Setting Up Home: Tips for Unpacking & Settling In

The last box has been lugged into your new apartment and it's time to start digging in and putting things in order. Now, where to start? Here are a few tips to make unpacking a little easier:

Clean before you start — Before you start digging into those boxes, give your new home a good cleaning. Oh, sure, the landlord may have cleaned it after the old tenant moved out (if you're lucky) but it still wouldn't hurt to give everything a little wipe down with some hot soapy water.
Set up your sleeping quarters — The first thing I always do when moving into a new home is set up the bed and dress it up with fresh linens. At the end of a long day of unpacking, having a bed to collapse into is a godsend.
Start with the necessities — After my bed is together, I usually start unpacking in the kitchen. I mean, you gotta eat, right? Besides, in my experience all the kitchenware take up the lion's share of the boxes. Getting it all unpacked (and the boxes cleared away) will go a long way in helping you feel like you're making headway.
Move in to the bathroom — You'll feel instantly at-home if you get yourself settled into the bathroom. Hang a shower curtain, fill the medicine cabinet, and hang your towels. See, it's starting to feel like your place already!
Get your clothes out — Getting your clothing out of boxes and suitcases and into the closet or dresser will help you feel settled in, too. If will also help you discover what you may need to add to the closet to fit your wardrobe.
Open every box — I am of the opinion that while unpacking it is best to go through every box. Now, there are those who say that you can push the boxes full of stuff you don't want to unpack into a closet and forget about them for awhile. I suggest it's easier to go through every box, consolidating those that will go into storage as you pull out things you need.
Reorganize as you go — As you empty boxes, you may run across things that will go into a storage unit or attic. Create a few dedicated boxes and organize as you go.
Wait to set up the television — You'll be much more likely to unpack and organize your home if you wait to hook up the television. I know, it seems like you can watch a marathon of Design Star while unpacking but, really, does that ever work?

MORE UNPACKING TIPS ON APARTMENT THERAPY
The Unpacking Order: What Rooms to Unpack First
Moving Limbo: Tips & Tricks to Unpacking a Home
Survey: What Do You Procrastinate Unpacking?

Image: Flickr member mbtrama licensed for use by Creative Commons

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