Relieve the stress of moving when you arrive at your new home by packing a moving day kit. Add these 7 items to your moving day essentials checklist.

Moving to a new home can be both exciting and stressful. The weeks leading up to your move are surely packed with a long to-do list to get everything ready. To better prepare for your move to help ease the transition into your new home, create a moving day essentials checklist.

Preparing a moving essentials kit will help make moving day a breeze. This handy kit keeps everything you may need on the move day close by so that you won’t be frantically searching for necessities while unpacking at your new place. Having items like a phone charger, scissors, and a toolkit handy will help you stay focused on unpacking and getting settled.

Every family is different, but here are some essential things you need when moving that should be packed separately to make moving day a success.

Moving Day Essential #1: Clean Bedding and Pillows

One of the last things you’ll do before packing boxes into the moving truck is striping your bedding. If those linens are clean enough, pack them away separately. Then, when you arrive at your new home, you can make the bed.

This is a must-have item for your moving checklist. A freshly made bed can make you and your family feel much more settled on a day as chaotic as moving day. You’ll be thankful that you can crash on a clean bed with ease. 

Moving Day Essential #2: Cleaning Supplies

If you’re lucky enough to have access to your new home before moving day, you can prep ahead by cleaning the new space. (Grab our free deep cleaning checklist to make sure you don’t miss easily forgotten cleaning tasks). If you can take care of the cleaning before moving day, having basic cleaning supplies on hand will come in handy. Expect dirt and dust to be tracked into your home along with the movers and your boxes, as spills and unexpected messes are likely.

If you don’t have access to your new space before moving day, you have all the more reason to come prepared with essential cleaning supplies. You’ll want to complete a few basic cleaning tasks before unpacking and placing your items throughout your home. After all, once that oversized loveseat is in place, how likely are you to move it to clean the floor and walls behind it?

With these basic cleaning supplies, you’ll be prepared for any moving situation:

  • Sponges
  • Dish soap
  • Hand soap for each sink
  • Paper towels
  • An all-purpose cleaner
  • A broom and a dustpan
  • Dust clothes or rags

Pro tip: Have at least one toilet paper roll for each bathroom ready on move-in day.

Moving Day Essential #3: Toolkit and Flashlight

Before you arrive in your new home, you may not know what supplies you need while moving. You may need to find out what you’ll be walking into. While you probably won’t be hanging pictures on the wall for a while, having a basic toolkit is a must-have item on your moving day essentials checklist.

If you disassembled any furniture to keep it safe during the move, you’d have what you need to put it back together right away. You never know what you may need pliers or a hammer for, so keeping a small toolkit aside for moving day is great. If you don’t have a small toolkit, purchasing a new one ahead of time is worth it. Save your receipt so you can return it if you don’t use it.

A happy plus size woman moving out, sitting on the floor and making a list of items packed

Moving Day Essential #4: Paper, Writing Utensils, Tape, and Scissors

If you plan to label rooms to help movers find where your boxes belong, you’ll need a Sharpie, some paper, and tape. If you’re having friends or family help with unpacking, direct them by labeling cabinets or drawing floor plans. Leave yourself a note to avoid forgetting to tip your movers.

You never know when you’ll need these items on moving day, so it’s best to come prepared.

Moving Day Essential #5: Phone Chargers and Bluetooth Speaker

Your phone battery may drain quickly on move-in day with calls you have to make or playing music while unpacking. Don’t forget to keep your charger handy to keep it charged. The last thing you need on a hectic day is to spend time searching through moving boxes and looking for a charger.

Bring more fun and excitement to moving day with a Bluetooth speaker. Play upbeat music or soothing aesthetic sounds to help keep stress at bay.

Moving Day Essential #6: Snacks and Water

Moving is physically demanding work. Have snacks and bottled water on hand so you aren’t depriving your body of fuel. If possible, put the water bottles in a fridge at the new home before you arrive so they are cold. If that isn’t possible, pack a cooler full of ice with bottled water.

Grab-and-go snacks like protein bars are great to have on hand. Fruits like apples or bananas, and nuts like almonds or macadamias also make great moving-day snacks for their burst of energy.

Moving Day Essential #7: A Small Overnight Bag

One of the best ways to feel put together during a move is to pack a bag as though you are staying overnight somewhere. Being in a new home can feel like staying overnight somewhere, at least until some boxes are unpacked.

Plan ahead by leaving out a pair of pajamas, a change of clothes for the next day, plus your toiletry essentials like toothpaste, a toothbrush, and shower essentials. If your new home has a bathtub/shower combo, leave out at least a clear shower curtain with rings so you can shower. You’ll want to wash up after a long day of moving, especially if it’s a particularly warm day.

Aside from not wanting to tear into boxes of your items, Kat Hodgins from Bob Vila explains, “On the off chance you arrive at your new home but your stuff does not, you definitely want to bring a rolling suitcase or duffel bag.”

By following this moving day essentials checklist, you should have everything you need while unpacking without having to go searching for things stuck in boxes.

What is the first thing you should bring to your new house?

With so many items, you might wonder what to bring first when moving to a new house. The first task you may need to complete is cleaning. You never know what could need a quick clean before you start unloading. When you arrive, do a quick walkthrough of the home and clean up anything that requires immediate attention.

Another big priority would be toilet paper, soap, and paper towels. After a long day, you may need to use the bathroom when you get there, and you’ll want to be prepared.

When should you start packing to move?

You should start the packing process at least six weeks before your moving date. Starting with less frequently used items and working up towards items you use often. During those weeks, spend a little bit of time packing to alleviate one large packing task days before you move.

One of the best packing tips is to keep a solid moving supply of materials, such as moving boxes and bubble wrap. Pack up any fragile items first to ensure you have plenty of materials to keep them safe. 


If you are looking for more more space during your transition to a new home, consider renting a storage unit online today. The booking process is simple, and once you have booked you can access your storage unit right away!

This post originally appeared on the Life Storage blog on 5/18/17 and was revised on 4/14/23 to provide new information.

About the Authors

Kate Fann

Kate Fann is an established SEO content writer with 10 years of experience, taking a specialized focus on home-related content. She has a Master's of Marketing degree from Southern New Hampshire University and her work has been featured in publications such as Angi, Broadband Now, and Love What Matters. Kate takes a keen interest in all things home from design and decor to remodeling and cleaning hacks.

Madison Wetherill

Arizona based food blogger passionate about hospitality and community around the table. Madison shares easy recipes to inspire others to get in the kitchen and learn that cooking can be a fun part of every day life.

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