Moving is at best a hassle, and at worst, a stress-filled, panic-inducing ordeal to get over with as soon as possible.

When the day arrives for you to move, you’ll be frazzled as you try to keep up with all that’s going on. You’ll have so much on your mind that it’s easy to forget essential things you’ll need during that first night or two in the new home.

The trick is to not wait until the last minute to plan. Before the day comes for the big national or international move, take some time and pack a small bag of necessities. These items are everyday things you’ll need once you arrive in your new home.

Packing these items relieves the stress of ripping open box after box to find what you’re looking for. Here are some essential items you should pack to survive that first 24-hours in your new home.


Bathroom Products

An essential item and the one you’ll most likely need as soon as you arrive is bathroom tissue. Pack a roll or two of toilet paper in your bag so you won’t have to make a special trip to the store or dig through boxes should the need arise. Also, make sure you pack soap, shampoo, a few towels, toothpaste, and toothbrushes.



During the drive to your new home, you’ll get hungry. You can always stop for fast food or at a restaurant, but that costs both money and time. Pack a few healthy snacks to munch on along the way, but don’t forget to bring those guilty pleasures as well. Having some junk food like chips or a candy bar can make you feel good and take off some of the stress during the move. Don’t forget to stay hydrated by packing a few bottles of water.



When you arrive at your new home chances are you’re going to be hungry. And whether you’re getting takeout or picking up a few things at the store, having plates and utensils ready means you can chow down more quickly. Don’t pack anything fancy; simple paper plates and cups, and plastic utensils will do fine.


First Aid Kit

When you’re packing and moving things into your new home, be ready for the inevitable scrapes and cuts with a small first aid kit. This kit should have the staples: Adhesive bandages, anti-bacterial solution, gauze, and tape.


Plugs and Charging Cables

If you’ve had a long trip, chances are your phones, tablets, and laptop batteries are in the red. The last thing you want is to dig through boxes to find the right charger when your phone is ready to power down. Pack your essential chargers and cables in your bag so you can get your electronics plugged in and charged up once you arrive.



Okay, you don’t have to pack a whole wardrobe, but do consider packing a change of clothes and underwear for the next day. It’s surprising how fresh and ready to go you’ll feel when you have on a fresh set of clothes after an all-day moving ordeal.



Sure, you’ve got your phones and tablets, but in case you don’t have electricity hooked up at your new home, it’s a good idea to bring along some games to play, especially if you have kids. And, if you have kids, pack their favorite toy so they’ll feel more at ease in their new environment.



If your electricity isn’t hooked up at the new place, you’re going to need some light for when it gets dark. Consider packing some candles, flashlights, or small LED lamps to help when it gets dark.



If anyone in your family takes prescription medications, pack them in your bag. The last thing you want to do is to have to root around in a bunch of boxes to find your medicine.


Kitchen Items

As mentioned, you’ll most likely be ordering takeout food or grabbing something to eat from the local convenience store. Pack one or two trash bags to clean up after your first few meals and to throw away anything else that you find during the unpacking. Also, a can opener could come in handy during that first night.


Baby Items

If you have a baby, don’t forget to pack diapers, wipes, sippy cup, and a pacifier. And, while it probably won’t fit in your bag, put a portable bouncy seat in the car, so it’s ready for the baby once you arrive.


Pet Supplies

Moving is stressful for people but can be even more so for pets. Some animals become confused and frightened when they’re in unfamiliar surroundings.

If you have a fur baby or two, you can make their first night in the new place less stressful by not forgetting them when packing your ‘first-night’ bag. Bring along a few treats, a leash, their favorite toy, enough food for an evening or two, and bags to clean up their mess.

Moving can be exciting; there are new friends to meet, new possibilities, and new directions in which your life can go. But it’s also a massive pain in the butt. Packing a ‘first-night’ bag with these essential items helps ease you into your new digs and reduces — even a little — the amount of stress on the day of the big move.

And, once settled on that first night, why not venture out and grab a bottle of wine or champagne and celebrate the accomplishment, and enjoy relaxing the first evening in your new home.