If you’ve moved to a new place before, you know how it goes. You have all the best intentions for a smooth move, a quick and easy unpacking, and everything in your home and in place with energy left to spare. In reality, things don’t turn out that way.

Even with the help of a professional moving team, moving day is still… well, a long day. When you arrive at your new place, the last thing you’re thinking about is unpacking. Of course, many people force themselves into it. Where are my bedsheets? Which box has my towel in it? I really want to brush my teeth!

Packing an essentials box saves you the hunting. You’ll have a couple of boxes to unpack, that’s true. But with the right planning, you’ll know exactly which ones have the things you need to get settled for the first night (or two) in your new home.

Okay, so the title was misleading. You’ll likely have more than one essentials box. But what do you need to pack there? Read on for some tips to help you pack well for your arrival.


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When you arrive in your new home, you’ll likely already have visions of your first night’s sleep in mind. The last thing you want to do is tear open boxes searching for your cozy linens and pillows. Pack an essentials box for your bedroom and save yourself the hassle.

The same goes for every bedroom in your home, of course. Label a box containing your clean bed sheets, pillows, and comforter. If your kids can’t sleep without their favorite stuffed animals and a nightlight, make sure you include them in this box. Do you like to read in bed until you fall asleep? Pack a small lamp in your box in case you still have the energy at the end of the day.

This is also a good box to consider your first day or two in your new home. You’ll want a change of clothes, socks, and underwear.


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Okay, imagine it. You reach the end of the day. The movers have done a lot of the heavy lifting, but you still feel sweaty. Tired. Ready to relax in the hot shower. And then… you can’t find a towel. Where are your pajamas? And oh no, all that coffee has left a bad taste in your mouth.

Don’t worry.

Packing a bathroom essentials box will prepare you for all of this and more. Start by packing towels and a shower curtain to ensure you can wash the day off. You may have packed your pajamas in your bedroom box but if not, pack them here as you’ll want to slip them on after your shower.

Do you wear contact lenses or take medication? Pack those things in your bathroom box. You’ll also want your toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, and any other items to refresh at the end of the day (and the start of the following one!)


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Kitchens are complex to unpack and can take a bit of time, particularly if you have a ton of dishes, appliances, and other bits and pieces. Rather than tearing open your kitchen boxes looking for a fork so you can eat that Uber Eats delivery, pack your essentials separately.

You’ll want a plate, bowl, cup, and silverware set for each person. That way, you can still have your meals without needing to tackle the entire kitchen. Coffee drinker? Pack your coffee pot in your essentials box and you’ll be happy you did when the morning comes. The same goes for the blender if you have a morning smoothie ritual.

If you’re moving locally and have things like sauces, salt, and pepper, it can be handy to have those in an easy-to-reach place. Don’t forget some tea towels, dish soap, and a sponge.


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A few other items can help you make yourself at home. Basic cleaning supplies will help you freshen up the space before you unpack. A Bluetooth speaker will let you bring the vibes. You’ll also want to be sure to pack any cables, cords, and chargers you may need in the first few days.