Pack First Night Moving Boxes

First Night Moving Box Checklist - couple sitting next to moving boxes - United Van Lines

Before you settle into your new home on the first night, you’ll want to have all of your essentials close at hand. A first night moving kit may be the most important boxes in your move. The purpose of the first night boxes is to have what you need where you can easily get to it, when you need it and they can last for the first night or weeks at your new place.

Below are some suggestions to help you plan your first night moving boxes and alleviate some of the stress that could come from digging through endless boxes just to find your toothbrush or bedsheets. Get started packing for an enjoyable first couple of weeks in your new home with these helpful tips!

Moving Tip: Make sure you have not packed any items your moving company cannot transport. For a list of items United cannot move due to health or safety regulations, refer to our restricted items checklist.

Transporting Your Essential Supplies

The most important thing to know about your first night moving boxes is that they should travel with you, especially if you and your family are arriving at your home before the movers.

If that’s not possible with your type of move (e.g., you’re flying or don’t have enough room in your car), this kit should be the last one loaded on to the moving truck.

The checklists we’ve developed for your first weeks in your new home covers everything from electronics and chargers to toilet paper, linens and cleaning necessities. We’ve thought of everything, so you don’t have to. Searching for a clean bath towel or your comfy pajamas puts a damper on the excitement of your first night or weeks in your new home. You may need to include exactly what we suggest or put your own unique spin on it. The key is keeping everything nearby and in one place.

Cleaning and Maintenance Supplies

One of the first things you will want to do before unpacking your moving boxes is some basic cleaning. Heavy-duty cleaning can wait. On your first night in your new home, strive for a quick scrub down of necessary surfaces. This will be just enough cleaning for a few days, and it will not take too long, allowing you time to get to bed at a decent hour.

Along with packing cleaning supplies, it’s also a good idea to bring some toolbox standards. There may be some immediate household repairs that need attention, so preparing for that possibility can be helpful in an otherwise potentially stressful situation. You’ll have plenty of time to fix any major issues, change that outdated paint color in the kitchen and re-carpet the guest room, so focus only on your critical “punch list” items.

The following is a list of items we recommend for home cleaning and maintenance on the first night or weeks in your new house:

Foods and Beverages

Also, consider your eating arrangements on your first night . Your freezer and refrigerator may not be up and running on your first night and unpacking your dishes and kitchen necessities will not be on the top of your to-do list. Therefore, you may want to consider eating out or ordering in for your first few meals. Visiting your local eateries is an excellent way to get familiar with your neighborhood and helps eliminate the hassle of not only unpacking your cookware but also cleaning up afterward.

If going out or delivery isn’t an option, packing a can opener along with these suggested non-perishable food items is the way to go. Keep in mind, foods that require a microwave for heating may not be usable if your appliances are not installed yet.

  • Peanut butter
  • Canned or pouched tuna, salmon or chicken
  • Canned veggies
  • Canned fruit (low sugar)
  • Canned legumes such as lentils and beans
  • Instant oatmeal

For snack time, pack portable, high-protein food items and lots of water to keep everyone hydrated.
Plus, you will need some paper plates, disposable cups, napkins and utensils. If you prefer reducing waste over dishwashing, bring reusable camping utensils and dishes instead of disposable.

Linens and Sleeping Arrangements

Your sleeping arrangements should also be planned with your first night boxes. A good night’s sleep will be critical as you embark the next few days on unpacking your belongings and settling into your new home. Be sure to have bed linens for every member of the family so everyone experiences a sense of coziness the first week.

Paying close attention to everyone’s sleeping arrangements can help make the first evening as pleasant as possible. Knowing whether or not you will be sleeping on the floor the first night or weeks will help you plan. Make sure you ask your move coordinator whether the movers will assemble your beds or if you are responsible for setting them up. The following list covers some of the other sleeping related items you may want to consider packing for your first week in your new home:

  • Sheets, pillows, blankets and comforters for the beds (or a sleeping bag).
  • Air mattress, folding bed or portable bed (if your primary bed is not going to be assembled or arrives after you move in).
  • Air pump for the air mattress.
  • Hairdryer, vacuum or shop vac if you are without an air pump.

Personal Items

Aside from sleeping and eating essentials, your personal items will need to be packed. Have your toothpaste and toothbrush, soap and shampoo and a brush or comb packed in your personal bag(s) along with your pajamas and work clothes.

In addition, we suggest these personal items to pack in your first night boxes:

  • Toilet paper and paper hand towels.
  • Bath towels, washcloths.
  • Sleeping accessories such as a breathing machine or sound machine.
  • Cosmetics and other beauty items.
  • Personal electronic devices including laptops.
  • Chargers for devices, like phones and tablets.
  • Important files and documents, such as school records, insurance policies, title documents, etc.

Last but not least, you will need a medical kit for potential bumps and bruises, complete with:

  • Medications including all of your prescriptions.
  • Bandages and ointments.
  • Anti-itch cream.

In the end, make sure your first night boxes are the last one loaded on the moving truck before the doors are closed — if they’re not traveling with you in your car. You’ll want to be able to get to them as soon as you arrive at your new home.

For additional moving advice and tips for a successful move, we’ve created these easy-to-follow moving checklists:

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