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The Unpacking Order

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The best way to successfully unpack all of your belongings at your new home is to have a plan well in advance. If you didn't have a plan for your packing process, then you know how crazy things can be without having an order. By prioritizing, you can more easily unpack your goods and get settled in your new home.

First steps

Before moving day, you should create a floor plan of your new home, detailing where everything should go. This way, you and your movers will know exactly where to put each box. You should also make a list of the items that you will need for your first day. If you know where these items are, you won't get stressed out looking for them amid all of your other boxes.

Creating an unpacking schedule can be helpful as well. By unpacking everything according to a plan, you might not be as overwhelmed as you would be if you were to face a houseful of boxes with no method for unpacking.

The first step of unpacking is to unload all of the large and bulky furniture. On your floor plan, you should clearly label where your beds, sofas, tables, and chairs should go. This way, anyone helping you move, whether professional movers or friends and family members, will know where to put these items. Once the large items are unpacked and moved to their right places, you can focus on unpacking individual rooms.

TIP: It will be almost impossible to unpack everything on the day you move in. Remember to not overdo it by trying to unpack your entire household in one day.

Unpacking your kitchen

Since the kitchen is often the central hub of any home, and because you will have to eat at some point, this should be the first room you work on. Though you don't have to get everything done in one day, you should at least unpack any necessities, such as silverware, and your most-used appliances, like a coffeemaker. Then you can take all of your pots, pans, and dishes and place them into the cabinets. If you packed any food, you can also begin sorting through these items and putting them in the proper places. Any infrequently used fragile glasses and fine china can be kept in the box and put away at a later date.

Unpacking your bedrooms

After a hard day's work, you will want (and need) a good night's rest. Accordingly, the bedroom should be the next room you unpack. You should first set up the bed frames and headboards. It is best to know beforehand exactly where you want your beds to go. This way, your movers or moving day helpers will still be around to help you set up the heavy furniture and bring in the mattresses.

Make sure you know where the bed linens and pillows are, as you will definitely want to use them on your first night in your new home. Though you won't need to unpack all of your clothes right away, you should at least put aside a couple changes of clothes for your first few days. You can worry about putting away your clothes after things settle down a bit.

Unpacking your bathrooms

Once you have unpacked the necessities in the kitchen and bedroom, the next step is the bathroom. While you should unload the essential items (toilet paper, soap, and towels) upon arriving, all of your other toiletries can be unloaded later in the day. Be sure you do this before you go to sleep though – you probably won't want to dig through boxes to find your toothpaste after a long and tiring moving day.

TIP: If you can go to your new home before moving day, it may be a good idea to drop off some of your toiletries before hand, so they will be ready and available as soon as you move in.

Unpacking everything else

By the end of your first day in your new home, you should have all of the necessities unpacked. While you may have already put aside a few changes of clothes, in the days after you move, finish unpacking you clothes and organizing your dressers and closets. In next days and weeks, you can unpack everything else. You should take care of such things as lamps and lighting fixtures, appliances, and smaller furniture. You can start with fragile items, such as mirrors, paintings, sculptures, and other artwork or figurines.

Once you have the interior of your home set up and packed away, you can shift your focus to the garage and outside of your home. Before you unpack your garage items, install sufficient shelving or get good storage boxes to help you keep the garage organized. The time frame for setting up your outdoor furniture and other fixtures should depend on the season. If you move in the fall or winter, you might want to keep your outdoor items in the garage or in a storage facility until they can be brought outside.

  Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on August 27, 2009

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