Checklist: Packing For The First Night in Your New Home

Posted by Trent Corbin on Tuesday, July 17th, 2018 at 4:32pm.

Guide to Packing an “Open-First Box” for the First Night in your New Home

It’s your first night in your new home. You’ve worked so hard to sell, buy, pack, and move that although you’re excited to finally be in the new home, you’re also extremely exhausted and ready for a good night’s res—oh no, which box are the bed sheets in again?

Avoid the first night stress with an “Open-First Box”. Pack and very clearly label a box with first night essentials. You can get to your new home and relax knowing that everything you’ll need for the next day or two until you get settled is all in one place.

For You:

Below are a few personal items you’ll definitely want to have available to you on your first night. There will be no worse feeling than going to take a shower after a day of moving only to realize you have no shampoo, soap, or towels. Get these items together now to ensure a comfortable first night.

  • Bedding

  • Medications

  • Toilet paper

  • Toiletries

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Hand soap

  • Shower liner

  • Towels

  • Pajamas

  • Change of clothes

  • Ibuprofen

  • Phone charger

  • First aid kit

For the Food:

You probably won’t be cooking a five-course meal on the first night in your new home. Plan to have a few of the basics on hand and call in take-out. For most, the first night consists of a pizza and beers on the floor of their new home. Whatever you do, don’t forget the coffee for the next morning!

  • Cups

  • Paper plates

  • Silverware

  • Paper towels

  • Snacks

  • Breakfast foods

  • Coffee machine, coffee filters, coffee mugs

  • Corkscrew or a bottle opener (for your celebratory bottle, of course)

  • Pet food

For the Kids:

The first night in a new home can be tough with kids. Be as prepared as possible with anything they might need or want. With any luck, they’ll be so worn out from the excitement of exploring their new home that they will pass right out!

  • Baby supplies (sippy cup/bottle, formula, baby food, spoon, diapers, wipes, pack ‘n play)

  • Bedding

  • Epipen/allergy medicine

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Pajamas

  • Change of clothes

  • Nightlight

  • Favorite toy and/or blanket

  • Entertainment (crayons, coloring book, iPad)

For the Miscellaneous Extras:

Include these miscellaneous items in your “Open-First Box” just in case. It’s better to have them accessible than to have to dig for them.

  • Basic cleaning supplies (Consider giving your new house a good cleaning before you unpack)

  • Rubber gloves

  • Trash bags

  • Scissors

  • Screwdriver

  • Hammer

  • Pliers

  • Flashlight

  • Pen and paper

For the Important Documents:

Keep your most important documents with you–you cannot afford for them to get lost in your move. Sure, you might not need these items the first night, but in case of an emergency, you’ll be glad you had them with you.

  • Checkbook

  • Passports

  • Birth certificates

  • Social security cards

  • HUD statement

  • Closing documents

We’ve dealt with many home buyers and they all agree, an “Open-First Box” packed with the listed essentials is the best way to be prepared for a first night in a new home. Do some deep thinking, there are likely items specific to you and your family that we haven’t included on this list–add them to the box!

On move-in day, be sure the movers don’t scoop up your box. Keep it with you, maybe in your personal car? Don’t take your eyes off this box as it could get lost easily in the sea of cardboard that is your new home.  

For more home buyer advice check out these Home Buyer's Guides and Tools.  

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