How to Organize a New Home When You Move In
Posted on October 27, 2017

Written by: Janine Sarna-Jones

The movers just unloaded your things and now it’s up to you to decide how you’d like to arrange your new home. Maybe you want to maintain the old setting and that would be a lot easier. But the layout of the space doesn’t allow for that. Maybe there is more or less space than in your old home and you just want to have a fresh start.

You’re also exhausted.

So how do you organize your home into a beautiful and comfortable space? Step one: don’t try to do it all in one day. After all, you have that “first night” box, so you should be comfortable for at least one night. You don’t have to start right away.

Starting tomorrow and probably over the next couple of days, this post will help you get set up and ready to start decorating your new home.

Always plan ahead

If you’re like many people, you’ll rush to organize your home in a day or set aside a weekend when you can “get it over with”. But that’s a mistake. If you can, allow yourself a couple of days to fully unpack and organize.


Always plan ahead



Before you even move in, get the new home cleaned out. Dust, scrub, and wash any surface, especially if the home has just been constructed or remained empty for a long time. If you can’t do it on your own, hire a professional cleaning company.


If you have young children, for instance, think about how you’ll keep them occupied during unpacking and organizing. Alternatively, you can have another person like a babysitter or grandparent to look after them. This will give you peace of mind and keep you focused on organization.


Compartmentalize the unpacking



Compartmentalize the unpacking


Unpacking any box you see on your way through your new house can be the easiest route to getting distracted and becoming counterproductive. Instead, take stock of your new home, then unpack your things room by room—starting with the room you’d like organized first.



Diane Schmidt of The Spruce suggests unpacking the kitchen first . Since the kitchen is the most complicated and critical room, it should be unpacked first. Moreover, the more time the kitchen stays disorganized, the more money you have to spend on takeout. Granted, you shouldn’t unpack any room until after you assemble bare bones necessities, like beds and any other pieces of furniture.

unpacking the kitchen first

unpacking the kitchen first



Next, she recommends getting the bedrooms ready. This means unpacking and organizing current seasonal clothes, for instance.
After that comes the bathrooms. With your “first night” box, you must have been comfortable enough to unpack the bathroom after the kitchen and bedrooms. Otherwise, you would find yourself unpacking the bathroom first.

Lastly, unpack the living room and media center. This is where the whole family gathers. So, you want to save the most time for this area.


Declutter as needed


As you unpack one room after the other, you may decide that you actually need to declutter even more. Don’t be sentimental—use Marie Kondo’s method and trash whatever doesn’t have obvious utility or doesn’t make you happy. Or donate the clutter and keep all of it in organized, categorized piles.
If your new space is smaller than the old one, it may be a waste of space to keep items you didn’t need in your old home. You probably won’t need them now, either.


Hold off on decorating


Packed with everything else were the décor items. Avoid the temptation to start decorating and set them aside first. This helps you see what you’d be decorating around instead of doing it blindly and probably having to redo it a few days later.

Remember that your new home is different from the old one. There are variations in things like wall space and layout. You might find that you now have an option to decorate in better or more flattering ways.


For instance, instead of having to put holes in the walls, you might be able to lean a picture against a wall or replace nails with adhesive hooks.


Hire a professional organizer


You might be thinking: Where do I find “a few extra days” to unpack and organize everything when I don’t even have enough time to organize my bills or make a shopping list? Well, why not hire a professional organizer and get the work done faster and probably way better than you would have on your own?
Most professional organizers will charge you by the hour. Others will charge by the day or the project. Look up and contact 3–5 professionals and ask about their rates. Tell them what you’d like done and how many hours you think that would take. Expect to pay more if the organizer has specific expertise or extensive experience. The charges may well be worth it if you’re receiving a much higher level of service.


“Will they clean?” While most professional organizers only aim to get you organized and don’t usually clean, some may be willing to add household duties to their services. They will charge more for the additional services so feel free to ask.


Don’t panic. You’ll be okay.



Don’t panic. You’ll be okay.


When organizing your home or your office, the most important thing to remember is that essentials are essentials––they have to be put in place first. So always plan ahead to avoid confusion and maintain your sanity when it’s time to unpack.

Written by: Janine Sarna-Jones

Janine Sarna-Jones, CPO Janine Sarna-Jones is the founder and president of Organize Me Inc. and has been helping people get organized at work and at home since 1992. Today, Janine and her team help families and individuals move in and out of the New York Metro area. Need help for your upcoming move? Let Organize Me, organize your move!