What to Unpack First in Your New House: A Timeline


As exciting as the idea of moving sounds, the act itself is tiring, overwhelming, and time-consuming, especially if you aren’t a practiced mover. On average, about 14.5% of people move annually.

Whether this is your first large move or another relocation, we have some tips that will help make the unpacking process easier and less stressful. Here’s what to unpack first in your new home and how to organize the rest.

Read on to learn more!

Make a Master Packing List

As you begin to pack up your current home, make a master packing list of what is in each box, along with numbers to help coordinate. This will make unpacking easier when you arrive at your new home.

Once delivered, check your master list to make sure nothing was damaged or left behind in the moving process.

Essentials Box

During your packing process, it’s vital to make at least one essentials box. This box will be the first you open in your new home as it will contain everything you need from food, toiletries, medicine, clothes, and anything else you might need those first few nights.

If you drive to your house, you could have a few essential boxes which also contains linens, pet essentials, cleaning supplies, basic tools, and a first aid kit.

This box is intended to get you through your first few nights while you organize and begin to unpack the rest of your house. It should be the last thing on the truck/in the car, and the first thing unpacked.


Before you arrive, you should organize which boxes and furniture are to go in which room. Making a floor plan with coordinating box numbers could be beneficial if you have a lot to unpack.

Only moving larger pieces of furniture once versus several times before picking a spot will save you a lot of time and energy, plus it will help keep the rooms organized.

Keep in mind you don’t have to completely set up these rooms at first, as long as the right furniture and boxes are in the right rooms the rest will come later.

Rooms to Unpack First

If you arrive at your new house early and have at least six or more hours to dedicate to unpacking, we recommend unpacking the kitchen first. Make sure all big appliances (refrigerator, stove, washer, dryer) are plugged in and ready to go. Line your kitchen cabinets and prepare for dishware.

Once you have completely unpacked your kitchen, move on to your bedroom. This is likely where you’ll spend most of your time in the house, so you want it to feel homey and complete. Once your bedroom is set up, move on to the bathroom.

If you don’t get to your home until later in the afternoon, plan on setting up your bed and mattress, sheets and linens included, so you can get a full night’s rest before beginning the unpacking process the following morning.

How to Unpack in Your New Home

Making a move, big or small, doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds. With the help of a master packing list and this guide to help you unpack you’ll feel as though you’re at home in no time.

For other moving and packing tips, check out our website. Have specific questions? Contact us for more information!


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