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When Unpacking Becomes Overwhelming

For some people, moving house is a fairly benign experience until it's time to unpack. Seeing a mountain of moving boxes scattered in so many piles throughout the house, it can be overwhelming to try to decide where to begin the attack. For a small minority of people, it can be so bad as to prevent them from unpacking anything but the essentials, leaving the rest of the moving boxes untouched for years.

There are a few things that you can do if you are overwhelmed by the unpacking process. The first is to start with areas that require very few decisions. The kitchen is a good place to start, mostly because cupboard space is limited and it's designed to flow a certain way. Choices in the kitchen tend to be limited to functionality. This makes those decisions easier to reach than for other rooms in the house.

Linen closets and laundry areas are also low-decision areas you can start with. You may not get to unpack a lot, but every cardboard box you empty takes up less space on the floor and gives you a sense of accomplishment.

Another idea is to employ friends or family who know you well. Use them to unpack things like the living room or bedroom, putting things in places that seem logical to them. Their choices may not be logical to you, but you can always move things around later.

Remember, the idea is to get rid of the mountain of removal boxes before you become overwhelmed. If you know this is a problem ahead of time, you could even ask your helpers to come over and take notes before you begin to pack the old house. This will give them a leg up when they help you unpack at the other end.