You’re moving! Do you have the right packing list? Picture this. You’ve finally arrived in your new home, with your packed, sealed and labelled moving boxes. You pull out the box of kitchen essentials, congratulating yourself on your organizational skills. Now, if you just knew where to find a pair of scissors or a knife to slice open the box. 

Moving day can be stressful. In an ideal scenario, the movers arrive on time, the weather cooperates, the key to your new place is waiting for you when you arrive, and the move goes smoothly. In reality, moving days don’t always go according to plan. Still, your stress levels can be significantly reduced by planning ahead and following a packing list. 

Depending on your particular situation – whether you’re renting a van and moving or hiring professional movers, whether you’re driving or flying to your new home – the particulars of what you pack where may differ, but having a plan is essential.

Have a packing plan

Make a plan for packing for first night in home

As the saying goes, hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Start by picturing your arrival in your new home. Assume there were a few glitches along the way. Assume you’re all exhausted. Assume you’re too tired to cook or even to go out to a restaurant. Assume it’s raining outside. What will you want to do first?

Plan for your kids and pets

Dog sitting in a packing box for first night in new home.

If you have young children, you’ll probably want to get them settled in out of the way of the movers. Maybe you want them to curl up quietly with their electronic devices and watch a movie. What will they sit on? What will they eat? Research the local pizza delivery options before the move and have the number handy. You might want to pack some drinks and granola bars in a cooler or toss a bag of popcorn in the microwave. 

Moves can also be stressful on pets. Providing them with familiarity and routine will help them settle in more easily. That might mean having their bed or favourite toy available. They’ll need to be fed and watered. Don’t forget to set up the litter box if you have cats!

Plan for you

Okay, kids and pets are settled in. What about the adults? The priority will probably be locating the boxes that need to be unpacked immediately. Once that’s done, they might want to open a bottle of wine or make a pot of coffee, take a deep breath, and celebrate being in their new home. Showers and sleep may also be high on the agenda.

Here are a few ideas for how to organize your packing, so your arrival in your new home goes smoothly. Ideally, as many of these items as space will allow will travel with you rather than with the movers.

Our Packing List for Your First Night in Your New Home

An overnight bag

You’ll want to pack a basic overnight bag containing toiletries, a change of clothes, pyjamas, electronics & chargers for each member of the family.

Packing list of an essentials box

Your essentials box should travel with you to be opened when you first arrive. It need not be sealed as you may need to access the contents or add items at the last minute. It might include:

Essentials to pack for first night in new home

Moving day can be somewhat chaotic. It’s not unheard of for a purse containing passports to be inadvertently packed in a box and tossed into the moving van. Be sure to keep ALL items that will be travelling with you in a separate part of the house, clearly marked as not to be packed.

Packing list of an open-first box

Ideally, this box will also travel with you, but if there isn’t room, it should be the last box (or boxes) packed into the moving van, so it, or they, can be unloaded first. These are also generally the last items you pack up as you’re using them right until the last moment. You might want to include:

Items to pack for first night in new home.

If your children are a bit older, you might want to have ‘open first’ boxes for each of their rooms so they can make their own beds and be more involved in making the new house feel like their own.

A valuables box

You also want to pack any valuable Items that insurance can’t easily replace if they’re lost or damaged in transit. This might include important documents and photos, valuable jewellery, or items of high sentimental value.

If you follow these packing tips, you’ll be well prepared for your first 24 hours in your new home. Oh…one last thing you might want to pack in that essentials box. A bottle of champagne and a couple of champagne flutes to celebrate your arrival in your new home! Congratulations!

If you have any questions about the moving process or need any local/Ottawa businesses recommendations to help with your move give us a call.

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With over twenty-five years of experience in all aspects of real estate, we have bought and sold well over a thousand homes. We’ve been honoured to help thousands of clients in Barrhaven and across the Ottawa area close a deal with confidence and satisfaction. Give us a shout and let us show you what we can do for you!