When you imagine moving, you probably imagine yourself sitting in your new living room. Maybe you’re looking out your new window with your morning coffee. Or you see yourself waking up in your new bedroom. What you don’t imagine, is the work it takes to get settled in your new place.

With all of the right essentials, you’ll be able to feel at home in your new home quickly. You’ll be able to arrive, have a nice hot shower, and wake up to a cup of coffee, without needing to remember what you put where. We’ve put together a list for an Open First box – that box of essential items that feels like a Welcome Home to yourself.

Kitchen and Food

After a long day of moving, the last thing you’ll want to do is run to your new local grocery store. Sure, you could order a pizza, but what about tomorrow morning? Packing a few kitchen essentials will help ensure that you don’t need to dig through boxes just so you can make your coffee in the morning.

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Here are a few kitchen essentials to help ensure you can eat (and caffeinate) comfortably:

  • Silverware and a knife for cutting and chopping
  • A pot and a pan
  • A couple of plates, bowls, and cups
  • Salt, pepper, sugar, and other essential spices
  • Cooking oil
  • Coffee and a coffee maker
  • Non-perishable food such as pasta, peanut butter, crackers, canned food, etc.
  • Dish soap and sponges
  • Drying towels

Bathroom and Healthcare

There’s nothing like a move to make you appreciate a nice, hot shower. You’ll definitely want to be sure you have what you need to wash the busy day away.

Here are a few things to remember for the bathroom and shower:

  • Toilet paper
  • Hand soap and towels
  • Shower essentials – shampoo, conditioner, body soap
  • Bath towels
  • Shower curtain

With the above items, your essentials box will ensure you have everything you need for the toilet and the shower. Here are a few other healthcare essentials you won’t want to forget:

  • Prescription medicines for everyone in the family (including pets)
  • A first aid kit
  • Vitamins, pain relievers, and allergy medication
  • Razors for shaving
  • Glasses, contact lens case, and contact solution

Kids and Pets

If you have kids – the two- and/or four-legged variety – coming with you, they’ll be depending on you to plan ahead for them. Your essentials box needs to have some things for them as well. Make sure you pack all of the essentials to help make moving easier on your kids.

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For the two-legged kids:

  • Favorite stuffed animal, blanket, or other comfort items
  • A nightlight
  • Changes of clothes
  • Some snacks and drinks (and maybe even a few treats)
  • Books, toys, crayons, and other things to help keep them entertained while moving and when arriving

And for the four-legged ones:

  • Food and treats
  • Bowls for food and water
  • Pet carrier
  • Leash and collar
  • Clean up bags
  • Favorite toys and comfort items, including a sleeping bed

Bedroom and Bedtime

Finally, the moment comes for a good night’s rest. When you’re ready to slip into bed in your new bedroom, you’ll be happy you planned ahead and packed a box of essential bedroom items.

We recommend a few key things for your first night’s sleep:

  • Bed linen for each family member (including sheets, pillows, blankets, etc.)
  • Clothes to lounge and sleep in
  • Change of clothes for the next day (don’t forget socks and underwear)
  • Curtains, to ensure you have some privacy

A Few Extra Bits

If your essentials box has all of the above items, you’re pretty set for your first days in your new home. There are a few other recommendations we have, to ensure you have everything you need.

  • Charging cables and extension cords
  • Flashlight and batteries, or candles
  • Entertainment – a speaker, a book, or something else you enjoy doing in your “downtime”
  • Cash
  • Basic tools
  • Scissors for opening boxes
  • Cleaning supplies for tidying upon arrival


Even if you’re not ready to pack your essentials box yet, it’s never too early to start making a list. Prepping ahead will help alleviate the pressure to unpack quickly. Make sure you have the items you’ll need for at least the first 24-48 hours, so you can relax in your new home.

When are ready to prepare for moving day, let Flatrate help you find an affordable mover. Full-service movers can help you pack, move, unpack, and more, making it even easier to get there and get settled.