Unpacking Tips

Your move isn’t complete once your movers unload all of your possessions. The real work – unpacking and settling in – is about to begin. There are certain necessities that can help you enjoy your first few days and it’s important that you can quickly find them, so the items should all be in one box. Martha Stewart refers to this as the “first-night box.” Here is a list of essentials that you should consider packing into one convenient box so they’re readily available in your new home.


You don’t need every piece of equipment, but having basic tools handy can help you avoid some major stress while settling in. Put a hammer, drill, screwdriver and wrench into your first-night box. You may have to assemble furniture like your bed frame and it’s important that you’re able to find the right tools without rifling through all of your possessions.

Food supplies

Keep snacks handy to avoid small hunger pangs while unpacking. Only bring non-perishable food, to avoid spoiling. Additionally, you should have plates, cups and water in your first-night box. You may not have time to cook a full meal while settling in, but you can use basic table settings and order out from a local restaurant.


Eventually, you’ll have to call it a night and go to sleep. Pack your sheets and pillowcases so you can make your bed and get a good night’s rest. You’ll also likely work up a sweat while unpacking and want to shower before hitting the hay. Keep a few towels handy so that everyone can bathe.

Spare clothes

It may be a day or two before you can unpack all of your clothes. Include several different outfits into your first-night box so you don’t have to recycle some garments. Additionally, if you’re moving with your kids, you should have a few spare sets of clothing in case they have any accidents or track dirt in from outside.


As noted above, relocating with children presents a unique set of challenges. Entertainment can be a particularly difficult hurdle to clear. Make sure you can quickly find some of your children’s favorite toys so they can play without demanding your attention. You can also encourage your kids to go outside and play with the neighbors to make new friends.


Proper hygiene is essential even while you’re moving. Toothbrushes, soap, toilet paper and deodorant should all be in your first-night box.

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