What to Include in Your Moving Essentials Kit

What to include in your moving essentials kit

Picture this: it’s your first night in the new house. The moving truck has pulled away. Boxes are stacked in every corner. The kids are hungry, tired, and bored (and frankly, so are you).

After a living room pizza picnic, you decide to call it a night and turn in, only to discover that you can’t remember where you packed the toothbrushes. Come to think of it…where are the kids’ pajamas? And which box contains your duvet?

This can be avoided with a simple step that makes any move easier: packing a moving essentials kit.

overwhelmed woman with duster surrounded by boxes

The point of a moving essentials kit is to have secure, instant access to anything you might need during the first night or two in the new house. To get the full benefit out of your moving essentials kit, keep it off the moving truck and close at-hand at all times.

Even though the new address will be your residence, it will feel like you’re “camping out” until you’re completely unpacked (if not longer). Packing your moving essentials kit as if you’re sleeping away from home for a few days is a good perspective to have, so you don’t miss anything important those first few nights.

Here are some suggestions of what to include in your moving essentials kit.

Personal Items

Feeling clean, comfortable, and secure will go a long way toward making that first night or so in the new home feel like…well, home.

By packing a few creature comforts, you can even make the experience—dare I say it—fun.


Pack a few days’ worth of clothes (including undergarments and pajamas!) for each member of the family. If you have young children who are prone to messes, pack a few additional ones just in case).

Sleeping Items

Your Cento Family moving crew will reassemble and set up the beds for you before they leave, so have the sheets, pillows, and blankets ready so everyone can crawl into bed after a long day of moving.

If you’re moving long distance, you might want to pack an air mattress or sleeping bag, just in case.


This includes any miscellaneous hygiene items that you would need on a regular weekend away.

  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Soaps and lotions
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Razors
  • Hairbrush and comb
  • Medications

toiletry bottles in bathroom cabinet

Bathroom Supplies

Having a well-stocked, ready-to-go bathroom as soon as you walk in the door is one thing you (and the moving crew) will appreciate.

  • Shower curtain
  • Towels
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand soap
  • Paper towel roll
  • Trash can

Being able to take a hot shower at the end of the day will help make each of your family members feel human again.

Food & Kitchen Items

You probably won’t feel like cooking with boxes and furniture everywhere, but you’ll still have to eat (during the move as well as after).

Setting up a snack station in the kitchen is a good way to show appreciation to the moving crew but also helps your family refuel after the truck has pulled away (and you still don’t feel like cooking).

  • Non-perishable meals, snacks, and drinks
  • Disposable plates and utensils
  • Coffee maker, coffee, filters (or things to make tea or hot chocolate, if that’s your preference)
  • Wine and corkscrew (hey, nothing kicks off the first night in the new house like a toast!)


Whether it’s you that needs a break from unpacking or your kids that need distracting, packing a few entertainment items in your moving essentials kit will help keep the peace.

Charged tablets, books, phone chargers, and even a pack of cards can keep spirits up when Dad hasn’t figured out how to hook up the TV.

Moving Supplies

Even if you’ve hired a full-service moving company, there are still things you can do while the movers are moving.

stack of boxes with moving supplies in front

By packing some generic moving supplies in your essentials kit, you can have everything you need at arm’s reach.

  • Your moving binder
  • Box cutter or scissors
  • Roll of packing tape
  • Permanent marker
  • Extension cords
  • Light bulbs
  • Batteries
  • Furniture feet pads
  • Hardwood floor scratch pen
  • Basic cleaning supplies, (paper towels, all purpose cleaner, cleaning wipes, kitchen sponge, dish soap, dish towel, garbage bags)
  • Tools (hammer, screwdriver, power drill, measuring tape, pliers, nails, screws)
  • Pen and paper

Having easy access to these things will make it easier to get everything on and off the truck faster so you can do all the busy work of settling in.

Pet Items

Your pets are part of the family, too. And moving with pets means moving with all of their stuff in tow.

  • Your pet’s new ID tag (update number/address, if necessary) collar, and leash
  • Food and treats
  • Water (preferably water they are used to drinking, as new water can sometimes cause a temporary upset stomach)
  • Beds, kennels, or crates
  • Blanket, toys, or any other comfort objects
  • Carrier, seat belt, or other safety device for travel
  • Waste disposal bags (for longer trips)
  • Prescriptions
  • Litter
  • Food and water dishes

If you have small rodents, fish, birds, or other pets, read our article about moving with pets for more suggestions about how to safely relocate them.


Even if you’ve carefully organized your move down to the last detail, there are bound to be emergencies and situations you didn’t account for. Be prepared for anything by packing a few miscellaneous items.


If you’re in doubt about whether to include something in your moving essentials kit, ask yourself if you would be able to live without the item for 24 hours. If it’s something you can do without, pack it with the rest of your boxes and let the movers load it onto the truck.

Packing a moving essentials kit is one step that can make a huge impact on the rest of your move. Another step is hiring professional moving company.

At Cento Family Moving and Storage, our focus is on taking the burden and stress of moving off your shoulders and into our more-than-capable hands. If you’d like to see the difference that hiring a mover can make, give us a call today for your free quote.


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