Moving is stressful, whether you move down the street or across the country. Meticulous organizers know the importance of packing a couple of boxes of necessities that travel in the backseat or trunk of your car instead of in the moving truck.
If there’s a breakdown or delay with your moving truck, or you have helpers unpacking and putting items away without instruction, the items you use daily might not be placed where you expect. You can avoid this game of hide-and-seek by packing the basics to bring in your your personal vehicle so you can find them when you need them.
On your next move, keeping these 12 items handy will make settling into your new home much easier.
1. Plates, Cutlery, and Cups
You might prefer to wrap up the breakable tableware into a moving box, but you still need to eat with something. To keep things simple, your camping dishes and cutlery are a terrific options for short-term use, since they’re usually lightweight and durable (and odds are, they won’t break during the move). Not a camper? Grab some disposable or compostable dining essentials from the store so you have a supply ready to go for the first meals in your new home.
2. Overnight Bag With Toiletries
On the off chance you arrive at your new home but your stuff does not, you definitely want to bring a rolling suitcase or duffel bag packed with pajamas, a change of clothes, your personal soaps, a few towels, and other personal care items. Moving days are long, and you put in a lot of sweat getting situated into a new place. At the end of a full day, you will want to shower, brush your teeth, and go to sleep without first searching through every box labeled “clothes” or “bathroom.”
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3. Medications and Vitamins
You never want to find yourself without the medications and vitamins you need to stay healthy. People or pets with medical conditions, or those who take vitamins or supplements regularly, definitely need these packed in their overnight bag or essentials box.
If you have multiple pill bottles that take up more space than you have in your bag, pick up a space-saving pill organizer box like the EZY DOSE Organizer to keep the week’s medications in one convenient place.
Home projects start the moment you walk through the front door of your new home. You might notice a loose hinge, an out-of-place nail, or something else that needs immediate attention. Having a basic tool kit at the ready will enable you to make small fixes before your power tools arrive. Plus, you might have to assemble newly delivered furniture.
If you’re excited to get into project mode, you might want to dedicate some of your early days in the home to taking measurements. If this is the case, tuck a pen and small pad of paper into your tool kit to write down any dimensions you need.
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5. Snacks and Easy-to-Prepare Meals
There are some people who can move into a home and then cook in the kitchen on night one. For most, though, this is incredibly ambitious. In general, the focus for post-move meals rests on what’s easy and fast to prepare, unless you’re going to rely on takeout.
Have a stock of ready-to-eat snacks, like fresh fruit or granola bars, and plan for very basic meals. Toast or cereal for breakfast, microwavable lunches, and pasta for dinner—just make sure you have the pots and utensils you need in your essential kitchen boxes. Don’t forget to meal-plan for your four-legged friends too!
When you move, expect to be without internet for a few days. Having no internet will greatly cut down on your entertainment options, so be prepared with ways to fill the downtime. Pack some favorite board games, cards, books, and other activities to keep yourselves entertained. If your household is full of movie buffs, download some titles onto one of your devices to avoid overages on your data plan.
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7. Chargers and Batteries
How many smartphone or tablet users are in your home? Things can get a little tense when devices run out of battery and there’s no way to charge them. Keep your charging cords close, and pack at least two phone chargers in case you and a family member both need juice at the same time.
You don’t realize how many things you own need batteries until you move, either. Because you’ll want your smoke alarm, garage door opener, and other key home devices functioning from the get-go, having a small supply of common battery sizes is a necessity during a move.
8. Cleaning Supplies
You likely don’t know the people who lived in your home before you, which means you can’t be sure how clean it is. Having a box of basic supplies, like a broom, cleaning cloths, sponges, dish towels, all-purpose cleaner, dish soap, and other like items will help you more quickly reach your standard of clean.
9. Toilet Paper
After a long drive to your new home, somebody will likely need to use the facilities upon arrival. You can’t expect that the previous occupant has left a roll of toilet paper behind for you, because many people everything out of a home upon departure. Packing at least a couple of toilet paper rolls ensures you’ll have what you need when nature calls and avoid a trip to the store.
Have you thought about what your sleeping arrangements will be the first few nights after a big move? Whether your beds are assembled, you lie on a mattress on the floor, or even sleep directly on the carpet, you need sheets, blankets, and pillows for a base level of comfort. Sleeping bags are a worthwhile option if you have any. Otherwise, make sure you pack all the bedding you need for your first few nights.
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11. Shower Curtain
Assuming you’ve toured your new home before moving in, you’ll know what kind of shower you have. If it’s enclosed by glass, you can bypass this list item. If you have a bath/shower combo or a stall shower that requires a curtain, make sure you pack at least a liner in your essentials box.
Don’t feel like you need to buy a new shower curtain for the first week in your new home—you can always bring the one from your old home if it’s in good shape. This buys you some time to see the space in person while you figure out the color and style of shower curtain you want.
12. Instant Coffee or Tea
You’re in for a busy week (or longer) getting settled in your new home. Creature comforts like coffee, hot chocolate, and tea should not be overlooked when packing your essentials. Instant coffee saves you some space in your car, since you won’t need your coffee maker. Box up your kettle, some mugs, and a bit of sweetener, and your first morning in your new place is bound to be a much better one.