A guide to unpacking after moving house

by | Mar 13, 2024 | Moving Tips | 0 comments

Generally, it is not advised to cross certain passes of the Himalayas without a guide, or jungle regions of Columbia.  When people attempt to move from one home to a new one, without a strategy or guide, they can end up in the Bermuda Triangle of unnecessary stress and the disappearance of essential objects.  As seasoned guides on the trail of home transportation, at Gentleman & a Van, we have solid confidence that our simple unpacking strategy will get you to new vistas, without losing the ground beneath your feet. Follow these simple steps as you approach packing and unpacking for an up-coming home move.


  1. Unpacking strategy and plan for after a house move
  2. Your essentials box when moving home
  3. Set up your kitchen
  4. Set up your bathrooms
  5. Set up your bedrooms
  6. Assembling furniture
  7. Set up your living room
  8. Set up your utility areas
  9. Ambassadors of smooth home moves in London

Unpacking strategy and plan for after a house move

Obviously, your unpacking strategy will hinge on your packing strategy, and we have a guide for that here. Fundamentally, you will want to pack on a room-by-room basis, label all the boxes with the room they relate to, and create an inventory.  The first box you will unpack in the new location will be your essentials – or survival kit for the setup in your new home.  Read on for more details about the keystone to your next move. Having a floorplan of the new home will allow you to plan and note which furniture is assigned to each room. This will help you direct your removals team on the day. Plus, planning at this stage makes it clear what furniture will reasonably fit in the new place, avoiding bulky obstructions of unnecessary furniture when you want to set up a functioning space.

Your essentials box when moving home

Pack a survival kit in advance with everything in mind for what you will need on the other side. This box travels with you, and not with the removals vehicle, so that you can get moving as soon as you have the new key in the door.  Here are some general items that people pack in their essentials box:

  • Phone chargers and power banks plus extension leads
  • Medications
  • Washbags for all the family including bathroom essentials
  • Toilet paper
  • Binbags
  • Cleaning products and gloves
  • Food for the first few days
  • Cutlery and crockery for all the family for the first day
  • Basic DIY kit
  • Towels and bedding for the first night
  • Speakers and radio
  • Drinking water, water filter, champagne and snacks

Set up your kitchen

When packing up, it is the kitchen that takes the longest time. The wide range of items from perishable to utensils and the amount we accumulate in a kitchen will take some processing time. If you have had time to transport perishables in a cool bag you will be winning. Decluttering and recycling all those fridge jars will also get you high-spec bonuses in the moving home hall of fame.  When you get to the other side, the kitchen will be the source of nourishment and the engine of operation – New Life, so get it set up well. It’s no coincidence that many Chinese Feng Shui rituals for auspicious home moves are centred on the kitchen and getting the stove fired up.  If you have labelled all your kitchen boxes well, it will be easy to unpack in order of priority of use. When it comes to lining shelves and cupboards, take the time to do these jobs as they arise, rather than waiting for another moment in the future.

Set up your bathrooms

Next in line will be your bathrooms, though you may only need to unpack what you have in your essentials box to get them set up. Moving a few houseplants into a new bathroom can make it instantly feel at home, if the light conditions are suitable.  Having familiar towels and scents in place immediately ties the two homes together, especially for children who are adjusting to the move.  The first night needs to have a sense of familiarity in the new home so that everyone can get a good night’s sleep.

Set up your bedrooms

Having packed bedding for the first night, once the beds and mattresses are in place you will be able to get set up for the night.  Having all the boxes in each room, labelled, you can prioritise which are the first to unpack, minimizing the chaos of unpacking without storage furniture in place.  Get children involved by letting them unpack and set up their rooms, even though that may be after you have assembled their storage furniture.

Assemble furniture

If there is furniture to assemble that will help with storage and getting the character of each room in place, it is best not to delay. Depending on your removals and storage team, they may be able to assist you with this. For hanging art and televisions, you may want to get a professional handyman to come and assist with getting everything set up well. Gentleman & a Van has a team of specialist property services to help you get set up on the other side. From handymen to painters and decorators, as well as plumbing and locksmiths, all you have to do is get a quote via our website.

Set up your living room areas

Once you have the furniture framework of your living spaces in the right spots you can slowly unpack what will make that space feel most comfortable. Filling bookshelves may be the last of the tasks, but getting cushions and rugs out and hanging some art will make the space feel your own. It may take a while to adjust to the light and heat in the new location, so there may be some further rearrangements to come, so you can unpack strategically and slowly to minimize having stray objects roaming without allocated locations.

Set up utility spaces

Utility spaces, garages, and basements can wait until last as they are further down the chain of necessity.  Having the boxes moved into the right locations will be great though, and if they are carefully labelled, you should be able to find items on demand.  Then you can start to remove all the packing materials for recycling or storage and begin life beyond the move. Usually, this is heralded by a little housewarming, some champagne, and snacks as you celebrate how deftly you and all the family maneuvered across that narrow and deep gorge of irrevocable change.

Ambassadors of smooth home moves in London

Gentleman & Van have, over the last two decades established some excellent routes when it comes to moving home. Dedicated to upgrading the removal industry, large move by small move, our loyal customer base can attest.  With our affiliated property services and storage facilities, we can make light work of any complex life change or business relocation.  With our new premises in Battersea, our reach extends across the city, but we are proud local providers in Southwest London. Get in touch today to discuss your removal situation and we will be glad to advise and offer you the very best there is to have in London removals and storage.