Moving and Unpacking: What to Take Out First

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After moving, unpacking all of your items is the first step to getting your new apartment to feel like home. However, after the stress and physical effort of the weeks leading up to moving day, unpacking may not be the first thing on your mind—at least not until you’ve had a chance to relax and unwind. Unpack only certain types of items so that you can get your new home functional without exhausting yourself so soon after moving day.

Some Clothing

You needn’t unpack your entire wardrobe, but after moving, unpacking some clothing is one of the first things you should do. Just unpack enough clothing to get you through the first few days after moving and you can worry about organizing the rest of your clothing in your closet later.

Bedsheets and Towels

Your bedroom needn’t be completely furnished immediately after moving and unpacking, but you’ll need to unpack at least one set of bedsheets so you can feel comfortable in your bed. Likewise, you’ll need a few towels, hand towels and washcloths to get you through your hygiene routine the first few days after moving and you may as well unload your extra towels into your bathroom or hallway cupboard while you’re at it.


Another type of item you’ll need immediately after moving and unpacking are your toiletries. Unload everything you use each day—toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, lotions, creams, makeup, toilet paper, etc.—directly into your bathroom or vanity mirror table. You may need to go out and purchase new items and you should do so as soon as possible after moving.


While the first day you move you may not feel like cooking, you don’t want your fridge and cupboards to be bare in case you need a snack or want to prepare yourself a meal. It’s especially important when you’re exhausted from the stress and physical work of moving that you make sure you keep your energy high. Unload any food you’ve brought with you from your old place and make a quick stop at a grocery store to replenish your supplies if necessary.

Cooking and Dining Ware

You can’t prepare yourself much food without the right tools with which to cook, so make unpacking your cooking ware and dining utensils a top priority. Find the space in your cupboards and storage drawers for all of the appliances and utensils you’ll need to prepare and serve food. If you find that you don’t have enough room to store all of your implements, you may have to design a better storage solution system in your kitchen, such as shelves within cupboards, hooks for hanging appliances and/or a moving kitchen island.

Moving and unpacking isn’t entirely a science; if there are items you frequently use that aren’t discussed here, be sure to unpack them as soon as possible. Likewise, you needn’t rush unpacking any items you don’t use. However, don’t let your items stay in boxes too long. You should start unpacking everything else at least a week after moving day.

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