Packing an Essentials Box Surviving the First Night in Your New Home

Packing up all your things, it’s very easy for something like an essentials box to slip your mind. An essentials box is simply a box holding everything you think you’ll need for your first night in your new home. This box should be the very last box you pack, and the very first box that you open post-move. Generally, this box should have the things you’ll need to have a few small meals (lunch and dinner, ideally), clean, handle small emergencies, and entertain you for a while. Some people choose to pack an essentials box for each room in the house, while others choose to have the basics all in one box. Either option is perfectly acceptable.

Generally, you should pack a change of clothes for each member of the family, a set of pajamas, and some blankets. If you have little ones, include an extra set of clothes and some small bags or containers of laundry detergent. As far as bathroom items go, you should be sure to pack toilet paper and other toiletries, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, body wash, razors, etc. Include hand soap, a towel and washcloth for each family member, and some unopened all-purpose cleaning products.

When considering kitchen items, bear in mind that there will likely be a grocery store or superstore near your new home, so you will not need an extent of meal options in your essentials box. Some key items you will need are paper towels, dish soap, dish cloths/towels, and a few dishes. Some families opt for the one-use disposable dishes, to make cleanup that much easier, but small, plastic reusable dishes work just as well. Also try to bring any small appliances you think you’ll need, such as a microwave or toaster oven, and a coffee maker, or some instant coffee as a replacement. Be sure to pack some water bottles, as well, or a water-filter if you use one. A medium stovetop pot and some canned goods would be good, too, if you don’t plan on going out to eat. If you have children, try to pack some snacks and drinks in your box as well.

Other items that may prove useful are scissors or a box-cutter (to open the rest of your boxes), duct tape, phone chargers, and a First-Aid kit. You may also want to bring a portable tool kit, a flashlight (or candles and matches), and some garbage bags. If you have pets, pack anything they will need as well, i.e. leash, food and water bowls, treats, etc. The same goes for small children; don’t forget your diaper bag, formula, bottles, etc. You might want to bring any important documents as well, such as social security cards, birth certificates, medical records, etc., to ensure they aren’t lost during the move. Any medication anyone takes is also important to bring along.

Once you’ve packed up all of your essentials for your first night in your new home, be sure to label the box “Open First” and/or mark it with a bright colored tape, so it is easily identifiable. Your essentials should go with you in your car, or the cab of the moving van if you chose to rent one. This ensures that it won’t get lost, or you’ll have what you need in case the movers are delayed somehow.

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