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Question: What Should I Include in My Essentials Box?


Before moving or relocating, everyone should prepare an essentials box, a box full of items you'll need for your last few nights before you move and/or the first few nights in your new home.


Answer: This should actually be the last box you pack before you move, but it's a good idea, while you're going through the cupboards, drawers and shelves, to identify what you'll need for the first few hours/days in your new home. This box will be the first box you open and should include items that will enable you to provide small meals, clean, deal with small emergencies and possibly entertain you while you unpack the rest of your home or in case the movers are delayed.


Some people opt for packing an essentials box for every room in their house. I tend to pack one box that can travel with me.

  • Toilet Paper (Thanks to reader, Laura, for this essential item!)
  • Dish soap
  • Dishtowel and dishcloth
  • All-purpose cleaner (unopened)
  • Instant coffee
  • Toaster or small toaster oven
  • Jar of pasta sauce and pasta (or some easy food item for one dinner and lunch)
  • Unopened small jar of jam/peanut butter
  • Snacks
  • Beverages
  • Pet food and dishes
  • Radio
  • Mug, plate, fork, knife, spoon for each member of the family
  • All-purpose cutting knife
  • Scissors or craft knife (to open the rest of your boxes)
  • Small emergency kit
  • Flashlight/candles/matches
  • Shower curtain (nothing worse than forgetting this one!)
  • Shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrush, floss, and paste
  • A change of clothing and towel for each member of the family.
  • Garbage bags
  • Portable tool kit
  • Important records such as medical records, passports, leases, financial information, etc.

You may not be ready to pack your Essentials Box yet, but that doesn't mean you can't start making a list of items to include. The rule of thumb is to include all essentials that you'll need for at least 24 hours. Presumably, there's a grocery or convenience store nearby, but just in case, you should have some food stuff on hand that you can quickly prepare for your family.


After you've prepared your Essentials Box, take it with you in the car or in the cab of the moving van if you're moving yourself. Again, this will be the last box packed, and the first one you open!

 

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