Advertiser Disclosure

What to Pack In Your First Night Moving Box

Cardboard boxes in an empty room in a new home
Westend61 / Getty

Packing is the name of the game when you move, but there is such a thing as doing too much. In the rush to get everything done before Moving Day, it can be easy to overlook what you’ll need access to immediately when you actually get to your new place. 

To make sure that you’re not digging through every box on your first night, set aside these essentials from every room in a separate box or bag. Mark “night one” boxes with a special marker or tape, so you (and the movers) know that it’s not going in the moving truck. Think of it like your carry-on and the rest of your boxes like checked bags.   

Jump to:

Personal items


Stack of White Towels
Adrienne Bresnahan / Getty

The last thing you want at the end of a long moving day is to discover that you can’t take a shower because you tossed your old shower curtain. Make sure your bag is fully stocked with these necessities for night one:

  • Soap or body wash
  • Hand soap
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash
  • Toilet paper
  • Shower curtain and liner
  • Bath towels — one for everyone in the family
  • Bath mat
  • First aid kit

Pro tip

Use bright-colored containers or fluorescent packing tape to differentiate your night one boxes. 


Young mother playing with son on inflatable bed
Sergey Mironov / Getty

You might be so exhausted at the end of Moving Day that you fall asleep in a pile of clothes, but it’s good to have a plan B. 

  • Sheets and comforter
  • Air mattress or cot (if you’re arriving before your bed)
  • Pillow
  • Fresh clothes for the first couple days
  • Pajamas

Pro tip

Lean artwork against walls around the house to make it feel like home on your first night.


Close up shot of teenage girl enjoying a healthy takeaway salad
fotostorm / Getty

You might not be able to bring much food over from your old place, but it helps to have a few basics on hand before you can hit the grocery store. 

  • Paper towels
  • Paper plates and utensils
  • Bottled water
  • Snacks

Pro tip

Use your first few nights in your new home as an excuse to sample some of the local restaurants in your new neighborhood. 

Personal items

Cell phone charging battery
Priscila Zambotto / Getty

Think of this as your Moving Day carry-on bag. Whatever you might need quick access to throughout the day should go in here.

  • Chargers for phones and electronics
  • Medications
  • Book or magazine
  • Laptop
  • Wallet and credit cards
  • Contacts, case, cleaning solution

Pro tip

Pack some of your favorite ready-to-eat snacks like granola bars or peanuts so you have something to munch on throughout the day. 


Boy lying in bed playing games on digital tablet at home
FG Trade / Getty

It can be fun to give your kids their own first night boxes to fill up, but make sure these essentials are included somewhere.

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Fresh clothes
  • Toys
  • Books
  • Tablet
  • Snacks
  • Bottles
  • Pacifiers

Pro tip

Download some shows or movies before your move to keep the kids entertained if you don’t have internet set up right away.


Woman moving in new home
svetikd / Getty

You’re not the only one who’s going to be hungry after all that activity. Make sure you’ve got your furry friends covered as they adjust to their new surroundings. 

  • Food for the first few days
  • Water and food bowls
  • Treats
  • Poop bags 
  • Litter box and scooper
  • Collar and leash
  • Toys
  • Crate or carrier
  • Bed

Pro tip

Stock up on some of your pet’s favorite treats or bones to occupy them during the move. 


There’s only one last thing you have to set aside for your first night: something to treat yourself with. Whether it’s your favorite beverage, a dessert from the bakery in your new neighborhood, or just some quality time with your current show, make sure you don’t forget to celebrate your first night.

Related Articles

Moving Checklist, Month One: Settling Into Your New Home
Moving Checklist, Month One: Settling Into Your New Home

Moving Day is behind you and the dust is starting to settle (but hopefully not too much dust). Now you get to take on the considerably more fun work of making your house feel like home. Here’s what you need to know while you get settled.  Jump to: First week to-do list Moving week shopping […]

Read More
Moving Checklist, Month Two: How to Organize and Decorate Like a Pro
Moving Checklist, Month Two: How to Organize and Decorate Like a Pro

After a month in your new place, it’s actually starting to feel like home. The boxes are (mostly) gone, the frames are hung, and you can finally remember where you put your keys. Now it’s time to start making your home feel like “you.” Jump to: Small decor upgrades Organizing 101 Boost your curb appeal […]

Read More
Moving Checklist, Month Three: Projects to Take Your House to the Next Level
Moving Checklist, Month Three: Projects to Take Your House to the Next Level

You made it to month three in your new house! With most of the moving to-dos checked off your list, you can finally turn your attention to the bigger renovations you’ve had your eye on.   Jump to: Start planning your bigger projects DIY home hacks Celebrate the first spring in your new home Create the […]

Read More