Stress-free Unpacking

unpackingMoving into a new place is a ton of work. You can skip a day at the gym because of how physically exhausting making repeated trips to and from your car is – add stairs into the mix and you’ll be sore for days. However physically tiring unpacking is, it’s also mentally taxing. That’s why it’s important to give yourself breaks & not overwhelm yourself by the massive amount of stuff you possess (seriously, why do I have so much stuff?!?)

It’s been more than 3 weeks since I’ve moved, and I’m still not fully settled into my apartment. Coming home to my place a slight mess every day after work slowly began wearing on me, until I hit a breaking point and needed to do something, anything, with all of the stuff I had that was floating around aimlessly. So here are several things I’ve learned through moving – I hope you find them useful!

You don’t have to unpack everything

I made a mistake when I moved in: I unpacked a lot of my things. I was determined for my apartment to feel like home ASAP, which meant I was overzealous in taking things out that weren’t ready to be removed. The only things that you really need to take out are a set or two of bed sheets, some plates, silverware, etc. Stuff that you’ll definitely be using in the next week. I definitely sympathize with the antsy feeling of wanting to decorate and making your place look how you want, but believe me, it can wait a week or two.

Put things in cabinets/closets/shelves

This one is probably obvious, like “Yeah, Amanda, of course I’m going to put my plates and clothes and other stuff on the shelves!”. What I actually mean is just put your boxes/paper bags/whatever into closets, still packed with stuff. I did this after I had everything in my living room and knew what bag was going where, but this saved me a lot of time in trying to find space for my bed sheets, towels, etc. because I didn’t have so many random little things taking up space – I only had bags of stuff.

Don’t be afraid to put things back into boxes

Clutter gets me down – I feel unhappy and distracted when I have a bunch of “stuff” just lying around without purpose. Well, because I don’t have a bookcase to store my books and other knickknacks, they were temporarily being displayed on my dinner table. With my laptop. And my desktop. And my mail. And my lamp. And so many other little things – coins, jewelry, keys. It just got to be too much! So I gathered up all the miscellaneous items that I wasn’t using, and put them back into bags, which I then placed into a closet. Now, my table only has what I absolutely need and I can actually focus on painting or writing. I’ll eventually be able to display all my books and other items when I get a bookcase, but that time is not now.

Be patient

It will take a while for your place to feel like home. It’s not going to happen overnight, and definitely not in a week (unless you’re some kind of pro). If you don’t have furniture like a bookcase or dresser, you’re going to have to keep some stuff packed away for a while until you attain those pieces. You definitely should decorate, but take it slow – the place will feel like yours eventually :).

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Author My First Apartment
Amanda S

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Amanda Szymanski is a 2015 graduate from High Point University in North Carolina, from where she earned a BS in psychology. She loves all things related to scientific research, art, and mindfulness. Currently, she is employed as a research assistant working on a study investigating Alzheimer's Disease. When Amanda is not working on research, she enjoys painting with watercolors, hiking, and reading.

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