Everyone makes a packing list before a big move, right? But what about unpacking? That’s right, there’s a certain order that works best as you unpack your belongings after a move. However, it’s easy to lose track of dozens of boxes, particularly after a hectic move. Check out our step-by-step guide to the optimal unpacking order.
Unpacking Order After a Move
The essentials include things you’ll need on your first night in your new home. Here are the items that should be first in unpacking order:
Family necessities. Make sure everyone has at least one change of clothes, as well as pajamas and prescription meds. Don’t forget about favorite toys, books, and blankets for small children. In addition, unpack items like board games to keep the family occupied in between unpacking sessions.
Toiletries. Bath tissue, toothbrushes, hair products, soap, contact solution, and the like should come out well before bedtime.
Food. You’ll most likely do takeout for the first few meals after a move. But it never hurts to have milk and cereal on hand, as well as coffee, supplies for PB&J sandwiches and any favorite snacks. In addition, take out disposable plates, cups, and utensils.
Linens. Everyone will want a shower after the move is complete. So quickly grab a few bath towels and washcloths, and make sure your shower curtain is handy. Don’t forget about bedding, either!
Electronics. No doubt you’ll have cell phones with you, but also unpack chargers, laptops, and tablets — maybe even TVs and DVD players. Everyone will be looking for a way to unwind after the hectic day.
Pet supplies. Make sure you provide for your furbabies. Unpack their food and bowls, along with leashes, waste bags, and anything else they might need immediately.
Tools. You’ll need tools pretty quickly after moving in, to make small repairs and hang art. The easiest way to keep track of your tools during a move is to bring them all in a toolbox. No unpacking required — just move them to the garage.
Cleaning supplies. If you have your cleaning supplies in a caddy, you can simply transfer them to the laundry room or a cabinet.
After unpacking your most important belongings, it’s time to tackle the things you’ll need fairly soon but not immediately.
Kitchen items. The kitchen should be one of the first rooms you unpack completely. It’s also a great time to wash everything thoroughly and organize your cabinets.
Favorite decor. Pick out the items that make you feel most at home, like special pillows, throws, candles, and art. Put those out before digging out every single knick-knack. You’ll quickly feel at home.
Entertainment. Unpack the things you rely on to entertain yourself. DVDs, music, favorite books, and games all fall under this category.
Clothing. Each person in your family should quickly unpack his or her closet. This prevents everyone from living out of a suitcase for weeks on end.
Bulk items. Remember that 72-pack of bath tissue you bought on sale before you moved? How about the sale items that will make perfect birthday gifts? While you probably didn’t need those immediately, they might come in handy soon.
The last stage in unpacking order includes your rarely-used and least important belongings.
Storage items. Think off-season wardrobes, holiday items, and keepsakes. Much of this will go back into storage of some kind, whether in your attic or garage, or in boxes under your bed.
Books. Don’t make the mistake of leaving your beloved volumes boxed up in the garage. This will dry them out and cause them to turn yellow. However, you don’t need to rush to put them inside.
Extra linens. You probably won’t miss those seasonal tablecloths, beach towels, or guest room sheets for a while. It makes sense to unpack them toward the end of your process.
Office supplies. Unless you work from home, we’re guessing you don’t immediately need extra post-it’s, highlighters, and whiteout. These things can wait.
Fine dining accessories. The wedding china and formal napkins aren’t urgent to unpack. Save them until the end.
Gadgets. No one really knows when a snow cone maker will come in handy. But that and its distant cousin, the deep fryer, will be fine in boxes while you unpack more important items.
Sticking with proper unpacking order sets a positive tone for your entire post-move experience. A detailed list is a critical part of that process. So print out the infographic and hang it on your fridge to consult as you unpack. You’ll be glad you did!
For all move-related questions, contact Ameritex Movers at 713.484.6683.