Home Improvement

What to Pack and Unpack First When Moving

One of the most stressful and daunting things about moving is the packing and unpacking. Where do you start? It’s easy to just tackle whatever is in front of you first but without a plan, that’s a surefire way for you to end up packing the things you need first, and unpacking the things you need last. Here are some tips on what you should pack and unpack first:

What to pack first

Rarely Used Kitchen Items

Kitchens are the most notorious spaces for rarely used items, and therefore should be one of the spaces you start with. Keep your essentials like dinnerware, flatware, and the things you need most often to cook or bake, and start packing away those rarely used serving dishes and platters, special occasion dinnerware, novelty mugs, and specialty small appliances. The goal is to keep out the bare minimum that you will need while you’re still living in your home and pack all the extras and often delicate and more time-consuming items right at the start.


Books are one of the biggest pains when it comes to packing, especially if you’re a bookworm, but you’ll be surprised how much space they clear up if you pack them first. Books are time-consuming to pack properly and they’re rarely the same size or weight requiring you to pack them in a lot of different boxes. While it can be tempting to pack your books last, they will take a lot of moving boxes to be able to make sure they are still light enough for you and Red Mile Moving Inc. to manage when it comes time to load them up and unpack them in your new space!

Artwork, Shelves & wall hangings

It should go without saying that anything that you have decorating or hanging on your walls will just get in the way the further along in your packing and moving process you get, so save yourself the headache and take down all your artwork, shelves that you’re taking with you, and other wall hangings first. This also allows you to take the time to properly wrap and pack delicate frames and art pieces and gives you the time to patch any holes that you may need to take care of before handing the keys over to the new owners.

Out of season clothing and seasonal items

An easy way to start packing is to tackle the things that are already separated from what you use day-to-day or are in storage for another season. This includes out of season clothing like winter jackets and sweaters, as well as seasonal decor items like your Christmas tree or Halloween decorations.

What to unpack dirst

Essential kitchen items

Make sure you pack a box and label it “kitchen essentials” before you move. This gives you a go-to box to unpack first to ensure you don’t have to go digging through everything for essential items like a few pieces of dinnerware, cups, utensils, and a pot or pan for basic food prep. Make sure you include your salt and pepper and any other regularly used cooking item like olive oil.

Large & Essential durniture items

If you’re using Low Budget Moving they’ll take care of these items for you, but if you’re moving with just the help of friends and family you need to make sure you prioritize these items first. It’s best to get larger furniture items and essentials like your desk (if you work from home) or a couch so you have somewhere to sit, out of the way first. Especially if you choose to take your time moving in, make sure you get the most unwieldy items out of the way, and ensure you have some essentials for comfort’s sake like your mattress and kitchen table and chairs.

Bed Linens, Toiletries & bath towels

Even if you haven’t put together your bed frame yet, bed linens are important. Make sure you unpack your sheets, duvet and pillows first so you’re not scrambling at the end of the night looking for the items you need to sleep.

Similarly, you need easy access to your bathroom essentials like basic toiletries – toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and soap, as well as towels and facecloths. Pack these with your bed linens or other items you know you will need daily like clothes you plan on wearing.


For the same reasons you pack your books first, you should unpack them first too. Your books will be in a lot of boxes, and those boxes take up a lot of space, so one of the fastest ways to clear a bit of clutter while moving into your new home is to tackle your books first.

Hopefully, these tips on what to pack and unpack first while moving help you make your move more efficient!

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