Only the Essentials: Important Items to Pack During a Move

moving day

Ah, moving day. It’s an absolute mess of a day, emotionally. There’s excitement in the face of the new place that you’ll be calling home. There’s nostalgia, as you sift through the objects and memories you’ve collected during your residence. And, let’s face it, there’s going to be a lot of annoyance and maybe even outright anger. This is mostly because of how stressful moving can be.

Medical research has shown that moving is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. Changing addresses disrupts routines and puts additional concerns on your mind. Is your new home ready for occupancy? Have you found suitable long distance movers with a full service? Is the dog going to be OK during the trip?

Unpacking in your new home can be equally stressful if you don’t prepare and pack the right things. You need to pack an essentials bag.

Why Pack an Essentials Bag?

An essentials bag contains things you’ll need to make the first couple of days unpacking bearable. Most of your things will be in various boxes and cases when you arrive at your new residence. You’ll either have to root around multiple containers looking for things you need or buy new ones until you can dig them out if you get there without an essentials bag.

Packing an essentials bag will save you time and money, and allow you to be patient. You’ll also be able to go about unpacking your belongings and settling into your new home much more comfortably. So what exactly goes inside an essentials bag?

The Crucial Contents

An essentials bag is actually a bit of a misnomer. Some people pack the essentials for every room of their new home. Also, you can choose to put these things in boxes, if you’ve used all your bags. You can group the things to put in your bag (or box) according to use.

  • Important items: These are things you wouldn’t leave home without, such as your wallet, cell phone, and the keys to the place you’re moving in. Include documents that are too important to leave lying about, such as birth certificates, passports, and similar paperwork.
  • Medical items: If you need medication, be sure to purchase enough to last you a few days, until you can find a nearby pharmacy. A first-aid kit is also a necessity, in case of mishaps.
  • Electronic equipment: These include your laptops, tablets, and other pieces of technology you may need to contact people or entertain yourself. Also, pack the chargers for these devices.
  • Toiletries: Unpacking will be hard work, and you could get sweaty and dusty from the effort. You’ll be thankful for packing shampoo, soap, and any other hygiene products in travel-sized amounts. Don’t forget to put in a roll or two of toilet paper.
  • A few changes of clothes: Enough at least for one night, so you don’t feel grimy.
  • Unpacking equipment: You might need more than your bare hands to unpack your belongings. Put a craft knife or a pair of scissors to help you snip through packing tape. A small selection of tools, like a ball hammer, screwdrivers, pliers can also be very useful should you need to do small repairs.
  • Food and culinary utensils: Unpacking can also be hungry work. You could just order take-out, but you might need basic cutlery, like a spoon and a fork. A travel mug can contain hot or cold beverages. Finally, add a few snacks that you can eat should you get hungry in the middle of unpacking.


Stress may be an unavoidable part of moving houses. But that doesn’t mean you can’t minimize it. Your first memories of your new home shouldn’t be of irritation and discomfort. Your fresh start deserves to feel like the beginning of a new adventure. And what adventurer would you be without a bag full of essentials?

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