Moving? Pack These 30 Essentials

By Trulia | Sep 18, 2014 3:34PM

Moving to a new home and trying to pack light for a few days? Maybe you’re relocating and hauling your worldly possessions across state lines, or you’re packing two suitcases for a flight before meeting movers at your new place. Or maybe you’re going to be camping out in your new home for a few weeks, doing some fix-ups, before the rest of your stuff catches up with you.

Whatever the reason, how do you know which items are essential during your first few nights and what’s optional? What do you need to bring to your new home, and what can you leave behind without kicking yourself for it later? It may seem overwhelming to distill your entire household of possessions into a few essential boxes, but it can be done. Here are 30 items you should definitely bring for the first days in your new home:

1. Keys

Don’t laugh — we forget the obvious all the time, and you’ll be in real trouble without these.

2. A basic first-aid kit

Moving heavy objects can result in a few nicks and scrapes. Be ready with Band-Aids, a thermometer, an Ace bandage, some antiseptic wipes, tweezers, and a few ibuprofen.

3. Chargers

For all your essential electronics, such as your phone, laptop, and tablet.

4. A portable alarm clock

Be sure to bring one or install an alarm clock app on your phone. Moving is stressful enough on its own. You don’t want to be late for work, too!

5. Spare batteries

For everything that’s not rechargeable.

6. Sheets and a pillow

Everyone forgets this one!

7. Extra changes of clothing

Include sleepwear and underwear.

8. Toiletries

Moving is dirty work. Remember to bring soap, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, moisturizing cream, plus towels and washcloths for cleaning up.

9. Shower curtain

Another often-forgotten item.

10. Essential paper supplies

Such as toilet paper, paper towels, tissues.

11. Basic cleaning supplies

After the dust has settled, you’ll need glass cleaner, multisurface cleaner, dish soap, rags, and a broom and dustpan.

12. Enough plates, utensils, and cups

And by “enough,” we mean enough for one meal for each person. You’ve got to reward all of your helpful movers after all.

13. A flashlight or headlamp

Make sure you’ve got new batteries in it (a la Essential No.5) in case of power failure, as well as candles and matches. (Matches can also come in handy if you have a gas stove that won’t light.)

14. Sunblock

You’ll probably be spending a lot of time outside moving boxes, running errands, or taking care of other tasks.

15. Any medicine you take daily

16. Easy-to-make meal staples

Move-in day isn’t the best time for a five-course meal. Bring food that doesn’t require much preparation, like pasta and sauce, cereal and milk, bread and peanut butter, canned soup, etc.

17. Any basic cookware and gadgets

You’ll need these for those easy meals. Include a pot and pan, serving spoon, and can opener.

18. Snacks

Fruit, nuts, and granola bars are particular favorites, since they require no refrigeration, no preparation, and no utensils.

19. Beverages

You’ll want bottled water if you won’t have immediate access to a filtration system.

20. Instant coffee or tea bags

If you need that morning caffeine fix … who are we kidding? WHEN you need that morning caffeine fix.

21. Food and dishes for pets

22. Radio for entertainment

It’s time to go old school, particularly if your Wi-Fi won’t yet be set up, which means you can’t access Pandora or other Internet-based music stations.

23. A small, portable tool kit

You’d be surprised how much you can do with basics like a hammer, screwdriver, and pliers.

24. A sturdy pair of scissors

For opening any boxes that are on their way to your new home, or packaged supplies you purchase for the new home.

25. Important identification cards and records

Know where to find your driver’s license, passport, lease (if applicable), etc.

26. Important contact phone numbers

Including your lender, moving company, and your financial institutions.

27. Pen and paper

Make a list of all those to-dos you’re going to think of and all the extra stuff you’ll realize you need for the new place.

28. Cash/credit cards/checkbook

29. Duct tape

Somehow, this always seems to come in handy, even at the most unexpected times.

30. A personal treat or two

These will help you feel at home and relieve stress.

Don’t underestimate the importance of that last point. If you always end the night with a glass of wine, bring a bottle to reward yourself at the end of your long first day. (Don’t forget the wine opener and a wineglass.) If you’re an avid reader, bring a book you’ve been dying to read to help you fall asleep at night. If you feel more refreshed or polished while you’re wearing makeup, bring a tube of mascara. You’re going to be working hard when you first move in, so make sure you also allow yourself a bit of fun to make the transition as easy as possible.

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