life in a tiny apartment.

March 5, 2014

Tip #95: Unpack the kitchen.

Forgive the upcoming onslaught of unpacking posts, but our move has gotten me thinking about ways to make a tiny apartment move more tolerable. In hopes you might actually tolerate my rambling, I’ve decided to offer just one unpacking tip at a time. Because let’s face it: Unpacking beats packing, no question.

You guys already know this. If you haven’t shared a brilliant housewarming ritual (and simultaneously entered to win a very special giveaway from Kaufmann Mercantile), go do that now. Then come back thisaway.

Here’s my tip: Start your unpacking in the kitchen.

Our kitchen—tiny though it is—is the “room” that houses, by leaps and bounds, the largest portion of the items we own. Between dishes and bulk jars and measuring cups and tiny wooden spoons, there’s an awful lot to wrap up, unwrap, and put away again. And there’s a finite amount of space to fit it all into.

This time around, I started unpacking kitchen boxes while the movers were still schlepping the rest of our things into the apartment and it helped the whole place feel more settled the next day.

Don’t doubt: I did indeed curse the fact that we own six bulbous long-stemmed wine glasses, and I might have had a moment where I actually considered dumping the entire contents of the bin labeled “spices” into the trash rather than face it, but taken in sum, the kitchen unpacking is my favorite.

Waking up in a new apartment and realizing that you know precisely where the coffee and mugs were put away the night before is the best part.

For tiny apartment survival tips #1-94, head here.

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  • Reply Sarah Spitz March 5, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Love, love, love it! Thanks so much for sharing! I apparently spend my 20ies moving from one tiny place to another so this is really helpful!

    Here is what inspired me recently:

    Love from Germany and a sunny day!


  • Reply Tara T. R. March 5, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Okay, so not to rush you because I know you're still unpacking, but I am DYING for a house tour of the new apt. I think it would be awesome to see it even if it's in phase one…it'll be awesome to see how it evolves! Congrats on the new place!!

  • Reply Shay March 5, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    I agree! I unpacked our kitchen first, while the movers were still unloading the truck, and it made our new place few more like home almost instantly. Thanks for the reminder…we'll be moving again in May!

  • Reply Charlotte | The London Project March 5, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    This is a great tip, I'm moving into a relatively tiny London apartment soon, and I don't think I could cope if I was unpacking without knowing where my kettle, favourite mug and teabags were

    The London Project

  • Reply Caitlin Jennings March 5, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    I totally agree. When packing (we've moved 10x from college til now) I always take everything out of the kitchen first and pack like items together. The kitchen is the most tedious to pack with all of the bubble wrapping and weird sized objects, but by packing it first it makes packing the rest of the apartment feel like a breeze (well, almost). So excited to see the first glimpses of your new place.

  • Reply Kim P March 5, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    I have moved a million times and I have never thought to do that. Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Kim P March 5, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Could I also ask where you got your coffee cups?

  • Reply Sweet Love and Ginger March 5, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    I always do the bed first, then the kitchen. Lacking anything else at the end of a day of moving I love having my bed ready to fall into.

  • Reply The Yaegerpack March 5, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Yes, kitchen first! We've moved so many times in the last 9 years and it took half of those moves to figure out how best to unpack. Making the kitchen and bed linens a priority helps make the transition so much easier. I also pack the essentials (coffee press, one set of dishes, one set of bed linens, etc.) in one box to keep with us – especially on cross country moves – in case something happens and our stuff is delayed. So at least we'll be fully caffeinated and warm. 🙂

  • Reply Kari March 5, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    I agree with Tara, above. I'm dying for a house tour. I don't care how unfinished everything is. Not that I'm sad about the unpacking tips. Those are great, too.

  • Reply Anonymous March 5, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    Where are those cute mugs from?

  • Reply becky | accooohtrements blog March 5, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    that's exactly how we did our recent move!


  • Reply Neurotic Workaholic March 6, 2014 at 2:44 am

    I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of your new place once you've unpacked. Packing and unpacking can definitely be a hassle; I never realize until I pack/unpack how much stuff I've accumulated. I always end up throwing out/giving away/recycling a bunch of stuff.

  • Reply Morgan Bailas-Ferry March 6, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    I'm kind of a new reader to your blog, but I absolutely love it. You're so good at taking something that makes most people extremely anxious (ie: unpacking from a move) and presenting alternative methods to accomplishing whatever it is in the least overwhelming view that allows anyone to take your advice on board and make it more manageable for them. Sorry if that's wordy – but I love it!
    Can't wait to keep checking back in. Congratulations on your new home.

  • Reply Brooke March 6, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Agreed! The kitchen is usually the first thing we unpack…because if there's anything we must have, it'd food and the things we eat them with. The wine glasses are always a pain…I feel ya!

  • Reply Isabelle Dervaux March 6, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Kitchen of course! Finding the right place for everything is the toughest. I had rearranged the interior of my new cupboards so many times to make an efficient use of the space.

  • Reply Aja Lake March 6, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Speaking of spices, which are your must-haves? I am planning out a tiny kitchen of my own, and spice space is at a minimum.

  • Reply Yelle March 6, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    honestly i adore your tiny apartment tips and tricks!

  • Reply Lisa-Marie March 12, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    My tip would be – make the bed, and make sure you can get to it, because after a day of moving and unpacking you'll need it. Also unpack a radio, then unpack the kitchen. When we moved (back) to this flat, we got here about 11am and by 11pm I'd unpacked the entire kitchen and living room. For the most part the bedroom stuff was boxed up, but I'd made the bed upon arriving and put out a lamp, mm my jimjams and a book. It made the last bit of the day nicer! I make my bed every morning for the same reason.

    • Reply Karinny Cezar March 19, 2014 at 8:05 pm

      Best advise ever! Will be moving this Saturday and will make sure the bed is my priority 🙂


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