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Moving in to a new home is stressful. There’s tons of boxes and furniture to move and arrange. Things get lost or broken, boxes are mislabeled. If you used a moving company, you might not get your stuff until a few days later. You will have to make do with what you have.

In addition to the stuff you will already have with you, like medications, clothes, and dog or cat food, here are 5 things to have the first night you are in your new home.

Toilet Paper

When you move in to your new place, the most important thing you need is toilet paper! If you are lucky, its already be in the house, but usually it’s not. Getting in late, or being completely exhausted from a long drive means going to a store is the last thing you want to do. I put 2 rolls into our first night box. You never know when it will come in handy.

Picnic Dishes and Utensils

I hate paper plates and flimsy plastic cutlery, so I keep the plastic plates, bowls, and cups we have for camping or picnics, along with dollar store cutlery, in our moving in box. These can be washed and reused, and since we’ve already got them, we aren’t wasting money on disposables.


I usually put 4 towels in our first night moving in box. There are only 2 of us, but we will need 2 for showers the next morning. The others come in handy for drying the dishes or as emergency crate liners for our dog (he’s got a tender tummy and stress sometimes makes him hork up food). They are also useful if we need to dry stuff off before bringing it the new house (the dog again; he’s high maintenance).



If we can’t get our bed set up right away, we have to sleep on an air mattress we keep in our truck. It’s comfortable, but only if I remember to keep blankets accessible.

Even if we get the bed set up and made, having an extra blanket is just comforting to me. It smells like our fabric softener, so it reminds me of home, and I get cold really easily, so having one around to snuggle up in is always a good idea.

Another reason to keep at least one in the moving in first night box: on our most recent move, SJ got a nasty cold our first night in the new place. He slept on the couch because he was too tired and week to make it up the stairs. Having that blanket handy meant neither of us had to freeze, and he got to stay wrapped up in it for a few days while he got better.

Snacks and Prepackaged Foods

Moving in is my least favorite part of a new home. Mostly because I love to cook and the kitchen is not the first room to get unpacked. Bedrooms and bathrooms take priority for us so, you know, we can sleep and be clean. We will not have a fully functioning kitchen for a couple of days, so I keep easily prepared foods handy.

I make sure we have fresh fruit like apples and bananas. They are easy to pack and they don’t get too beat up if they are packed well. Other items I have handy are single serve packets of peanut butter and jam, a loaf of bread, lunch-sized bags of chips, a box of crackers, carrot sticks, and bottles of water. Single-serve hummus containers and a small box of cheese are great too.

I know prepackaged foods are not awesome. They have lots of sodium, strange chemicals, and a butt-load of sugar. But if I’m exhausted and cranky and SJ needs to be fed, it’s much cheaper, faster and healthier to hand him a PBJ and an apple with a few chips than it is to get a take-out pizza or a fast food burger with fries. I’m fine with this trade-off.

Moving in to a new house sucks. No matter what you pack or plan for, something will go wrong. Having a moving in first night box can help make everyone more comfortable though, so it’s worth having one. The things I pack in our moving in box work for us, but all families are different. The basics are necessary, but the items themselves will be different. If you don’t like apples, pack grapes!

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