This past weekend we helped our friends move into a new home. A week or so ago, they asked for some tips about what to pack and have on hand, since we had recently moved. Not really packing tips (since they had been packing for a while), but more like what they needed ASAP. I figured it might be something other people wanted to know :) So here are what I consider to be some move-in necessities!
I’ve written in the past about things to do when you move in. Some big items you should do if you have the means/time and some things you really need to do soon. I also have a handy guide for some first-time homeowner essentials, but today is all about the super basics. The need-to-have-in-the-car-and-bring-in-right-away type of stuff.
This should be helpful whether you have kids or not and whether it’s a new build or a new-to-you home. A lot will apply if you’re moving nearby, but if you’re planning a far move all at once, I’d suggest having a designated bag/box for these items that you keep handy.
Move-in Bare Necessities
Toilet Paper: Do I really have to explain this one? Nothing worse than having to pee and the previous occupants didn’t leave anything!
Paper Towels/Wipes/Cleaning Gloves/Scrub Brushes: Towels and wipes are for light surface cleaning and to put near the sinks as you need. The sponges/brushes will be useful to give things a good cleaning (you know, if you follow my tips from this post). AND the gloves will help with that, plus may be handy if you encounter some questionable areas.
Hand Towels: You should ideally bring a hand towel for each bathroom to dry your hands. They’re also handy if you get a big mess and need to clean up a lot.
Soap: Get a bottle of handsoap for each bathroom, and maybe some dish soap for the kitchen too. You probably won’t be washing dishes for a while, but you never know what you might need to clean.
Water/Snacks: Bring refillable bottles that you leave in the car, or get a case and drop off at the house. It could be nice to get a case if you have helpers that didn’t bring their own water, ha. Same goes for snacks. If you’re moving all in one day, you might miss the traditional eating times, and some people might get hungry at different times too. Have easy to eat snacks like apples/bananas or granola bars handy.
Garbage Bags AND a Small Bin: Bring a few small garbage bags to put in each bathroom/kitchen, but also have a couple of big ones on hand. You hopefully shouldn’t need the big ones for a while, but always a good idea to have a few just in case. Bonus points if you bring a small bin, because it can do double-duty as a cleaning bucket!
Important Documents: This applies more if you’re doing a far move, but it’s always good to have (or at least know) where your documents are at all times.
Scissors/Utility Knife: For opening all those moving boxes!
Pencil/Pens/Notepad: To leave notes or write down things you might need.
First-Night Move-in Necessities
Overnight Bag/Clothes: This is especially important if you have kids – pack each person their own overnight bag. For babies, that means all diapers, wipes, bottles, etc. they’ll need. For kids, it might mean bringing their favourite toy (or even something to keep them busy for a bit). For adults, remember to bring all your toiletries (don’t forget contact solution!) and things you would need for a day or two. Think about all the things you’d pack if you were going on a small vacation, and make sure to bring that. If you’re doing a far move, you might want to bring a weeks worth of clothes if the rest is packed away.
Nightlights: The first few night in a new-to-you home will take some getting used to. Grab a few nightlights to put in the hallways, bathrooms, or other areas you might need. Plus, you probably won’t know the layout of the house yet either.
Blankets/Sheets/Pillows: You might not have access, or the time, to unpack and assemble your big furniture right away – but having a comfy place to sleep should be a priority (especially for kids!). They shouldn’t complain about a mattress on the floor the first night or two, but they may be upset if they don’t have their special blanket. Bonus points if you use the same sheets from their last bed (so it has a familiar smell).
Painters Tape: You probably won’t have the time to install blinds or curtains in the bedrooms for a while. You know what helps in a pinch? Black garbage bags taped to the walls! They’re the perfect blackout, and if you leave them uncut, you can always reuse them for garbage :)
Anything to Add?
Have you moved recently and have anything else to add? What about as a mover-helper? Our last move was a slow process, since we had purchased our new home before selling. For that, we would move stuff and unpack them as we could. Then, we’d use the same boxes/bins to bring more the next time. We were fortunate to have another home nearby where we could sleep and unwind. We didn’t have to scramble to get beds setup and kitchens unpacked right away.
Fun fact: I actually wrote this post BEFORE the move-in weekend, and I didn’t even end up helping. Little Félix was teething so we only came up for a day, after most of the work was done. The Husband helped for the bulk of the work though (and I know he forgot drinks/snacks!).
(And for the super fans, I’m a few days late with this post because I’ve been busy working at the cottage!). I should have a big update coming soon :)