opening boxes and getting organized

Opening Moving Boxes and Getting Organized

Moving: it’s a box of responsibilities, especially if you’re moving to a new home with a family in tow. Opening moving boxes and getting organized in your new home is an important part of your move; rushing can leave you disorganized and searching for key items for months.

To begin, take out your box cutter (tool list here) and open the first moving box. Be careful not to cut too deeply into the contents of the box.

Opening Boxes Carefully

If the box contains pillows, linens, bedding and other fabric items they can easily be cut by your blade since only a sheet or two of packing paper is between the tape and the item on top. 

Get Items Out of Paper

You’ll want to unwrap items over the box. If something falls it will land on the packing paper, rather than the floor and is less likely to break.

The volume of paper used in the moving boxes you are unpacking will be immense. There will be paper used to wrap each individual item, pad the bottom and top of the carton and fill in empty spaces in the box to keep items from shifting. It is not always possible to determine if paper has been used for packing or for padding.

Flatten paper to avoid missing small items like lamp finials, hutch keys, screws, and lightweight light bulbs. This assures you have checked each piece for your belongings.

Break Down Moving Boxes

Moving companies will request you break down boxes and stack them by size for removal. Some movers allow you to stuff the packing paper into the large wardrobe boxes or dish packs. Other movers request that all packing paper be stuffed into large garbage bags so you can put them out for the weekly trash pickup.

Take the Trash to the Garage

Clear debris fast. Quick removal of cardboard boxes and packing paper not only shows progress but creates more room to work. Clearing out boxes is much like clearing out clutter – it gives the eye a calming, restful view.

Taking the boxes out also gives you a break and a change of scenery as well as a chance to see progress made in other areas of the home. As you walk through, you may notice a category of items that you have unwrapped that may be suitable for combining together.

Organize Moving Boxes by Size

Empty boxes, as well as those stuffed with paper, should be organized by size (wardrobe boxes, dish packs, medium/small boxes and flat cardboard) and stacked neatly in a designated area for pick-up. This makes it easier for the moving company to pick up boxes for disposal. If you want to recycle and give to another person for moving, having the boxes stacked by size makes them easier to pick up and stack in their vehicle.

Keep the Work Area Neat

Keep pathways clear of paper, boxes, and unpacked goods so we won’t be in the way of others carrying heavy items. Especially on Day 1, people will be uncreating heavy, fragile items like glass tabletops and statues, and new appliances and furniture may be delivered.

Work Safely

Keep the packing paper of the floor as much as possible because it can be slippery. This is especially true if you have older adults or children present for the unpack.

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