How to Pack Your Moving Day Essentials Box

How to Pack Your Moving Day Essentials Box


If you have moved before, you are well aware that the first night in a new home can be chaotic and usually filled with sorting through box after box to find the items you need to settle in for the evening. Why add more stress to an already stressful day when you can prepare ahead of time to make your first night and following days in your new home as stress-free as possible?

An essentials box is a life and stress-saver on moving day, as all of your necessities are in one place and easily accessible. When you begin packing, start creating your lists (FREE downloadable Essentials Box packing list!) and choose a designated box (or boxes) specifically for those first few days. So, what should you pack in your essentials box for the first night in your new home?

In order to pack your essentials box without missing anything, I recommend creating a few lists (split into a few categories depending on your personal and family needs). This will ensure that you have not missed anything as well as easily keep track of what those few items are that you need to pack on moving day, like your toothbrush.

The first list you should make is for “Personal Items”. This list includes your overnight and personal hygiene items, such as:

  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, makeup items, skin care...etc)
  • Bedding
  • Pajamas
  • Towels and facecloths
  • At least one change of clothes
  • Prescriptions
  • Medical items and supplies


The next box to pack is your "Practical" box. This would include everything you will need for the next few days to settle properly into your new home like: 

  • Toilet paper
  • Hand soap
  • Paper towels
  • Plates, cups, and cutlery 
  • Food or take-away menus for moving day and possibly the day after
  • Snacks
  • Bottled water
  • Batteries
  • Basic cooking supplies if you plan on cooking the night you move in
  • Chargers for your phone, tablet, laptop...etc
  • Cleaning supplies (broom, cleaning products, cloths, mop and bucket, garbage bags...etc)
  • Scissors and/or an exacto knife
  • Small bottle of laundry detergent
  • Basic tool kit (hammer, screwdrivers, measuring tape, pliers...etc)
  • Flashlight
  • Pen and paper pad
  • First aid kit


The third box or final items to add are your valable items. There are most likely certain precious or important items that you do not want to get lost and would prefer to have easily accessible, or even travel in your presonal vehicle. This list and box would include:

  • Important documents for moving day (place this separately in a large ziploc or folder for easy identification and access
  • Important documents and information such as you passport, medical documentation, in case of emergency list
  • Highly precious items that you would prefer to keep track of, like jewelry, art, extremely sentimental items...etc


When you are moving with children, the list of essential items grows exponentially. Start by making a list over the course of a few days as you live your typical schedule. This will help you note those small, yet very important daily items. Some of these items will include:


  • Changing supplies (2 days worth to be safe)
  • Feeding supplies and snacks (2 days worth)
  • Sippy cups or bottles
  • Toys and entertainment
  • Sleeping cot and a few sets of bedding (just in case of accidents!)
  • Something to keep very small children contained like baby gates, a playpen, bouncy seat...etc)
  • Nightlight
  • Makeshift curtains (for nap time)
  • Comfort items such as baby blankets or stuffed animals


Moving with your pet(s) can be extremely stressful to both you and your pet. A new home is full of strange smells and the day filled with frantic energy. Set them up in the new home as soon as possible with their food, water, bedding, and toys. Consider starting them off in a bathroom or smaller room with the least amount of noise and chaos to allow them to begin their adjustment.

  • Food
  • Water and food dishes
  • Litter box
  • Crate or carrier
  • Blanket
  • Bedding
  • Toys
  • Poop bags
  • Leash and collar/harness
  • Updated tag for their collar with your new address and contact information
  • Medications

Once every other box is packed in to the truck, either have this essential box(s) loaded in last so that you can access them as soon as you arrive. I recommend labeling these boxes well and placing them in a spot in your new home where they will continue to be easily accessible. 

A few bonus moving day tips:

  1. Assemble beds first or set up your air mattress because you will not feel like doing it later on!
  2. Unpack your toiletries and basic kitchen essentials once you arrive for the same reason as setting up your bed.
  3. Plan ahead what you will have for dinner on your first night. After a long and exhausting moving day, the last thing you want to think about is making dinner. If ordering out is not an option, opt for a very simple or pre-cooked meal so that you do not have to unpack your entire kitchen.

I hope you have a safe and an as stress-free as possible moving day! Download the FREE Moving Day Essetials Box Checklist HERE to get started! If you are just in the beginning stages of purchasing or selling your home, give me a call today! 


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