As exciting as the first night in your new home is, it is extremely busy as well. After the tiresome move-out and move-in process, all you want to do is relax. But how can you rest comfortably if you have to dig into a tedious and chaotic unpacking process right away? The key lies in planning!

Yes, plan ahead of time and pack a separate ‘First Night Box.’ Add this as an extra checklist when moving. The first night moving box is one of the most important things during your move. For this box will enable a smooth transition into the new home for you and your family, including the pet. If you can easily access all your essentials, you can focus on resting and recharging on the first day.

You don’t want to rummage through boxes trying to find your bed sheets or toothbrush, do you? If not, prepare beforehand and make a thorough list of all the things you might need upon arrival. If you are not sure where to start, we can help! We have prepared some suggestions to help alleviate stress by helping you plan what to add to the first night moving box.  

The Contents of a First Night Box

What is a first night box? The first night box is a collection of everything you want to access easily on your first day at the new home. It is not mandatory to carry these items in a box. As per your convenience, you may carry them in a suitcase, storage trunk, or even a plastic tub. It depends on your preference and what you need to pack. 

Preparing for the first night ahead of time is critical, particularly if you have little children and pets. The last thing you want after a busy day of travelling and moving is to scramble through everything to find your child’s favorite blanket or your dog’s calming toy. You can significantly reduce the level of stress by packing personal items and some household necessities.  

From loungewear to medicines to electronics – we have prepared a comprehensive list to help you plan. We thought of everything, so you can enjoy the first night at your new home. No two families are the same, so you can customise the list according to your needs and circumstances. Here’s what you should add to the first night checklist when moving!

Cleaning Essentials and Standard Tools for the First Night

Ideally, you would like to do some basic cleaning before you unpack all the moving boxes. While you do not need any heavy-duty cleaning right away but a quick scrub down and sweep is often necessary. This will not take too much time if you have the cleaning supplies at hand. Just take them out of the first night box and do some quick cleaning – the rest can wait. 

In addition to cleaning essentials, you might want to take a standard toolbox. Tools like pliers and a hammer may come handy if you require any immediate repairs. In terms of cleaning and maintenance items, we recommend you add the following items:

  • Rags for cleaning
  • Broom
  • Dustpan
  • Cleaning solutions
  • Dish soap
  • Paper towels
  • Trash bags
  • Gloves 
  • Light bulbs and flashlights
  • Scissors
  • Hammer
  • Screws and screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Drill machine 
  • Extra batteries 

Add Bedding and Linens to the First Night Checklist When Moving

The days following your arrival will keep you quite occupied. You will spend hours unpacking and settling in the new place. To prepare yourself for all the hard work, you need to sleep well on the first night. Make sure to clarify beforehand whether the movers will assemble the bed, or you have to set them. 

Furthermore, you should add linens for each family member in the first night box. Having comfortable sleeping arrangements can make the first night feel very pleasant. You may want to set aside crates and pet beds if you have pets. If you are travelling with small kids, it might be a good idea to carry a portable sleeper. The following list includes some of the essentials you would want to add to this checklist when moving: 

  • Bed Sheets 
  • Pillows
  • Blankets comforters
  • Pet beds
  • Portable sleepers
  • Temporary arrangements such as sleeping bags, air mattresses and air pump, folding or portable bed. 

Pack Snacks and Plan Your Meals

Now that you have taken care of sleep arrangements, consider what you will be eating throughout the day. Your refrigerator and freezer may not be ready for use on the first day. Plus, you would not want to unpack kitchen necessities and dishes soon after arriving. Therefore, the best option would be to order the first few meals or eat out. You can take the family to local restaurants, which is also a great way to explore the new neighborhood. Even better, not only does this eliminate the need to unpack kitchen essentials but it also helps avoid tedious post-meal cleaning up.  

In case delivery or eating out is not an option for you, you need to make other arrangements beforehand. Packing some non-perishable food and a can opener is a good idea. Below are some food items you can carry with you in the first night box:

  • Bread spreads like peanut butter
  • Canned chicken, salmon, and tuna 
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned fruits
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Canned legumes such as beans and lentils
While these will cover the main meals, you will also need some snacks to munch on throughout the day. Pack high-protein food items. You can take snack inspiration from the following list: 
  • Granola bars
  • Beef jerky
  • Trail mix 
  • Crackers 
  • Popcorn
Bring along some napkins, paper plates, and disposable cups. Better yet, act responsibly and reduce waste by using reusable camping dishes and utensils instead. Pack bottles, sippy cups, formula, bibs and all other essentials for your little one. You may want to carry food and water trays your pets are familiar with to ease their transition as well. 

Personal Items for the First Night Checklist When Moving

Personal items make up the most important contents of your first night moving box. Not only should you add your daily use items such as toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, shampoo, and comb to the personal bag, but you also need to add comfortable outfits and pajamas. Sadly, you will need much more than that to settle in and feel comfortable. Here are some more items you need to pack: 

  • Bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths 
  • Toilet paper 
  • Sound machine, breathing machine, and other sleep accessories. 
  • Medicines
  • Chargers for all your electronics
  • Skincare and cosmetics products 
  • First-aid kit including pain killers, ointments, bandages.
You will also have to add the following comforting items to help your little child adjust easily: 
  • Favorite blanket or toy
  • Books 
  • Clothes and pajamas
  • Diapers 
  • Baby wipes
  • Bath items like baby shampoo and towel
  • Pacifiers
  • Baby carrier and stroller
  • Breastfeeding pillow
  • Breast pump
You definitely do not want to neglect the needs of your pets, so we’ve got that covered too! Consider carrying the following items to help make the move easy for your pet. 
  • Crate or carrier 
  • Leash, harness, or collar 
  • Favorite toys 
  • Kitty litter box or poop bags
  • Blanket 
The purpose of preparing this box is to have access to all the items whenever you need it. So, the first night kit is it should travel with you, especially if you are going to arrive before the movers. In case you cannot carry your essentials with you, make sure to load the first-night box onto the truck last. This way, it will be the first box out - ready for you to use all of its content. By preparing a first night checklist when moving and making necessary arrangements, you can significantly enhance your move-in experience.