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Moving Essentials Box: Keep This Box Handy During a Move

Packing an essentials box for moving day can make or break the ease of your entire moving experience

By Lisa Battles on April 7, 2017


Packing an essentials box for moving day can make or break the ease of your entire moving experience. Fill one large container with everything you’ll need for moving day and the following two or three days and pack it in the car with you to avoid a variety of mishaps.


Just imagine the end of moving day, and you’ve carted that last box into your new home, wiped the sweat from your brow and are ready for a hot shower and a good night’s rest.


What’s that? You don’t have the proper tools handy to set up your bed? Oh, but there’s always the air mattress. Yet, you can’t quite find the box containing the sheets … or the towels, toiletries and shower curtain liner – the bare minimum you’ll need to get that hard-earned shower.  


Then after a solid-hour search for all these items, the glorious shower and sweet slumber, morning comes. Yet with the rising sun comes sore muscles from moving things the day before, and nothing but a steaming cup of coffee will give the jolt necessary to begin the exciting yet tedious task of unpacking. But where on earth did you put that coffee pot? What about the coffee? You decide to make a run to a local coffee shop, but that first step toward the door reminds you how badly you need the pain relieving medicine, which you also can’t seem to place.

It’s not until a day later when you remember you have to register the kids for school on Monday, and panic hits because you can’t recall exactly where you placed your lockbox of birth certificates and other important family documents.

Skip those hassles and many more by using our Moving Essentials Box Checklist to:


  • ensure you have your basic human needs covered when arriving at your new home

  • easily find critical tools and parts for assembling must-have furniture, such as your bed

  • quickly treat minor injuries which are much more possible carting stuff during a move

  • give yourself the peace of mind of having important paperwork in place




Moving Essentials Box: Your Most Important Thing to Pack


Basic Needs

  • Keys to the new house

  • Toilet paper and paper towels

  • Towels, toothbrushes and toiletries

  • One or two complete changes of clothing each member of the family

  • Assorted non-perishable snacks, coffee, filters, paper cups, coffee pot, sweetener & spoon, bottled water

  • Pet food and bowls, if applicable

  • Daily medications

  • Basic first aid kit which should include band-aids, pain reliever, bandages, rubbing alcohol, antibiotic ointment

  • Sheets and other bedding for your bed(s) or air mattress

  • Baby gates if you’re moving with a toddler


Unpacking Needs

  • Box cutter

  • Any special tools, parts or instruction books needed to reassemble essential furniture items, such as your bed

  • Basic tools you may need for unexpected repairs in the new house, such as screwdrivers, wrenches, a drill and flashlight

  • Light bulbs, in case you need to replace any in the new house

  • Temporary window coverings to ensure privacy the first few nights in your new home

  • Felt pads for moving large furniture without damaging floors

  • Basic cleaning products to fully clean the kitchen counters and bathrooms before use

  • Large trash bags for collecting unpacked packing materials


Important Paperwork

  • Enough cash to pay movers and miscellaneous moving expenses

  • A large envelope, lockbox or expanding file of important family documents such as birth certificates and Social Security cards

  • A binder containing all checklists, your moving contract, an inventory on paper or CD (with photos) of your valuable items, floorplans for placing furniture and an envelope for collecting receipts

  • Printed maps to your new location

  • A list of all your banking, credit and utility accounts and their associated phone numbers


Optional Items

  • Air mattress, just in case you don’t feel like setting up your bed that first night

  • A few dishes, flatware and cooking utensils if you plan to cook the first day or two

  • A few beers or bottle of wine or champagne to celebrate the end of moving day (don’t forget the corkscrew or bottle opener)

  • A few comforting toys for kids, which will help them feel more comfortable in a new place

  • A favorite old toy for your pet, to help acclimate them into a new environment

  • Plastic or throw rugs to protect floors during the move

  • Eye mask and ear plugs to ensure good rest the first night after moving

  • A favorite scented candle or spray to feel at home in your new space

  • Portable radio or speakers to make moving day and unpacking more upbeat

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