So you have found a great job, found a nice place to live and you are excited to be moving to Madrid with family and be part of the Madrid expat community. But moving is not without its stresses and in this blog, I will give you tips to reduce the unpacking overwhelm when you finally get your keys and belongings.
Too often we are so happy to be here and get unpacked that there is sometimes a “shove it into a cupboard and sort it later” mentality with unpacking. What happens? Well, we end up living in a home that doesn´t feel synchronized, nothing has its place and you end up not having that “nesty home” feeling like you did back home.
After working with many expats to unpack and organize their homes in Madrid, I have come up with my top 4 tips to do when you move to Madrid so that you can start afresh in your new home and this fabulous city!
Before you go:
Plan early and declutter early. Without good planning and proper packing, unpacking in Madrid (especially in the summer) can be a miserable experience. So, clear the baggage before you go and here’s how to be ruthless when decluttering. It cuts down costs and trust me, you can get virtually anything you want here in Madrid.
Before you move into your new home:
I know, especially for those who move from outside the EU, that you may arrive many weeks before all your belongings. When you do finally get the papers sorted, your furniture arrives and you have the keys to your new home, go into it and give it a clean before the movers arrive with your things. Trust me, cleaning dust and dead insects that build up in vacant homes can be really overwhelming whilst you are also unpacking.
5 tips for unpacking in your new home when you relocate to Madrid
1. Forget about your old home to get that nesty feeling
We often come with expectations of European living, drinking wine on a terraza, wandering through beautiful streets and looking at beautiful buildings and that is good! But we also come with the idea that inside these beautiful buildings are large apartments just like back home, maybe a balcony or terraza, with lots of space and storage and in reality it’s often not like that. Yes, there is space but in general, they are smaller than what we are used to back home. So my advice is to not compare Madrid apartments with the homes in your own country, absorb the culture of small dark kitchens (yes!) and organize in a way to utilize every inch of space.
2. Build in cushion days when you move in.
You have arrived, you are an expat in Madrid, you have found that place to live and your belongings have finally arrived (yehh!). So how hard is it going to be to pack your boxes?
It always takes longer than you think to unpack. You unpack and give something a place, then you move it around later to make room for other things, or you unpack in a frenzy because you have to work tomorrow.
Build in a few cushion days to focus on getting the unpacking done and done right. Get help from friends or even professionals (like us at My Home Space) to help you.
3. Unpack with purpose.
One time I organized a client’s home and she happened to be storing her toaster in the living room. I asked her why it was there and she shrugged her shoulders and said, “it´s been there since I moved in.” The truth is, we are so eager to start living in our new homes that many times we simply stuff things into a cupboard and think we will sort it later. Don´t leave it to later, sort it today.
As you go through your new home ask yourself, what´s the purpose of this room? Is it for eating? Then make sure you are unpacking the things you need for eating. Is it watching TV? Make sure that you aren´t storing your kitchen appliances in this room. It’s a simple thing but you´d be surprised where people store things.
4. Invest in Material.
Keeping and staying organized is about giving everything its space. Material such as boxes, vertical magazine holders, baskets, shelves, and hooks can all help you store your belongings and utilize all the space. What´s more, you´ll find you will have to be quite inventive with the smaller apartments here in Madrid and the right organization material can help you with that.
5. Put a system in your home
Our home is a system. We have things coming in (including us!) and things going out and we need to have a system in place to manage our things so we feel comfortable and it’s a place to relax. So start at your front door, have a place to put all the things you need put as you enter the house so it’s easy to lift them as you leave. Look at your kitchen, do you have a place for all the recycling and is it easy to simply lift it and take it out? What about your laundry? Do all your rooms have laundry baskets and where are you going to dry your clothes? Move about your home and pinpoint your niggling areas once you unpack. Put in a mini system to deal with them straight away.
About My Home Space
My Home Space is a full-service Professional Organizing firm providing home organizing systems and unpacking services. We can work with you to declutter your home and create sustainable systems to simplify your life and keep it organized and clutter-free. If you are new to Madrid our professional organizers can unpack and organize your belongings and furniture so you can start afresh in your new home from the moment your belongings arrive. We will study the space with you and develop a system based on your needs. By unpacking and arranging your belongings, we can help you begin to live in your new home surrounded by your own things and not surrounded by shipment boxes. Contact us at email@example.com