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Dublin: 2°C Monday 1 March 2021

Banish those boxes: How to get your home organised from the start

Professional organiser Sarah Reynolds shares her moving-day tips.

Your storage might not look like this - but at least you can dream
Your storage might not look like this - but at least you can dream
Image: Shutterstock/Kostikova Natalia

WHEN YOU’RE ENVISIONING life in your first home, you’re probably skipping right over that messy moving part. You can probably picture cosy evenings on the sofa, or entertaining in the dining room one day.

But there is, in fact, a messy moving part in the middle. In order to turn those relaxing visions of your first home into reality, you’re going to want to put in a bit of hard work getting the house properly organised so you can really enjoy your space.

Professional organiser Sarah Reynolds, of Organised Chaos, offers her tips for starting out on the right foot so you can enjoy your space as soon as possible.

1. Declutter before the move

If you’ve got a move on the horizon, it’s time to get to work. “Make sure that you declutter beforehand, before you move,” says Reynolds. “That is absolutely key to not only having an easy moving day, but then making unpacking and settling into the home later. It makes the process easier, smoother, and quicker.”

Moving into a first home might be the first experience some buyers have of living with a significant other, she points out. “Just looking after your own stuff is one way of helping that situation.” You can start by reducing your clothes, and reducing your kitchen items. “You don’t need to move with five spatulas or 10 whisks.”

2. Pack a moving-day box of essentials

As you’re packing to move into your first home, don’t let essential items get buried. Reynolds recommends packing a moving day kit for each member of the family. “You need a suitcase and a box for your final few days in your previous home and your first few days in your next home.” In these, you’ll pack last minute stuff, changes of clothes, toiletries, a kettle, a certain amount of food, selection of delft and cutlery, chargers and any other essentials you don’t want to be digging for on moving day.

Banish the boxes ASAP, says Sarah Reynolds Source: Shutterstock/UfaBizPhoto

3. Move boxes to their destinations and unpack ASAP

Reynolds’ recommendation for moving day? “Just get rid of those boxes.” She suggests moving all boxes into the room where they belong and unpacking them as soon as possible — even if that means having the stuff out on the floor or lying across the beds. “If you don’t do it,” she says, “You’re going to be looking at some of those moving boxes in six months time and you still won’t be fully unpacked.”

Additionally, she says, unpacking actually forces organisation to happen more quickly, “By having items loose out around your home, it forces your hand to find solutions for them quicker rather than waiting for everything to be perfect to unpack boxes.”

4. Prioritise bookshelves

If you’re not in a position to invest in a lot of furniture when you first move, prioritise bookshelves. “You can’t go wrong with a standard bookshelf or bookcase,” said Reynolds, “Whether it has doors or it’s open, you go for basic open containers and put them onto every single shelf.” This gets items up off the floor and into a basic level of storage.

However, she cautions, “It’s not like we’re unpacking a box and throwing it into a container and putting it on a shelf. We’re putting all the TV cables and all the phone charger into one container and all the lightbulbs and batteries into another container.”

5. Double your unpacking time if possible

When you’re planning your move into your first home, Reynolds suggests taking time off from work to unpack if possible. “If you estimate that it’s going to take two days for a move, I would nearly double the time that you expect.” Speaking from ample experience, she says, “The best way to declutter or organise any room in a house is to rip the band-aid off it and get in, blitz it and get ahead of the clutter.” While it might be tempting to organise bit by bit, Reynolds says, you could be at that process for weeks.

Additionally, dedicating extra time to a move gives you a contingency if something comes up. “This is going to take longer than you think it’s going to. The moving company might be delayed, a kid could get sick, so just give yourself that contingency time, go in and get it done, then get back to your normal life.”

And getting to enjoying cosy nights by the fire in your newly organised first home will certainly be worth it.

At Glenveagh Homes, our vision is that everyone should have the opportunity to access great-value, high-quality homes in flourishing communities across Ireland. We understand that buying a home is possibly the biggest decision you will ever make in your life – but we want to make it your easiest. Click here to find out more about Glenveagh developments. 

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Glenveagh Homes

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