First-Night Essentials You Need When Moving

Packing a designated bag or box of essentials for your first night in your new home will simplify your move and keep you from digging through boxes to find important belongings. It’s worth noting that these things should travel with you — not with your movers.

Here’s what we recommend packing in your first night bag or box:

  • Cleaning rags
  • Paper towels
  • Cleaning solutions (these can’t travel in the moving van)
  • Dish soap
  • Gloves
  • Trash bags
  • Small broom and dustpan
  • Box cutter
  • Hammer
  • Screws and screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Light bulbs
  • Extra batteries (these can’t travel in the moving van)


  • Peanut butter
  • Canned or pouched protein (like tuna, salmon or chicken)
  • Canned veggies
  • Canned fruit (ideally low sugar)
  • Canned legumes (such as lentils and beans)
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Personal electronic devices
  • Chargers for devices, like phones and tablets
  • Toilet paper and paper towels
  • Bath towels and washcloths
  • Cosmetics and skincare
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Soap and shampoo
  • Essential medications
  • Pajamas and next-day clothing
  • First aid kit

Feel free to adapt this list to your moving needs. If you’re renting, you might not need a drill; if you don’t like oatmeal, bring trail mix instead. Whatever you decide on, you can bet some variation of this first-night kit will help streamline your move day, while helping you comfortably settle in.

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