What to Unpack First After Moving

Posted on March 20, 2018

unpack first

You already went to painstaking lengths to empty your closet and garage, create inventory lists and label all your boxes clearly. All this hard work can pay off in the unpacking phase, if you do it correctly. Unpack these items first to make your new house feel like home as soon as possible.

#1 Essentials Box

Treat this box as you would a doomsday survivor kit, a hospital bag or a piece of carry-on luggage – it should have all your most basic necessities, nothing more, nothing less. This box will help you get by as you unpack the rest of your items, which can sometimes be a slow process. Don’t forget to bring:

  • Food, water, paper or plastic dishware and utensils
  • A day or two of clothes
  • Travel toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant
  • Hand soap
  • Medicine and first aid kit
  • Paper towels and disinfecting wipes
  • Basic entertainment like books
  • Any electronics you use daily and their cords

#2 Cleaning Supplies

If your new home hasn’t been lived in recently, or if the previous tenants led a messier lifestyle than your own, there’s a good chance you’ll need to do a deep clean before you’ll feel comfortable. Now is the time to do it, as it’s much easier to clean floors and cabinets without furniture and items in the way. Unpack some paper towels, disinfectant spray, wipes, a broom or vacuum, sponges and anything else you may need to get rid of dust and caked-on grime.

#3 Tools

Many people forget to unpack their tools first since they’re usually kept in the garage. However, without tools, you won’t be able to assemble any of your furniture. You don’t need to unpack every little thing, but give yourself access to the basics, like a screwdriver, hammer, wrench and drill as well as screws and nails.

#4 Bathroom Basics

As much as you may want to arrange your entire kitchen or build your bed, you’re better off unpacking your bathroom stuff first. You can’t focus on furnishing your new home when you haven’t gone to the restroom in hours, and you certainly can’t wash your hands without soap and towels.
How much you unpack is up to you, but start with toilet paper, hand soap and towels. Before the end of the night, hang up a shower curtain (or at least a liner) and bath towels, and stock your shower with soap, shampoo and conditioner. Hygiene products like toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, brushes, combs and razors can stay on the counter for now – you can always straighten up later.

#5 Beds

Sure, you can sleep on the couch, in a sleeping bag or on the cold, hard ground, but that’s only going to sap your motivation to unpack tomorrow. For your own sake, and the sake of everyone who has to interact with you, ensure you get a good night’s sleep by assembling your bed soon after arriving.

Your bedroom setup doesn’t have to be elaborate for this first night. Put your bedframe together, lug in your mattress and top everything off with fresh sheets and pillows. Even a mattress on the floor is better than nothing, if you’re getting in late at night.

#6 Kitchen Basics

You need to eat to function, and while you could order takeout for a week, that’s not great for your wallet … or your waistline. Bring cooking basics, like a toaster, tabletop grill, coffee maker and pots and pans for the first day. You can always use plastic or paper plates and utensils in the meantime. On day two or three, it’s time to start unloading all your plates, bowls, cups, mugs, utensils and other dishware. It’s best to do this all at once, unless you feel like rearranging your drawers and cabinets over and over again.

#7 Large Furniture

After you clean, you can start moving in large furniture right away. If possible, chart out furniture placement before moving. Or, if you have to choose your furniture’s location on moving day, be prepared to tell movers which room to put your pieces in so you’ll only have to shift them slightly as the week goes on.

#8 Optional: Appliances

We tend to take appliances for granted, which is why they often slip our minds when settling into a new home. However, you aren’t going to make it very long without a washing machine and dryer to launder your clothes or a refrigerator to keep all your takeout and groceries fresh. You may have purchased the existing appliances along with the home, but if you brought your old appliances with you or purchased new ones, you’ll need to hook them up yourself or schedule a professional to do it sometime around moving day.

#9 Optional: Kid Items

If moving is tiring for you, just think how hard it must be for a child who doesn’t have any control over their situation! Bring comfort to your child by unpacking their items sooner rather than later. It may be a good idea to set up their bed right away in case they need to go down for a nap. Consider designating a kiddie essentials box full of their favorite toys or small items they may be able to unpack on their own. This will keep them preoccupied as you deal with the less fun aspects of unpacking. If you have a baby, set up the nursery right away, or at least get the crib and changing table assembled.

#10 Optional: Pet Items

It can be easy to forget Fido and Mittens during a hectic move, but it’s important you don’t neglect them in your haste to get unpacked. Remember to put pet food, bowls, leashes, beds, pet medicine and a toy or two in an essentials box for your furry friend. While you can’t prevent the stress they may feel after switching homes, you can do your best to make them comfortable during the transition.

Make Moving Simple With Union Transfer & Storage in North Carolina

Moving is exciting, but it can also be stressful if you don’t have a good game plan. Remove uncertainty from the equation by entrusting your move to the moving professionals at Union Transfer & Storage. Our team prioritizes clear communication and friendly customer service, which is why we’ve been recognized as a 2017 Customer Choice Award Winner. We’ve also been a family-owned business in Asheville since 1927, which means we know our stuff inside and out.

Call us at (828) 209-0171 or fill out our online form to start planning your move today.