Where to Start Unpacking

Just like everything else, unpacking is easier when you have a plan. Start with your furniture and most essential items, then branch off from there. 

In many ways, packing up and relocating everything from one home to another is the hardest part of moving, but just because you’ve taken the last item off the truck doesn’t mean you’re done. You still have to unpack everything, but where’s the best place to start?

Plan Ahead

Everything (including packing and unpacking) goes more smoothly when we take the time to plan before we get started. 

When you boxed everything up, hopefully you made an inventory of everything you packed and where it went, and/or labeled all your boxes so you know what each box contains. You should have also packed a moving day box that contains all the essentials of what you’ll need as soon as you move into your new space, so you can start there.


Once you’ve unpacked your essentials, the first room to be completely unpacked should be the kitchen. If you have time, stock the cupboards first, since that will make it easier to find what you need while you’re cooking. If you don’t have time, just unpack what you need first, including major appliances you moved, pots and pans, and items like microwaves, coffee makers and toaster ovens unpacked and plugged in. You don’t have to worry about fully organizing the kitchen until after the rest of your new home has been unpacked, but getting started on it will help smooth the transition into your new home.


Furniture should always come first, so you should start by assembling the beds. Once the furniture is assembled and in place, make the beds. You won’t want to spend the day unpacking and then, when you’re exhausted, have to make up a bed. When packing, it helps to put the bedding in clear plastic bags so you know on sight which bedding belongs to which bed. Then you can worry about organizing the closet and unpacking all your clothes.


Bathrooms are another essential room, and like the kitchen and bedrooms, it’s important to unpack the essentials first (medication, toilet paper, towels, shower curtain, etc.).

Living and Dining Rooms 

As with the bedrooms, furniture needs to come first. Hopefully you were able to obtain the floor plans of your new place before move-in day so you could plan out where everything would go, but even if that’s the case, seeing it all laid out in front of you can make a difference, so be flexible. Once everything is in place, you can start unpacking and organizing the smaller items. If you’re the type of person who works best with music or a TV playing in the background, you’ll want to prioritize setting up your TV and sound system.

Storage Spaces

The things you use most often should get unpacked first, with the things you use less getting unpacked next. Finally, the things you only use once in a while that generally stay in storage should get unpacked last (this usually means the attic and/or basement). For example, if you’re moving after the holidays, you can leave the ornaments and tree as they are, and just put them in your storage space.


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