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Unpacking Boxes

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Just like when packing, there is a definite method for unpacking your belongings after you've moved in. Instead of frantically opening random boxes, you should take the time to come up with a plan. Follow the advice below to ensure that you are unpacking in the best way possible.

Before you start unpacking, keep in mind the following tips:
  • Make sure that all of the boxes are properly labeled and that they are placed in the correct rooms.
  • Some boxes, like those containing essential bathroom or kitchen items, should be unpacked as soon as possible.
  • You don't have to unpack everything in one day. Unpack the most important items first, and worry about the nonessential items in the following days or weeks.

The kitchen

Your boxes for the kitchen can be pretty frustrating to unpack, as they will contain many small items that need to be individually put away.

You should first unpack any perishable food items you may have brought. You can then put away the things that you are likely to use first. These can include pots and pans, knives, and utensils.

You should then unpack your kitchen appliances, like the toaster oven, microwave, and coffeemaker, and hook them up. Afterwards, begin unpacking boxes containing spices and any canned foods, and put them away.

Once these items are unpacked, carefully remove your fragile items from the boxes, like plates, glassware, and fine china, and put them in the appropriate places.

The bathroom

Your boxes designated for the bathroom will likely contain some important items. Make sure you remove the most necessary items first. After you have unpacked toilet paper, tissues, soap, and towels, you can focus on unpacking and putting away everything else in the bathroom.


While you don't necessarily have to unpack your closets right away, you don't want to leave your boxes full and sitting there until your next move. Here are some tips for unpacking your wardrobe boxes:
  • Before unpacking, have a general idea about which items will go into which closets.
  • Make sure you have enough hangers.
  • Carefully remove each item from the wardrobe box and put it directly into the closet. If you put your clothes on the floor first, they could get wrinkled or dirty.

Unpacking lamps

Since lamps can be tricky to pack, they can also be tricky to unpack. Lampshades, lamps, and the light bulbs and hardware are often packed separately. On top of that, these items are often fragile. It may be a good idea to bring the boxes to the individual rooms that each lamp will go in and assemble them there. Your delicate lamps will be less likely to get damaged if they aren't moved around outside of their boxes too much.


Mirrors also require special care when removing them from boxes. Instead of placing the box directly on the floor, put it over foam sheets or cushions. Then, open the box and slowly take the mirror out. Don't pull too hard or try to force it out if it's wedged into the box. If necessary, carefully cut the box open until the mirror can be safely removed.

Unpacking can certainly take a lot of time and can be pretty frustrating. If you follow these tips through, you'll know the best way to unpack your individual boxes.

Photo by: Nenetus (

  Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on August 27, 2009

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