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DIY Unpacking advice - where do I start?

Allow Sufficient Time

The average 3 bedroom home with a family of four will involve around 70-80 cartons to unpack, which would take a professional unpacking company approximately 16-18 labour hours. If you are unpacking yourself, you need to allow for this amount of time. The other alternative is hiring 1 or 2 professional unpackers to assist you on the day. Things will run a great deal quicker and it's not that expensive.

One Room at a Time

A common mistake for people unpacking themselves is in not focussing on one room at a time. They will flit here and there doing a bit in this room and a bit in that, getting stressed because they can't see any real progress.

Start in the most important room first, complete that and then carry on down the priority list. Kitchen and bedrooms are the most essential rooms to unpack first so that you can at least eat and sleep.

Unpacking With Young Children

If you have young children, unpack their rooms first, which will allow them to settle more quickly. If they are old enough, let them help to sort their own room. Then they can play while you get on with the rest of the house. It's a good idea to have very young children looked after by someone else, and have them brought back when there is some semblance of order and their favourite toys are ready to play with. This is often more helpful than having your friends or family help you unpack. Let them be babysitters and hire some professional unpacking help.

Keeping it Tidy

Remove boxes and paper as you go. It's tempting to just let all the empty boxes pile up but you will get a psychological boost if you cut them down and remove them to the garage or outside, thus clearing floor space quickly and making the house look less like a bombsite. Put packing paper into rubbish bags or into the largest boxes. Otherwise you will end up with a mountain of paper-filled boxes.

Pace Yourself

Make sure you have some healthy snacks available (nuts are excellent), and take a 5 minute break every 2 hours. It's also important to drink plenty of water, or you run the risk of dehydrating.

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