What to Unpack the First Day to Get You Moved into Your New Home

older couple unpacking boxes in their new home

If you really, really dislike unpacking after moving, it's probably because you were super excited about moving so unpacking just gets in the way of enjoying a new place, a new neighborhood and a new city. You might also resent all those moving boxes you now need to recycle and all that packing paper. So, to make sure you don't feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the project ahead, especially after the stress of moving, it's a good idea to break down the steps into several days of unpacking.

To start, this is what you should do on day one - the day after you move in.

Place large pieces of furniture

Whether you're unloading the truck yourself or you've hired movers to do it for you, you still need to know where the large pieces of furniture will be placed. It's always best if these decisions are made before you move in. But in a lot of cases, you don't have the opportunity to get a really good layout of your new space in order to make those decisions before you unpack the truck. If you're in this position, then try to get to the new location before the movers or take a half hour to decide where certain pieces will be placed, such as the couch, the big screen TV, the piano - any items that are difficult to move on your own.

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Install and check all large appliances

If you've moved the household appliances from your old residence to the new or if you've purchased new appliances, you should always consult the manuals that came with each unit when attempting to install items such as the refrigerator, stove, washer and dryer and dishwasher.

If you don't have manuals, or if you're uncertain about how to install the appliances, seek professional advice.

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Put together essential furniture

Beds are usually the first pieces of furniture that need to be put together and made so you're ready for your first night in your new home.

This task might even come before installing appliances since a good night sleep is essential for feeling at home in your new space. The dining room table or a desk might also be essential to your ability to create some kind of routine. Remember that routine is important to maintain, especially if you have children or if you have difficulty with change; establishing a somewhat normal routine will help you and your family feel more at home.

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Unpack the essentials' box

An essentials' box should contain everything you need for your first night in the new space. It should be clearly labeled and easy to find among all the other boxes. Families might actually have packed one box per person. Whatever the number, locating and unpacking the essential box will be your key to having everything you need in one place.

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Make up the beds and order take out

This is probably the best part of unpacking Day 1: ensuring that the beds are ready to fall into after indulging in take-out or delivery food.

If you have children, try to make this part of the move an essential part to the first day, a kind of reward for the main part of the move being over and a celebration of good things to come. This will help ease tensions and to help everyone relax before catching their first night sleep in the new home.