Last week I wrote about moving with an infant and toddler. This week, I’ll tackle the part I suspect many of us hate the most – unpacking. Let’s be real – unpacking was no fun before kids, and after kids? Forget about it.


1. Think months not days. One of the keys to not driving yourself crazy that you’re still living among boxes and missing items is to set realistic expectations. You no longer have the luxury of time to have a days-long unpacking binge. It’s going to be done in small chunks, slow and steady. And, yes, this could mean months before you’re truly ever done. And when your toddler tries to “help,” you know you’ll just end up undoing that “help” eventually, too.

2. Unpack the essentials; everything else can wait. Things like cooking utensils and bottles and anything else you need for the day-to-day is worth expending the energy after work or a long day of child-rearing to unpack. All those smaller decorative items or boxes of clothes you hardly ever get to wear? Either donate them or take your time. No one’s in a race here anymore.

3. Resist the urge to hang stuff up just to get it done. A few months in, and we’re still living without pictures or art on the walls. And while it does give me that urge to just do it to get it over with, I remind myself that I don’t want to hammer a hole in the wall unless I’m 90% sure that’s where it will stay. And since we’re still trying to figure out the best place for all the furniture, and getting some new pieces, patience is key. It’ll be worth it when I don’t have to re-do my work a few months later (or so I tell myself).

As long as we’re fed, clean and happy, everything else can wait!

What about you? Any other tips for settling in?


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