Search the phrase “packing tips” or “moving tips” and your screen will be flooded with results. However, few of these articles touch on one of the most overwhelming parts of the moving process — unpacking.

Unpacking methodically can help ease the stress and ensure your new home is decorated and organized the way you want it to be. This guide can help you learn how to unpack efficiently and effectively.

Create Your Plan Early

An efficient and stress-free move begins with a plan, and planning begins before you even start packing.

Label each box you pack with the name of the room in which it will go. All your kitchen items should be in boxes labeled “kitchen,” and office items in boxes labeled “office.” Large furniture items should be labeled with the room in which you’d like them to be placed.

This important step should help you or your moving team place the boxes in the correct rooms upon arrival.

Necessities First

Moving experts suggest creating one or more boxes of necessities for your move. These boxes should be easy to access and include the essential items required to keep your family and home functioning. Common items to include are medications, toiletries, phone chargers, tools for assembling furniture, and quick-and-easy food items.

Unpack your necessities box before beginning to unbox rooms. These items will help you get by for a couple of days while you move all your items into your new home and adjust to your surroundings.

This infographic was created by Moving of America, long distance moving and storage

Room #1: The Kitchen

Start unpacking kitchen items first. Connect your major kitchen appliances and unpack pots, pans, silverware, and other items you’ll need to cook and enjoy meals.

However, you don’t have to take all your kitchen items out of their boxes and organize your shelves right now. Making these items easy to access will allow you to return to essential daily routines, such as making coffee in the morning, preparing lunch for the kids, and more.

Room #2: Bathroom(s)

The bathroom is another essential room that should be unpacked as soon as you find the time. You’ll need towels, toiletries, toilet paper, a shower curtain and any other important bathroom items.

Having a fully stocked, usable bathroom can make the unpacking process more tolerable. The bathroom is typically not as loaded with items as the kitchen, so we recommend completely unpacking bathroom boxes. You will feel accomplished checking these rooms off your list. 

Room #3: Home Office (If Applicable)

Some individuals may need to prioritize the home office, while others can save this room for later. Anyone who works from home should assemble office furniture and unpack essential items such as computers, chargers, printers, and more, so they can get back to work as soon as possible. 

Room #4: The Living Room (and Large Furniture)

Labeling your large furniture before moving tells movers where it should be placed. Now is the time to assemble large furniture items and place them where you’d like them to sit in the room. Often, many of these items go in the living room, so put large items in place, then come back later to unpack movies, décor, and more.

Room #5: Bedroom(s)

Bedrooms are less stressful to unpack once major furniture and essential items are in place. Making the bed is one of the first steps to complete. Then, take your time unpacking clothing, knick-knacks, wall hangings, and more. 

Room #6: Utility Room(s)

Utility rooms and other utility areas come last in the unpacking process. Many of the items in basements and garages are used seasonally and are not essential. These rooms also require a lot of organization to function properly.

Utility rooms should be left for last because they need to be organized as they are unpacked. An unorganized garage or basement could stay that way for years.

Additional Unpacking Tips

Moving experts have moved items of all shapes and sizes. Their advice, which has been learned through years of successes and failures, can help you avoid stressful situations. These additional unpacking tips could help your next move become the most stress-free one yet.

  • Do not rush the process. Take the time you need to enjoy your new surroundings with loved ones. Consider creating a calendar and labeling the days you plan on unpacking. Limit those unpacking sessions to a few hours.
  • Use a printout of your new floorplan to decide where you will place furniture and other oversized items before you arrive.
  • Don’t do it all yourself. Let your kids unpack and organize their bedrooms when possible.

Unpacking is one of the most dreaded steps in the moving process, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow the guide and tips above to unpack in a way that is efficient and eliminates stress. For more helpful information, check out the accompanying resource.

AUTHOR BIO: Adam Warner is Content Strategist Manager at Moving of America. Previously, Warner wrote short stories across different magazines.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here