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Items You Need When Switching Homes

30 Essential Items to Pack For the First Night in Your New Home

Are you switching homes and overwhelmed with everything you have to move? Our friends at Trulia have compiled a list of 30 essential items to pack for your first night in a new home.

Moving to a new home and trying to pack light for a few days?

Maybe you're relocating and hauling your worldly possessions across state lines, or you're packing two suitcases for a flight before meeting movers at your new place. Or maybe you're going to be camping out in your new home for a few weeks, doing some fix-ups, before the rest of your "stuff" catches up with you.

Whatever the reason, how do you know which items are "essential" during your first few nights, and what's optional? What do you need to bring to your new home, and what can you leave behind without kicking yourself for it later?

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It may seem overwhelming to distill your entire household of possessions into a few essential boxes, but it can be done. Here are 30 items you should definitely bring for the first days in your new home:

  1. Keys. Don't laugh — we forget the obvious all the time, and you'll be in real trouble without these.
  2. A basic first-aid kit. Be ready with Band-Aids, a thermometer, an Ace bandage, some antiseptic wipes, tweezers, and a few ibuprofen.
  3. Chargers for all your essential devices, such as your phone, laptop, and tablet.
  4. A portable alarm clock. Or install an alarm clock app on your phone.
  5. Spare batteries.
  6. Sheets and a pillow. Everyone forgets this one!
  7. Extra changes of clothing, including sleepwear and underwear.
  8. Toiletries — soap, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, moisturizing cream, plus towels and washcloths for cleaning up.
  9. Shower curtain. Another often-forgotten item.
  10. Essential paper supplies, such as toilet paper, paper towels, tissues.
  11. Basic cleaning supplies, including glass cleaner, multi-surface cleaner, dish soap, rags, and a broom and dustpan.
  12. Enough plates, utensils, and cups for one meal for each person.
  13. A flashlight or headlamp (make sure it's got new batteries), in case of power failure, as well as candles and matches. (Matches can also come in handy if you have a gas stove that won't light.)
  14. Sunblock. You'll probably be spending a lot of time outside, either moving boxes, running errands, or taking care of other tasks.
  15. Any medicine you take daily.
  16. Easy-to-make meal staples that don't require much preparation, like pasta and sauce, cereal and milk, bread and peanut butter, canned soup, etc.
  17. Any basic cookware and gadgets you'll need for these meals, including a pot and pan, serving spoon, and can opener.
  18. Snacks. Fruit, nuts, and granola bars are particular favorites, since they require no refrigeration, no preparation, and no utensils.
  19. Beverages, including bottled water if you won't have access to a filtration system immediately.
  20. Instant coffee or tea bags if you need a morning caffeine fix (!).
  21. Food and dishes for pets.
  22. Radio for entertainment, particularly if your WiFi won't yet be set up, which means you can't access Pandora or other Internet-based music stations.
  23. A small portable toolkit, containing basics like a hammer, screwdriver, and pliers.
  24. A sturdy pair of scissors for opening any boxes that are on their way to your new home or packaged supplies you purchase for the new home.
  25. Important identification cards and records, including your driver's license, passport, lease (if applicable), etc.
  26. Important contact phone numbers, including your lender, moving company, and your financial institutions.
  27. Pen and paper to make a list of all those to-dos you're going to think of and all the extra stuff you'll realize you need for the new place.
  28. Cash, credit cards, checkbook.
  29. Duct tape. Somehow, this always seems to come in handy, even at the most unexpected times.
  30. A personal treat or two that will help you feel at home and relieve stress.

Don't underestimate the importance of that last point. If you always end the night with a glass of wine, bring a bottle to reward yourself at the end of your long first day. (Don't forget the wine opener and a wineglass.) If you're an avid reader, bring a book you've been dying to read to help you fall asleep at night. If you feel more "refreshed" or polished while you're wearing makeup, bring a tube of mascara.

You're going to be working hard when you first move in, so make sure you also allow yourself a little bit of "fun" to make the transition as easy as possible.

— Paula Pant

Check out more great stories from Trulia:

Should I Rent or Buy?
Scared to Buy Solo? 4 Tips For Single House Hunters
4 Maps to Help Your Home Search

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