Monica Ricci founded Atlanta-based Catalyst Organizing Solutions, LLC, in 1998. Monica teaches people how to de-clutter and organize their homes and office spaces, streamline business processes, and remove chaos so they can discover their true purpose and live life fully.


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December 19, 2012 at 11:45 am, Betsy said:

Monica is awesome, so are her tips and tricks. Keep up the great work!


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