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'What should I unpack first?': Nirina plans her family's big move - with the help of an organisation expert

Professional organiser Sarah Reynolds shares her tips.

Nirina, her husband and their two children are moving into their new home in February.
Nirina, her husband and their two children are moving into their new home in February.
Image: Supplied

MOVING HOUSE CAN be a complicated and tiresome experience – but there are ways to make it easier.

With a bit of careful planning and organisation while you pack, unpack and sort out your belongings, you might even be able to sit down and enjoy a movie on your first night in your new home as a family.

For example, with Sky TV and Broadband, you can get your fast and reliable broadband connection and entertainment setup as soon as you move in – and avail of exclusive offers available for new home buyers and movers. 

So, where’s the best place to start with the planning? Our reader Nirina Sands is moving into her new-build home in Co Cork with her husband and two children at the end of February, but has a few questions about how to make the move as efficient as possible. 

With the move just a few weeks away, Nirina shared with us four questions she has about making her move as stress-free as possible. We passed these questions on to Sarah Reynolds, professional organiser at Organised Chaos, for her expert advice. Here’s what she had to say…

#1: ‘We don’t have a van. What’s the best way to transport large items, like gym equipment?’

Nirina and her family are buying new furniture for their new home, so most of their belongings are packed up in boxes. However, she also has some large gym equipment to bring, but isn’t sure of the best way to bring it to her new house. Sarah’s advice? Hire movers if you can. “A move is one of the most stressful things you’ll ever do. So the more help that you can get with that, the better. Plus, professional movers are excellent.”

Once the equipment is in the new house, Sarah recommends setting it up where it belongs right away. “If you have the movers there, make sure the heavy items are put in whatever room they’re supposed to be in because they’ll be a nightmare to sort out later otherwise.”

cardboardboxes-movingtoanewhouse Source: Shutterstock

#2: ‘We have a lot of boxes. What should I unpack first?’

Nirina and her family have been prepping for their move since September, and have been decluttering as they pack. But what’s the best way to unload everything once they’re in the new house? “The first thing to do is make sure that the boxes go into the room they’re supposed to as they come into the house,” says Sarah. “It saves time and it saves your back.”

“From there, I would unpack the room that you need the most to get back on with your daily life.” Sarah recommends starting with the kitchen so you’ve a working hub for the family and can start getting “back to daily life”. 

Another step Sarah recommends unpacking the “bare minimum” that your family needs, like the kids’ clothes, what they need for school, toiletries and making the beds. “It takes the pressure off,” she says. 

#3: ‘I already know we’ll have a lot of toys to find homes for in our new place. I want my kids’ toy storage to be functional, but also to look nice. How can I achieve this?’

In your new home, you’ll likely want things to look as neat and tidy as possible, while also still having a purpose. With two children, Nirina’s move involves a lot of toys, and she wants to store them in the new house in a way that’s aesthetically pleasing. To achieve this, Sarah recommends starting with having everything organised by category. 

shutterstock_1647313489 Source: Shutterstock

“Create all of the different categories of toys, like teddies, books, games and little figurines,” says Sarah. “Then look at the size of that category and choose your storage based on its size. For example, very often little figurines are dumped in a large storage box. Not only is it difficult to retrieve them, but there’s often other stuff thrown on top of them. Instead, a shallow box or a shallow drawer will work better. You’re matching the size of the category with the size of available space that you have in terms of storage.”

For storage options, Sarah likes to keep things “as open as possible” so that the kids can access the toys quickly – as well as put them away.

#4: ‘I have boxes and boxes of books, and want to store them nicely, rather than just throwing them on a shelf. What’s the best way to do this?’ 

The key to storing your books in an appealing way is all down to how you organise them, says Sarah. She recommends sorting them by colour on a bookshelf to create a “rainbow of books”, and adding in some decorations too.

“You can put some of them standing up, some of them on their side. Think of the rule of threes, like putting three books and maybe an ornament on one shelf. This way you’ll be making your books a bit more of a feature.”

Moving house can feel like a daunting experience, but with some proper planning and prioritising ahead of time, you’ll be all set to enjoy your new home from the very first day.

Getting ready for a move? Tick one big thing off your list with Sky’s exclusive new home offers and get your Sky Q TV and Ultrafast Broadband setup for your move in day. Find out more here. Terms and conditions apply. 

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