It’s probably the worst time of year to move—the holidays are upon us, the air is cold enough to numb your toes, and the sun sets by five o’clock. Even though fall and winter aren’t technically moving season, some folks aren’t lucky enough to be able to wait until spring and summer to switch homes. If you’re one of them, don’t fret! There are ways to stay sane during a cold weather move.
In fact, I recently just assisted in this endeavor down in beautiful Nashville, Tennessee. We had two days to get a three-bedroom, two and a half-bathroom home in shape, and we did it—just in time to catch some live music and dine on Southern cuisine.
Here’s the before photos, and as you can see, it’s quite chaotic.
However, I was able to unpack and organize the kitchen in about an hour. That’s because I stuck to a few organizational principles:
1. DON’T LET YOURSELF BECOME OVERWHELMED.
Stay calm. Take it one step at a time. Literally. Start in the kitchen, and decide where everything will go. Then, just start unpacking one box at a time.
2. ORGANIZE LOGICALLY.
Starting in the kitchen, I decided, as I usually do, that the mugs and glasses will be near the sink, and baking and cooking items will be near the stove. Try to think about where the most logical and efficient place to store things is, and go from there. Spices = near stove. Mugs = above the counter where your coffee maker will sit. Silverware = top drawer next to sink or dishwasher.
3. MAKE SURE THE SPACE FLOWS.
The home I helped organize this weekend has an open floor plan. Great for parties. Not so great for privacy. We had to create mini rooms without the help of walls and doors. We wanted to make sure the space flowed like a big ole ballroom, but we also wanted to create private sitting areas where people could go to be separate from the group. We made sure that furniture didn’t obstruct walking paths, and avoided cluttering the space with too many knick knacks.
4. GET RID OF CLUTTER.
Speaking of knick knacks, if they’re causing you stress or you’re not sure where they work best in your new home, get rid of them! You shouldn’t have to make space or create a function for an item. If it doesn’t immediately serve a purpose or make the space more beautiful, you don’t need it.
5. SAVE ART FOR LAST.
Don’t hang art until the last minute, when you’re certain of your furniture’s placement. Hanging art is the lowest on the priority list.
And don’t forget, ask for help. Take breaks. Enjoy a meal with your friends and family. Don’t expect your home to be perfectly unpacked and organized in one weekend. Remember, it’s not furniture and art that make a house a home, it’s the people you share it with.
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