Moving is a huge stressor in many lives, but there are things you can do to help make the move easier. An essentials box can help keep you organized. An essentials box is sometimes called an open-first box or first night box. It should be the box you pack last and the box you open first. It should contain necessary items for the first day or two of moving into your new home. It is your first-night survival kit.

1. Pack Basic Cleaning & Household Supplies

Some basic items to pack are cleaning supplies. You may want to wipe down or dust some surfaces before placing things down. It is also a good idea to bring light bulbs, batteries, and tools in case anything needs fixing up. And of course, you’ll need food to fuel up. Here is a list of items to pack in your essentials box:

  • Toilet paper
  • Soap and sponge
  • Dish towels and hand towels
  • Portable tool kit
  • First aid kit
  • All purpose cleaner or Clorox wipes
  • Broom, dustpan, vacuum
  • Snacks (granola bars, crackers, fruit)
  • Plates, cups, spoons, forks, and knives (either plastic or silverware)
  • Pots and pans
  • Pasta and pasta sauce (or something similar for an easy first-night dinner)
  • Water bottles
  • Coffee maker and coffee grounds
  • Kitchen knife
  • Pet food, dishes, and leashes
  • Scissors
  • Garbage bags
  • Spare batteries
  • Shower curtain (with liner and curtain hooks)
  • Bath Rug
  • Toilet seat
  • Paper towels
  • Flashlight
  • Sunscreen
  • Phonebook/ address book
  • Pen and notepad
  • Duct tape
  • Air freshener
  • Light bulbs
  • Plastic baggies
  • Radio or MP3 player

2. Pack a Box for Each Family Member

If you are moving in with other family members, you should consider packing an essentials box for the whole family and packing an essentials box for each member. This way, everyone will have easy access to their necessary items. Here are some items for an individual box per this moving company Washington DC:

  • Clothes (a change for the following day)
  • Pajamas
  • Toiletries (shampoo, body wash, deodorant, toothbrush)
  • Phone chargers
  • Medicines
  • Personal documents (IDs, birth certificates)
  • Sheets and pillows
  • Books or toys to keep kids entertained

3. Start a List for Your Box

It is important to make a list before you pack. Even if you cannot start packing your essentials box right away, it is never too early to start thinking about what needs to go in it. Whether it is a phone app or good old pen and paper, making a list and checking twice will keep you organized.

4. Don’t Put Your Box on the Moving Truck

Put your essentials box or boxes in an easy to reach place while moving, like the passenger seat of a car or on top of other boxes. It should travel with you. Make sure to label it, so it is even easier to find clearly. It should be the last box packed to help make your move easy and efficient.


It’s your worst nightmare come true. You’ve planned for months, carefully chosen a moving company, packed your belongings with the utmost care. When moving day comes, something unexpected happens – it rains. If it is raining on your moving day, do not despair. You can still have the successful and stress-free move you were hoping for. Here are some tips and tricks to help you pull it off.

1. Use Plastic Wrap

If there are small items in your home that you want to protect from the elements, use plastic wrap. Just pack your boxes and belongings as you usually would, and encase them in a few sturdy layers of plastic moving wrap. Make sure you wrap them at least a few times so that no rain can get in through those pesky gaps. This is an especially useful tip for last minute weather problems because it is so easy and quick to do.

2. Label Your Items.

Labeling your items is important for any move. It is the key to a smooth transition from your existing space to your new home and can save you a lot of headaches in the long run. However, this important step becomes even more crucial in rainy conditions. Carefully label items that cannot get wet, so your movers or helpers know not to expose these items to the elements any more than necessary. To make this system even more user-friendly, use color-coded labels that are eye-catching (like red). Just be sure to explain the system to anyone who’s helping you move, so you’re all on the same page.

3. Upgrade to Plastic Containers.

Cardboard certainly has its advantages when moving: it’s cheap, readily available, and easy to dispose of after your move. Still, cardboard has an array of disadvantages too. It is a weak material in the best of weather conditions, and rain will weaken it further, possibly leading to water damage for your items. The box could even break and drop your valuables on the ground! Consider upgrading to plastic bins for your moving day. Plastic bins are resistant to water, reusable, stackable, and durable. They will last you through multiple moves, and they can be used for seasonal storage when you’re not moving.

4. Use Tarps for Big Pieces.

The rain can substantially damage wooden furniture or heavy cloth pieces. The threat of mold, mildew, and rot can threaten some of your most valuable pieces of furniture. Great Guys Movers advises clients to wrap big furniture in tarps to protect them from the rain. You can head to a home improvement store and stock up before your move. I recommend first wrapping them in blankets and throwing a tarp over that for an extra level of protection.

5. Put Safety First.

If the weather is so bad that it becomes a safety concern, cancel the move. During a move, the last thing you want to do is reschedule. However, if the weather conditions pose a threat to your movers, they will probably cancel anyway. In the end, safety is most important during a move. Don’t risk your safety just to stay on schedule with your move. Reschedule with the company, and make sure you and your things are safe.