My friend Ora is unpacking somewhere in the near east, so here are some tips for her and for anyone who needs some organizing tips.
1. If you use a moving company and they can unpack for you and take their packing materials (i.e papers, peanuts, boxes) with them - do it! It is worth the trouble of having everything laid down on floors and tables around the house because it makes you put it in quicker. When you get tired (pretty quick) and discouraged,remind yourself you don't need that much stuff and give it away. Be free and helpful.
2. Box, tray and contain (in a container) everything you can.
3. Make everyday things easy to reach. That soup bowl you bought 'cause you thought it'll be mighty nice to use at the holiday table - stick it in the back. We both know you enjoy looking at it but it's completely useless. This way, you can wave to your pretty bawl from afar without needing to bend around it to get the things you really use.
4. Have kids? Good chip labor. Sorry - let's make it: it's very educational to involve kids in the process of unpacking! build their furniture pieces first and have them put their books and toys in place while you do ... deep breath... Oh My Gosh.... THE KITCHEN.
5. Art is beautiful but let's leave it for last.
6. The kitchen needs its own chapter and is too painful to think of. If you really need it let me know and I'll fill my wine glass, shut the door (don't want the whole neighborhood to hear my moaning) and write about it. Only for you, my friend. No, I need you to take it into account, cause I really mean it - ONLY FOR YOU I'll sit and do this painful task so know thy collector.
7. Get one of your kids to be the schleper helper. S/he will take all done-with boxes into the garage/dumpster/outside and flatten them. It will help you see the end clearly.
8. All through the process, when you're doing the mundane stuff, don't forget to imagine how great it will be to ............. at the end of the process. (fill in the blank yourself, I don't have to spell everything out for you!)