Given the laundry list of things to plan, you’re bound to overlook a few details when moving to a new home. Just don’t make packing the all-important “first night” bags one of them! Trust me, you don’t want to spend the very first 24 hours in your new place rummaging through all of your boxes in search of underwear, toothbrushes and pajamas. Especially when you could be kicked back on a couch, enjoying the fruits of your labor.
If children and pets are also in the picture, then it’s particularly important to prepare for the first night well in advance. Searching for diapers, kibble, toys and applesauce while juggling the demands of a baby or puppy will be hard enough as it is. So make it easier on yourself by boxing up family and home essentials in an easily accessible box prior to the move.
To help you stay organized in your digs (and have fun while doing it!), we’ve included a few tips on how to properly prepare for spending the first day and night in your new home.
Pack a “first night” bag for yourself
Whether it’s the week or the night before the big move – at some point during the packing process, I highly recommend organizing all of your first night essentials into one easily accessible place. Otherwise, you could end up sleeping in yesterday’s clothes. Packing your essentials in a “first night” bag, box or suitcase will not only give you peace of mind once the movers have left, but it will also make the entire experience less stressful overall. Of course, if you’re embarking on an interstate move, and your movers aren’t slated to arrive for another week, you’re going to need to pack enough clothing and personal essentials to last you during that time. Your “first night” bag should really be more of a “first week” suitcase.
Here are a few examples of items you should consider when packing personal essentials:
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste
- Chargers for phones, computers and other necessary electronics
- Extra underwear
- Clothing and outerwear for the first couple of days
- Sleeping sound machine (if moving to a noisy city)
- First aid kit
- Wallet and credit cards
Pack a home essentials box
After you pack a first night bag for yourself, I recommend packing a separate suitcase or box with all of your home essentials for the first few days. If your move is same-day, simply pack a clearly labeled “first night home essentials” box to be included with the other relocation boxes. If the move is going to take a week or two, I recommend taking these home essentials with you on the move.
Packing these items will not only save you a trip to the CVS, but your sanity as well. Especially when it comes to things like finding toilet paper. Here’s what I recommend packing for the home:
- Snacks, a few canned goods and sandwich basics
- Sheets and pillows for the beds
- Trash bags
- Bottled water
- Bath towels
- Extra batteries
- Toilet paper and a roll of paper towels
- Small bottle of laundry detergent
- Shower curtain (if needed)
- Paper plates, utensils and cups
- Can opener
- Essential cleaning supplies
Pack a “first night” bag for kids and pets
Moving with children and pets makes the relocation process all the more challenging. Thankfully, by preparing a separate overnight bag, you can thwart a lot of those first night problems for Fluffy and the kiddos. Moving is stressful and chaotic enough for both pets and children, so prepping a “first night” bag with familiar items will not only help to keep their anxiety at bay, but will also make their experience a fun one.
Here’s what to consider when packing an overnight bag for your kiddos:
- Clothing and pajamas
- Something to keep them contained, such as a portable bouncy seat or pack n’ play set.
- A toy
- Books or an iPad to play games
- Snacks, formula, juice, food, etc.
- Sippy cups or bottles
- Medications and first aid kit
Don’t forget fido or fluffy! Here’s what to consider when packing for your pets:
- Enough food for a few days.
- Food and water dishes
- Poop bags or kitty litter box/scooper
- Toys and bones for your dog to chew on
- Cat toys
- Crate or carrier
Which items to unpack that night
In addition to preparing the first night essentials, it’s a good idea to plan out which items and rooms you plan to unpack that night. Personally, I don’t recommend being overly ambitious the first night in your home. Moving is exhausting, and no one is expecting you to be completely unpacked the first week in your new home. If you’re going to unpack anything at all, I suggest starting with the bedrooms – especially if you have children. After putting the sheets on the bed, head to the kitchen and unpack the items you’ll need during the first week, such as forks, knives, plates, mugs, coffee machine, etc.
How to enjoy the first night in your new digs
After you’ve successfully unpacked your essentials and settled in, it’s time to enjoy your new house! Tonight is not the night to stress about the little things. You have plenty of time to fix that leaky faucet, strip the wallpaper and repair the disposal that suddenly decided to stop working. Relax! You’ve just accomplished a major move and it’s now time to celebrate. Here are a few ways to enjoy your new home on the first night:
- Pop some bubbly.
- Instead of stressing yourself out over cooking, order take-out or delivery instead.
- If your place is a trainwreck, go out to eat.
- Play a game with your family. Chances are, you may not have cable when you arrive. Be patient! If you planned ahead, it should be installed in no time. In the meantime enjoy spending quality time with your family.
- Read a book.
- Meet your new neighbors. The first day in your new home is as good of a time as ever to introduce yourself to the new neighbors. If you have kids, find other neighbors with children to befriend.
- Go for walk in your new neighborhood. Get out the house and explore the area with your family.
- If you’re going to insist on unpacking boxes, I suggest spending the first night making sure each box is in the right room to start with.
Article Reference: https://www.moving.com/tips/first-night-in-your-new-home/