Moving and Packing: A Checklist of Essential Supplies

Tape your boxes securely to prevent damage while moving
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It's easy to overlook small details when you're moving into a new home. However, if you forget the essentials for your first couple nights in a new home, you might regret it—and you'll have to spend money to get must-have items like toilet paper. Put all the items you will need for those first couple days in a particular box and, if possible, transport it to your new home yourself instead of putting it in the moving truck. With that box in hand, all the essential items will be available right when you need them.

  • 01 of 09

    An Overnight Bag

    Set of travel size cosmetic bottles on white wooden background. Flat lay of cream jars. Top view of bodycare style concept
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    Pack an overnight bag like you're going on a weekend getaway. Include pajamas, a change of clothes and all your toiletries, such as toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo, and deodorant.

  • 02 of 09

    Kids' Items

    African American girl putting teddy bear in suitcase
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    If you have kids, pack an overnight bag for them, too. It should include pajamas, a change of clothes, toiletries, any special stuffed animals and some toys to keep the kiddos occupied while you're unpacking and organizing.

  • 03 of 09

    Bathroom Essentials

    Roll of toilet paper with some copy space
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    Put all the items you'll need for a bath, shower, and the toilet in the essentials box. This include toilet paper—pack at least one roll per bathroom in the new house—as well as hand soap, hand towels, washcloths, and bath towels. If your new home needs a shower curtain, add that to the box, too.

  • 04 of 09

    Kitchen Items

    Kitchen sink minimal
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    To save room and weight in your essentials box, pour some dish soap into a small container or glass jar. Then you can pack the rest of the bottle into one of the kitchen boxes that can be unpacked later. You can also use dishcloths wrap and pack fragile items before putting them into your essentials box.

    Pack a mug, plate, knife, fork, and spoon for each member of the family. Mugs are better than glasses as they can be used for both hot and cold beverages. Wrap glasses and pack plates and utensils well to ensure they arrive at your new home safely.

    For cooking, pack one all-purpose pot that can be used to boil water or stir-fry vegetables. Only include this essential if your household goods are going to take longer than a few days to reach your new home.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Cleaning Supplies

    Cleaning Supplies
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    Choose a cleaner that will clean most surfaces. If you think you'll need to clean your new home before you move in, you may want to pack a separate cleaning essentials box that would include a broom, mop, bucket and other cleaning supplies. Otherwise, just pack an all-purpose cleaner and a cleaning rag. Don't forget garbage bags.

  • 06 of 09

    Pet Food, Dishes and Supplies

    USA, Illinois, Metamora, Close-up of bowl full of dog food
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    While you might remember to pack pet food, you might forget to pack pet dishes, leashes, medications, and other supplies. Don't forget your pet's toothbrush if you brush every day!

  • 07 of 09


    Packaging Materials with Scissors
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    A good pair of scissors will always come in handy, espeically when you're looking for something to break through the packing tape you used to seal all those well-packed boxes.

  • 08 of 09

    Medical Kit

    First aid
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    A small medical or emergency kit is essential. Small cuts and injuries are a possibility when unpacking, so you'll want to keep a good supply of bandages, gauze and ointments close at hand. Check out moving safety tips for more information on staying safe while you move.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Flashlight and/or Candles

    Illuminated flashlight
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    It's always a good idea to pack some kind of emergency lighting. You never know if a former resident will have removed lightbulbs or if there is a problem with turning the power on in a timely manner.