Move Complete – But What Should You Unpack First?

Ah. The relief. Your moving company has delivered the last box, completed a final walkthrough, and left you and your family to enjoy your new apartment. AH! The stress. While the physical relocation is complete, now you have dozens of boxes to unpack. But where do you even start?

Before you begin unpacking, do a walkthrough of your new apartment to make sure it is cleaned and prepared for your belongings. It’s much easier to clean before you have furniture in position.

Then set your major furniture and appliances. Again, it’s easier to organize each room if major features are in place before you begin unpacking boxes.

Unpack the essentials

Remember, it’s important to move at your own pace, but there are some essentials to unpack sooner rather than later.

Kids’ belongings

Immediately following your move your kids will be excited and overwhelmed. They may even be upset about moving away from their friends and their comfort zone. Unpacking some of their favorite toys, books, or games will help keep them occupied and remind them of home.

Pets’ items

Similarly to your children, your pets may be exploratory and possibly puzzled. You can make them feel more at home by setting up a spot for their food and water dishes and by, again, pulling out some of their favorite toys.


When your moving day comes to an end, you will probably be exhausted. And the best medicine will be a good night’s rest. Having your bed ready to use will save you heartache when you’re ready to turn in. Like with other rooms, start unpacking your bedroom by setting up your major furniture (read: your bed) in the desired location. Then unpack sheets, pillows, and blankets and make your bed. Also, remember to hang up your curtains so you have some privacy.


After your move, you might want to refresh from the fatigue of moving. Even if you feel refreshed, you want to have easy access to certain bathroom items like toilet paper, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, and medicine. Unpacking all your personal care items and toiletries as well as hanging up some towels will allow you to feel more at home before the rest of your home is even unpacked.


Food is an essential part of life, so your kitchen will hover near the top of your essential unpacking list. Consider making a grocery run to restock your refrigerator and pantry with at least a few days’ worth of groceries. First, unpack your plates, silverware, and glasses which are probably your most popular kitchen items.

Then find homes for your other kitchen utensils and pots and pans. Your kitchen is a great place to entertain and relax. You may want to reorganize your cabinets and drawers until your kitchen feels like yours, but having the essentials ready to go will allow you to prepare meals more easily.

For the most part, the items you’ll want to unpack first belong in your three most essential rooms — bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen. What other items are on the top of your unpacking list?

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