In the weeks and days before moving, you may be consumed with plans and worry over packing without thinking about the unpacking job you will be faced with after the move is complete. Unpacking can be even more difficult than packing, especially if you haven’t packed in an organized manner. Luckily, there are some tips and tricks to help you pack in such a way that unpacking becomes a breeze.

1. Pack an Essentials Bag

There are certain items you just know you are going to need easy access to the day you move. Things like toothbrushes, hairbrushes, deodorant, soap, shampoo, slippers, pajamas, medications, and anything else you are going to want to easily be able to find after an exhausting day without having to dig through boxes. These items should go into a small duffel bag (or any other kind of small sturdy bag) that doesn’t go on the moving truck but stays with you however you get to your new location.

2. Know Where Your Bedding Is

The first thing you should do when you arrive at your new home is to make the beds. Trust us. The last thing you want at the end of an exhausting day unpacking and getting settled is to face empty mattresses that still need to be made. You are going to want to just plop into bed (in those pajamas you don’t have to dig around for because you packed them in your “essentials bag”) without thinking about it. Making your bed can also make your new space feel more like home. Therefore, make a special mental note where you have packed your bedding, as it should be one of the first things you unpack. Don’t bury it under other items!

3. Don’t Pack Miscellaneous Items You Will “Figure Out Later”

Here’s the thing about those miscellaneous items–you will never “figure them out.” That box of “miscellaneous” will be the one you never unpack that ends up taking up space in your attic or the corner of a closet somewhere. Just leave those things behind. You don’t need them, and why bring clutter from one home to the next?

4. Organize Your Boxes By Room

Pack items together that are going to the same room in your new house. Then immediately put the boxes into their appropriate spaces. Don’t let boxes pile up in one room. This way, you can methodically unpack and everything is already in the room where it needs to be. There is no rule about which room to unpack first, but you likely want to do some unpacking in the bathrooms, the kitchen, and likely the children’s playroom on that first day you arrive. Even if you don’t set up the rooms completely, at least unpack enough that your kids have what to play with (and will leave you in peace for a while to unpack elsewhere), so that you can take a shower, and so that you can navigate dinner that first night.

5. Give Each Item a Home While Unpacking

Within each room, every item needs a home, whether that home is in a drawer, on a shelf, within a cabinet, or somewhere else. As you unpack, don’t leave things in piles. Put them away immediately into their new “home” within your home. If you put away as you unpack, you’ll avoid creating a second major job for yourself after the unpacking “putting away”–namely the “putting away” of groups of items that are now sitting on beds, tables, and the floor. Just put it away as part of the unpacking process and you’ll be finished more quickly without leaving a mess in your wake.

By keeping these strategies in mind as you pack, you’ll be prepared for a more organized, less stressful unpacking experience at your destination. If you need any help with packing or any other aspect of your move, the professionals at Big John’s Moving are happy to assist! We can even pack for you to make the process less time-consuming for you. Anything you do to ease the stress of moving day will make a big impact!